Thursday, 22 November 2012
Two days ago my foot started to show some signs of fairly rapid improvement. In those two days I’ve gone from prohibitive pain just trying to put weight through it without moving, to todays crutch free hobbling about the house. It’s still a hobble and will have to be for a while yet since the drilled area underneath my medial malleolus is still feeling raw and preventing a full stride. However, the feeling of bipedal movement even if it’s only slow and from room to room feels good. Little Freida keeps bringing me my crutches and it was especially nice to leave them sitting by the couch for once and follow her on foot. The boost was momentary however, since she proceeded to burn me off on my own board, swinging around on the holds.
Today, hanging about on my board and putting my feet on, I’m actually thinking that moderate climbing may well be easier than walking. So I think it’s almost time to get moving on some very easy routes. Scarpa are sending me a bigger pair of rock shoes for my swollen foot. Even then I reckon the first week or two of climbing will need to be in one approach shoe. Caution is probably well advised though - I’ll wait a few days yet, and start off on 6s.
Meanwhile I have plenty of training tasks, rehab tasks and working tasks to complete each day and have recommenced these in earnest. I even needed a rest day from fingerboard work today! Some of my pre-surgery gain in pure finger strength have been lost from the week off, which is expected and temporary of course.
One thing I have on my side is experience of having gone through this sort of thing before. It certainly hasn’t helped me deal with the fear of permanent loss of function. But it has helped me manage the maintenance training much better. The last time I broke my ankle I was 3 months in plaster and when it came out I had one leg like a stick insect. I was pretty lazy then (it was 15 years ago) and didn’t do anything like the levels of physiotherapy and training I ought to have done. So it took a lot longer than it could have to return to fitness. I totally missed the opportunity to get a good ‘foundation’ phase done. So when the time came around, I had to learn to climb well again at the same time as start from being ridiculously weak.
This time round, I’ve tried to give myself some slack where it makes sense, and worked hard where it makes sense. For instance, I’ve eaten a ton and then had cake afterwards. Funnily enough my weight is the same although body composition might need some miles on the bike to correct. But I’ve done more fingerboard, rotator cuff, flexibility and push ups in the last 7 weeks than the previous year. It might be into next spring before I can sort everything else out enough to reap rewards from that, but they will hopefully be there.
Carrying lunch slowly through to another room under my own steam felt like a wee milestone today, but the stiffness tonight reminded me there will be plenty more ups and downs to come. I might get a fright when I try and climb!