Sunday 10 November 2013

Post surgery: 4 weeks

Tomorrow is 4 weeks since my ankle surgery. I’ve had just as many ups and downs as I expected. At first, I was going great guns, ditching my crutches quite early on and starting to walk quite freely around the house. In the second week, I even had a 15 minute climbing session on easy problems at the Ice Factor. 

Then the ankle became infected, I got antibiotics, they made me get really sick, then it got super swollen and exquisitely painful. All of this coincided with a family trip to Fontainbleau, the first day of which I spent lying as still as possible in bed with a fever. After that, I was of course desperate to climb. The next day I did one 7B+, and paid for it for the rest of the week, limping around generally feeling pretty rough. Back home and I managed to get through a couple of days coaching and lectures in Scotland before getting on another plane to Margalef which I’d arranged long before I’d even had the ankle problem.

When I woke up on the first morning, I wished I’d just cancelled the trip. I’d been hopeful I could begin climbing by now, but the ankle was still really swollen and angry. A 200 metre walk to the crag nearly had me in tears. More antibiotics, rest days and lying down with my foot in the air seems to have brought a breakthrough at last.

Yesterday, I made another tentative start. A 7a+, a 7b and a laughable attempt at an 8c. I know that my confidence won’t take too long to get back, but yesterday felt like I was 16 and weak again. I’ve lost a lot of confidence to be aggressive with my feet and get body tension. To be expected of course.

Today felt slightly better again, with 7b+ onsight and an 8a redpoint, and the crag was about 10 minutes walk from the car (the crux of the day!). Tomorrow I will rest and then we’ll see if I can make another little step in an upward direction.


  1. trying to send an email to you, but your contact info (on that link) says it doesn' t work. Any way to email you? I'm a climber from smith rocks and a customer of yours

  2. Andrew, It's not a link, deliberately. You're meant to replace [at] with the at symbol to make it an email address. It's so spambots don't see it. Do get in touch.