Friday 12 October 2012

Foot-notes day 17

I’m at day 17 post accident and had the expected ups and downs. A lot of folk (including many who are recovering from nasty injuries themselves) from got in touch after my last blog post saying they were heartened to see me sounding so optimistic so soon after my little tumble. Thanks! 

I must admit that the novelty somewhat wore off on Monday morning, waking up after week 2 of recovery and looking forward to week 3… of much the same. On the whole, it’s true what I said that a bit of time uninterrupted by trying to perform would be great to have a proper phase of foundation strength training. That part has been going great. When I go into my wall and start doing my workouts, I sort of forget about the injury for a while and feel normal.

The biggest pain in the ass is not being able to chase my 19 month old wee girl about and generally being a useless lump at home. I’ve only thrown my crutches away in anger once. In the grand scheme of things it’s obviously nothing to moan about. However, trying not to moan doesn't get rid of the feeling underneath. It seems the biggest psychological challenge is not right after the injury, but a few weeks on. What can you do but hang on the the positives of the training that can be done. Since I have a lower limb injury, thats a lot!

My plan to return to climbing with a Gullich upper half and Ondra lower half is working nicely. While my legs are visibly atrophied, my arms get bigger. On the fingerboard, as well as having time to get thorough workouts completed daily, I’ve had time to do all the peripheral stuff too. I have basically avoided basic strength training since 2008 because of golfers elbow. Even last winter, when I got symptom free and could train freely on the bouldering wall again, I still avoided campusing and fingerboard for the time being. Although I’ve been able to manage to keep a decent climbing standard, I could definitely feel my basic power suffering this year.

So with this break I’m determined to get fully back into strength training. So I’ve matched a rather intense program of deadhangs and pull-ups with an intense program of wrist flexor eccentrics for the elbows. It’s definitely working. I was always too scared to really push into elbow pain at VAS 5 just because it felt so wrong. But having bitten the bullet, it’s feeling line the right thing to do. I’ve also started a new method of doing eccentrics to mimic the most aggravating position and so far I think it’s increasing the response.

As expected, walking is still feeling pretty distant. I still cant get near a full weight bear on the bad foot although it can handle sharing the weight for standing now. I had a good meeting with Jaqui at Lochaber Physiotherapy and got a stronger idea of what is going on in my foot. My ankle joint seems to be on good form at the moment. I also still have a foot arch which elicits very localised pain at the attachment to my heel bone. The heel bone and fat pad seems to have been very badly bruised and bashed and will no doubt cause me a world of pain in the weeks to come once I start walking again. I think I’ll have a fine excuse to treat myself to a nice new pair of shoes.


  1. Hi Dave glad to hear your recovery isn't preventing you from training.

    One question though, as I've had similar qualms re campussing - What's VAS 5?


  2. It's the visual analog scale for measuring pain. If you google images for VAS pain scale you'll see the visual representation. it's a 1-10 scale so VAS 5 is classed as 'moderate pain'.

  3. Hi dave
    Just wanted to pass on my best wishes for your recovery. I am totally new to climbing (climbed my first indoor grade 5 Thursday)and it was people like yourself that got me interested in having a go. I was unable to train for quite a while due to a shoulder injury and I learned the hard way not to rush back to training but enjoy the 'enforced' quality time with my little one.

  4. "a new method of doing eccentrics to mimic the most aggravating position"
    interested to read more on this!