All things considered, 41yrs old, overweight, unfit, weekend warrior with a snapped achilles, family and regular working life, 6 months on, it’s all good.
I am still unfit, overweight (compounded by giving up smoking and comfort eating during the worst parts of the injury recovery) but exercising toward the comeback to the courts to play badminton - The scene of the crime on May28th 2012.
I can hop, skip, jump, balance, do 1/3 of single leg calf raise, hold my body weight on the good leg hanging off the foot of my stairs… balancing, I have good and bad days for that, good days it feels like I could hold a position forever, bad days it seems less than a minute into the balancing and I wobble, but once I have wobbled I find it challenging to re-gain a stable balance.
Running properly takes some practice - it kind of starts of a bit ‘ropey’ but after a few shuttles the stride etc comes back to me - there’s no real speed (not sure there ever was ), but the form is there so I am happily working toward that in my own time.
My walking regime caused all sort of troubles - my good calf tired quickly and I got some cramps so I switched to cycling last week…..I was cycling in the dedicated lanes around our local park when coming toward me was a familiar face of a guy who plays badminton on the court next to ours, I’ve not seen him since the accident - we chatted for a few mins and I started to go on my way, I probably got up to about 70% of my desired speed when BAM!!! next thing I know I am hitting the tarmac with an almighty thud - turns out I’ve just experience my first cycle chain breakage - bruised body, some aches and pains, ego hurt more and I am a good 3miles walk from home ……..Pete, the guy I stopped to speak to was his usual comedic self “I’d give you a 9/10 for that fall” we both laughed, some things never change.
The elliptical cross trainer is a really good tool to use as part of your recovery and I am able to pump up the resistance now…. going backwards gives my calves a complete work out.
Physio put me on one months notice - that is to say I no longer have to go back, but of I have any reactions or concerns in the next 30days then I can re-enter the rehab program for assessment and physio.
Summary - I feel good enough to want to go back to badminton, wise enough to probably give it a few more weeks (maybe postpone until January), determined enough to continue with the exercise focus and the desire to lose the excess 40+ lbs during 2013.
0-6 weeks is painful, everything is a chore, cleanliness is an undignified process - toughest time of the process for me by a mile.
7-16 weeks is a period of caution and continual improvements, trying to do normal things but within the limits of the achilles (walking, stairs, driving), even when finally out the boot, always keeping the achilles at the front of every thought and keeping the boot at hand 100% of the time for those moments where you want the freedom to do more without the risk - just remembering this is the highest chance of a re-rupture and installing that into my mindset when exercising or outdoors.
17-27wks sticking with my rehab program build on resistance and balance, progress seems to just happen naturally, whereas the middle period was one of milestones that really made you smile - everything for me has been coming back together nicely, there’s not quite that bounce in my foot that I really want, but it’s not as flat as when I started.
I’ve not engaged in the most modern recovery protocols, but at this point in time I am happy with everything, I’ve taken things in my stride had good weeks of exercise and bad ones (either through injury or the occasional lazy few days) and I look forward to reporting back when I hit the courts for the first time.
Happy healing to all my fellow ATR victims - This injury is not permanent but it is life changing, it’s horrible at first and gets better over time (once you’re off the crutches, everything is immediately better) - be mindful of what you choose to do in the first 16 weeks and listen to your body when you exercise - most of all, thank all of those around you, so grateful of the support I got from family and friends
This is not goodbye but I think the time is right to say to all on this site whom have been on this journey with me thus far, I thank you all for your support and advice.
Without this site to lean on and learn from, I am certain that this process would of been much worse, we’re all in it together and I am truly thankful for the exisitence of this site and it’s community.