13 Weeks in…..Bored

Confidence seems to be an issue for me right now, that and the two week gap between physio appointments.

The good news:

Exercises are doing great, walking is doing great (okay I still limp if I don’t focus, but it’s great if I shorten my stride :) ), I can walk up stairs on the balls of my feet (ATR leg starts on ball on lowers to flat though) and walking downstairs is not perfect but when I forget my injury I can canter down them quite easily….my atr leg now has more DF than my good leg (physio was worried it may heal long if I stretch more) so I am doing physio on the good one to stretch that one too :)

I do have a concern that the pain at the front of my foot comes and goes and is more apparent walking down stairs than any other exercise.

The physio and the timing (13wks)
My physio tells me to lay off doing standing calf raises and the exercise bike, treadmill etc and I am reminded by Sheena’s unfortunate re-rupture that I am still in the danger zone.

However, yesterday when I had to reach for something on top of the Kitchen cupboards, without thinking, I performed a standing calf raise on both feet to get what I wanted, there was more weight on the good one but it was only when I was fully extended that I realised what I was doing. The fear that it could POP even doing this hit me and gave me a bit of stress after the event - the lack of thought for just one moment at this point could of caused that undesireable consequence.

When I read other people’s blogs and they’re doing more at this stage, so in my mind I keep asking should I continue to be restrained or should I push through it - but also (it may just be my perception) it seems more of the surgical repair patients are doing more at this time period than the non-surgical.

So this is a kind of limbo post - It feels as though time has stopped, things I am doing now feel easy nor am I doing new things (which makes these exercises repetitive), the concern of the dangerzone ever present I probably should continue with what I have been instructed to do for this week and physio next Tuesday will be 14weeks hopefully they will test me abd allow me to push more to my limits rather than their own perceptions of what an ATR should be doing I’d like to include the bike, treadmill and possibly the cross trainer.

NOTE: By the time some people get to 15 weeks (2wks time), they’re able and allowed to do what this guy is doing in the video below (surgery 9th May 2009, video dated 22ng Aug 2009), jimminyc was cycling an 11mile round trip to work (surgical repair again 15weeks), Skutr was kickboxing!! I’ve not done any real strength/endurance exercises yet I am sure other ATR’s were also doing more but I can’t date things on most blogs without following the timeline and working it out so apologies if I missed any other capable rehabs

11 Comments so far

  1. Adam on August 28th, 2012

    hey Andrew.. I suffer from the same confidence factor you do. ALWAYS worried something negative is going to happen. I keep asking myself when I will get over it (if ever!). I have been doing a lot in PT which scares me at times, but like you point out, some others are doing much more it seems. Hang in there!

  2. sheena on August 28th, 2012

    Have a read of my blog buddy amd just never forget that tendon in two shoes…never..or at least for a year.

  3. Hala on September 1st, 2012

    Hi Andrew

    I’m at 17 weeks now but pretty sure I was similar to you at 13 weeks. Once I got to 12 weeks I started to worry much less about tripping over but I was still not very strong or very flexible, and progress seemed fairly slow. The last few weeks though have been better and I am able to cycle/row/step at the gym and start walking longer distances. I am just amazed though that the injury is so slow to improve, it doesn’t seem right, even though I’ve read a hundred blogs saying so! Hold on in there, in the next few weeks (at 16 weeks?) the danger of re-rupture will be very low and you will be able to feel confident to push it more. Good luck :-)

  4. davidr on September 1st, 2012


    You seem to be doing very well for 13 weeks. You, me, Sheena and Eva all share the same day.

    Sheena has likely re-ruptured. I am still PWB on crutches, and your post suggests you are ahead of Eva based on her post of 2 days ago. According to what my physio has told me about the average rehab you’re doing really well. I expect the fast rehabs are advertised a lot more than the average and slow ones!

  5. Skutr on September 1st, 2012

    Andrew - I would like to caution you against comparing recovery milestones. Everyone is unique and we all heal at different speeds but we all seem to end up at the same place at the end.

    Rupturing your Achilles is & will continue to be an extreme test of toughness, strength, stamina, camaraderie, and mental grit. It is not a race against others, but rather a competition with oneself. The goal is to complete the course and finish stronger in mind, body, spirit and Faith.

    From what I can tell you are doing as good or better than most at 13 weeks. At 13 weeks I was doing a little running along with my kickboxing and karate but I was far from full strength. Even now I’ve got a long ways to go but for me full strength means full contact.

    At 12 weeks I had to adjust my attitude and turn my “F-it” button back on and I’m confident that in 4 weeks you will be doing things that today seem impossible. Stay strong, stay smart, listen to your body. Don’t be afraid to slow down If your body tells you too. Find your “F-it” button and push it.

  6. daves on September 1st, 2012

    Very well said Skutr! And chin up Andrew. There are plenty of us on the “slow boat”.

  7. Hillie on September 1st, 2012


    It is pointless comparing your recovery timeline with those where there is only a couple of weeks difference, or they are maybe younger and fitter than you, or their injury was less severe. And who is to say that they always did ‘the right thing’? We’re all different - you can probably swim but does that mean that you should be as fast as Phelps? Or even Ellie Simmonds?

    As Skutr says, we (mostly) end up at the same place at the end. Your first couple of months was cautious compared to some, but then, what’s a week or two in a lifetime? And you say that you canter down the stairs when you forget your injury. I’d say that at 13 weeks this shows good recovery with a trace of madness too - Sheena was only walking up a gentle slope and you know what she did.

    I have also looked through the blogs etc over the past few months (now at 27 weeks) and if you take it chronologically, it almost feels like 6 or 7 years ago the ratio was 4:1 in favour of surgery (in numbers that is) now it seems closer to 1:1. Or do we now have more UK postings here than we did then?

    So many questions, too few well informed answers.

    You’re doing ok now, keep it going!

  8. andrew1971 on September 1st, 2012

    All good advice… I can see why the risk factors are highest during this period, we feel capable so we do more.

    But sometimes, as is the way with the innocuous action that caused the ATR in the first place, we cause a re-occurence of the very thing we’re recovering from.

    Seems to me that there’s a fine line between it all during our recoveries in the “dangerzone” and I am guessing that we don’t want a muscle that is able to pull more force than the tendon is ready for, or place our bodies in a situation where our own body weight creates the inertia beyond the capabilities of the healing tendon again causing a re-rupture… problem is we feel good in ourselves and there’s no indicator to say we’re doing too much, the first sign of that happening could well be the now familiar sensation and a POP.

    I have to agree that with life being relatively normal (with exception to exercise and fitness generally, since I also gave up smoking just before my injury) it’s probably best to ‘walk through’ these danger weeks, keeping mobility and agility up without creating stress or strains of either the tendon or the calf.

    I walked a mile today, my back ached and I was blowing a bit - also felt tired due to the mental focus on my gait and stride pattern, although I felt better for it, this does put everything into perspective - the recovery not just of the tendon but of the fitness I now desire, I am leaning toward it’s better to be steady rather than adventurous…. My goal is to get back on the stationary bike this Tuesday at physio (wk14 since recovery began) and take everything else as it comes til wk16.

  9. Kimjax on September 1st, 2012

    Hey Andrew! Hang in there. I’ve found that while I’m behind in DF, I’m ahead in strength. We all progress at different rates in different areas but end up in the same place eventually. I remember feeling pretty bored at 13 weeks, too. No new milestones, just slow, steady progress. It all adds up, though, and when I look back at my own blog, I can really see it! :)

  10. Paul Stephens on September 3rd, 2012

    Keep your chin up Andrew. and it will come you know your body better than anyone push as much as you dare!

  11. Makasia on May 6th, 2013

    Good luck. Getting back in shape is so much harder than just kneeping in shape, especially with an injury. Work that upper body and core as much as you can to reduce the mechanical load on your legs first is my only real adviceā€¦ and don’t forget the profound benefits of a few hours (!) of stance practice or swimming as a very low impact leg workout.Just my 2 cents

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