May 27 2010


February 21, 2010 - The Infamous Pop

Posted at 9:09 am under Uncategorized

Holidays are always a tough time to stay motivated and committed to your fitness goals. Like a lot of people I became victim to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season, eating too much and exercising too little. All of the snow fall we got this year certainly didn’t help either. With the holidays now behind me, I wanted to refocus on eating well and getting to the gym, like I normally did.

My normal routine involved going to the gym 3 times a week where I either ran and lifted weights, participated in a Tae Bo class, or played Basketball. I also played in a basketball league on Thursday nights, which I would count as one of my 3 times a week. I had been struggling getting into a routine, but had finally just started to become more consistent.

That Saturday morning, I did an hour of Tae Bo. The next morning, Sunday, it was my normal pick up game. Prior to playing, as I learned from my back injury, I made sure I stretched thoroughly before getting out on the court. Hamstrings, calves, quads, back, stretched and ready to go.

I was in the middle of my 3rd game that morning when I felt the pop and like many other’s experience, it was a very unspectacular event. I caught a pass from a teammate and tried to make a quick move to the right pushing off on my left foot. As I pushed off of my left foot, I felt what I thought was a basketball come onto the court and hit me in the back of the calf. As I fell to the floor I looked back only to see there was no ball on the court (to this day I don’t know if I fell because my achilles popped or my achilles popped because I fell). In that split second I immediately knew that something was wrong with my leg. I yelled, “my leg!” and repeatedly said, “I’m done! I’m done!” as I scooted off the court on my butt trying to get out of the way so the game could continue. Playing basketball, I have become accustomed to spraining fingers and ankles and figured this would just be something that would prematurely end my day that I’d eventually be able to walk off. I had felt a pop, but didn’t feel much pain to make me think it was serious. Sensing it was more serious than I thought, the guys I was playing with crowded around me as I laid on the sideline. I told them, “I don’t know what’s going on. It felt like I was hit in the leg with a ball.” One of the guys said, “Yeah, you ruptured your Achilles.” He then kneeled down to message my calf putting pressure from the middle of my calf progressing down to my heel, repeatedly. The pain was excruciating every time he reached the area of my Achilles… 1000 times more painful than when I actually injured it. At the time I was thinking, “what in the world is the dude doing? Does HE even know what he’s doing?” In retrospect, I think he may have trying to prevent the Achilles from retracting into the calf. Whether or not what he did helped in my recovery, no one knows. As I lay on the floor rolling in pain, with my hands on my face, from this guy rubbing on my tendon, I could hear people talking. “He ruptured his Achilles…. What? A young guy like that? Yeah he’ll need surgery?” (I play ball with the 30 and up crowd now ) Surgery? Wow this is more serious that I thought.

Because the car that I drive is manual, I had to call my wife to bring me to the emergency room. At the emergency, the doctor on duty performed the Thompson test and confirmed that it was indeed a rupture. When I heard the diagnosis, I felt like I could have cried….had my wife not been there, I probably would have. It had been a long, cold, snowy winter in Maryland and I was very much looking forward to the weather breaking and being able to go out and enjoy it. Instead, thinking it was a minimum 6 month recovery, I thought that the entire summer was lost to injury. After I struggled to hold it together, I was splinted up and sent on my way with crutches. I made an appointment to see an orthopedic the next day.

That night I racked my brain with the question, “Why?” I could not understand how this could happen. I made it a priority to stretch before I went out to play. I had just did Tae Bo the day before. I’m only 31 years old…. I know that’s starting to get up there, but that’s not that old. Right? Why did this happen to me?!

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