Jun 23 2013


8.5 Months and then some

Posted at 9:39 PM under 2-Shoes, Post-Op

It’s been a few weeks since I posted, which is a drastic change for the guy who post at least once a week! But I just  wanted to let everyone know how I’m doing. This has really been the first time since my injury that my existence wasn’t define my the limitations of my repaired Achilles.  I not saying that I’m 100%, but I feel 80-90%, which is a great feeling. I’m running up to a 5K now and still plugging away at this Couch to 10K program. I’m back into regular weightlifting, and spinning to. Don’t get me wrong, I still have issues with lunges for some reason, and squats still get my ankle sore, but the difference is remarkable, from a few months ago. Also just in the last few days, I’m able to do a single-leg heel raise (and my calf muscle is slowly coming back to life). Although, not as pretty or symetrical as my left leg :). Occasionally, I still need NSAIDs and RICE, but what used to be a multi-daily occurrence is now used just sparingly.  The best part is today I attempted my first “real” hike up to the top of Dragon’s Tooth. 7 mile round trip with an elevation change of 1500 ft. It was awesome to hike something other than the mountain bike trails (something with a tad more difficulty).  Here are a few pics from my trip today.

Hiking the AT section to get to Dragon’s Tooth

Dragon’s Tooth pt. 1

Dragon’s Tooth pt. 2

My ATR (right) leg hanging off the side of Dragon’s Tooth

Climbing up to sit near the top of Dragon’s Tooth

The Top Pt. 1

The Top Pt. 2

These trails up near Roanoke, VA are some of the most scenic part of the AT trail in Virginia, and some of my favorite places to hike and backpack. I was pretty sore and stiff my the end of the hike, but glad that I can still do the things I love, which my stale ATR case and recovery kept me from doing for 9-12 months. So for those of you just began your recoveries, to those who are halfway done, and to those who were supportive for me while I was going through my recovery and physical therapy.

Thank you and happy healing.

23 responses so far

23 Responses to “8.5 Months and then some”

  1. kellygirlon 24 Jun 2013 at 12:34 AM 1

    Awesome photos, Kevin! Seeing you scale Dragon’s Tooth makes me smile. I especially love the pic of the AT leg admiring the beautiful view! I’m so happy to hear that you are for all intents and purposes, back to normal. That is such great news and is a beacon of light to those of us still in the early days. I’m also very relieved to hear that the calf muscle is coming back. I was wondering if I should start investing in more pants–lol! Thanks for the update. Great to hear from you!

  2. micah1on 24 Jun 2013 at 3:45 AM 2

    Kevin, can I just second everything Kellygirl has said and also add that Totally uplifting. I am going to have to take pictures of my foot on its travels ! Fab news & pics thanks.

  3. andrew1971on 24 Jun 2013 at 7:45 AM 3

    Good to see your continued recovery and those pictures speak a thousand words for me, keep smiling and keep on keeping on as norm would say :)

  4. kkirkon 24 Jun 2013 at 1:21 PM 4

    Thanks everyone. And Kelly the strength is coming back (about 3/4 the way there), but I still notice the size difference. Some are able to get that symmetry back and others its a bit more difficult. I doubt my calf will look like the other one, but I’m glad to report that I know believe this injury won’t keep me from doing the things I love to do. :)

  5. ripraproaron 24 Jun 2013 at 2:09 PM 5

    Kevin Kevin Kevin
    What great news, I’ve never thought id say this to a guy but you have great legs :0)
    Great news indeed, now go enjoy life sir

  6. Murielon 24 Jun 2013 at 8:41 PM 6

    Thanks for sharing Kevin, this hike looks amazing. I’m at 10 months now all functioning fine, single heel raised have got much better in the last 3 weeks and i can wear heels at work!!! Next pair of shoes will be a pair of hiking boots as mine are now too narrow at the ankle. Take care! Muriel

  7. bigivyon 24 Jun 2013 at 8:51 PM 7

    Your awesome photos are making me so jealous! I live near the AT in NC and the mountains keep calling. My husband drove me up to the Blue Ridge Parkway last weekend to Craggy Gardens. I crutched up the trail a wee bit and took some photos of the rhododendrons in bloom. Will read your blog for some inspiration cause this sitting around is killin’ me!

  8. kkirkon 25 Jun 2013 at 10:34 AM 8

    RRR: Thanks for the compliment. :)

    Muriel: The right shoe still feels tight around the ankle and I haven’t found a boot (really any shoe) that doesn’t do that minus Crocs and I’m not going to wear those all the time!

    BigIvy: Where along the AT do you live. My goal is to hike the peaks at Grandfather Mountian again near Boone, NC. I would also suggest this hike near Roan Mountain.


    If you start at the gap, its only 13.5 miles, with some awesome views. :)

  9. debvnon 26 Jun 2013 at 3:22 PM 9


    Those are awesome pics! Looks like some very challenging terrain. Congratulations on your progress. It’s great to read about your adventures!

  10. nhguy55on 08 Jul 2013 at 5:07 PM 10

    Thanks, Kevin, for showing that there does come a time when pain does not limit movement in every way and every day. I had Haglund’s deformities (sort of calicified hooks starting at the insertion point on the heel and rising up the tendon). In December I had the right achilles severed, debrided, and reattached with some heel cut off - in March same story with left heel. Then total left knee replacement 7 weeks ago - right knee to follow on July 30. Needless to say I’m a bit tired of saying “ouch” and your story helps me remember that this won’t last forever. I teach at the university level and believe that I’ve completely redefined the notion of “sabbatical.” Anyway, thanks for sharing your story!

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