Won the World Series - Game Over

Well, it has again been quite some time since my last post.  Let’s see, where to begin.  Ok, I took the trip out of the country, did not play baseball, was the manager/coach, as it was only 5 months post surgery.  My mind said yes, but my body said no.  I got plenty of exercise, touring the sites, which was good overall for the mind and the body.

Funny thing — at 6 months post surgery, things got really good.  No pain, no swelling, and frankly, no thought to the Achilles. My PT started some plyos and viola, I was going strong and getting stronger.  Played baseball the first week in May and ran like crazy (I kept hearing them say, "Stop Forest, stop!"), but dang it felt so great to run.  Did not even ice down post game.  Got my timing down as well.

Since then, picked up the intensity of the workouts and have no residual issues other than an occasional heel soreness which I attribute to running too hard without adequate support.

The one thing I’ve noticed is that I’ve gotten stronger in my legs.  I’ve actually got some "hops" in me which, given my age, race and body type, would have certainly cemented the dreaded white man’s disease forever more.  Yet, because of the PT workouts (strength training, etc.), I’m getting in much better overall shape. I’ve also started a fairly aggressive yoga class which is great for balance and strength (I used to do lots of yoga, and actually taught same).

So the marathon is over as far as I’m concerned.  It was 8 months post surgery May 23, and I feel like, as one commentator said, I’m a poster child for quick recovery.  Yes, I still have some soreness and creakiness in my left foot but no pain, no limitation of movement, etc.  I cannot fully extend up on my toes on one foot, but then again, my ballerina days are long gone.

I do wish everyone well.  If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this experience it is that:

1.  Everybody is different.

2.  Do not (or at least try not to) compare yourself with others.

3.  Take what people say (doctors, etc.) and even here on this blog, with  a grain of salt.

4.  My two cents is that you should really listen to your body (duh) and not push the envelope until you are ready.  If you are a jock, type A personality, or just a general guy/gal, you obviously want to come back from this devastating injury ASAP.  However, the temptation to do "too much too soon" will only set you back.  So be patient.

5.  There is really is no last point.  Just want to extend my wishes, thanks, and love to everybody out there.

13 Responses to “Won the World Series - Game Over”

  1. So great to read this!

    Congratulations on a very strong-sounding recovery. Have you done PT the entire time? How often do you go?

    I have been asking around about yoga, and no one can tell me much, but I’m happy to hear you are doing an aggressive class. Before my rupture I was doing quite a lot of vinyasa and hot yoga, and I’m wondering at one point yoga will be “doable” for me again. At what point did you start doing it again?

    Thanks for your insight!

  2. A lovely post. The posts from people who are a long way down the line have always been so inspirational. I too am at a similar point to you and would echo all you have said. Patience is the key to this injury, sadly I think as most of us are the ’sporty’ types it is something many of us struggle with. Bizarely this far down the line I now look on my injury as a blessing, an opportunity to take stock and realise what is important. To all of you at the beginning, that probably sounds mad, but it really does make you stonger - physically and mentally, Carry on healing and thank you all for your support. LL

  3. Great post. For one who is only a little more than two weeks past surgery, it is nice to see these posts on the back end of rehab. I too am a jock, probably too competitive for my own good, and as result, I am ready to throw the crutches down and start walking right now. I know I shouldn’t and my family reminds me constantly, in case I forget. (they know how stubborn I can be)
    I can say that my injured leg feels really good, and except for the occasional iritation from the stitches and tightness in the achilles, I wouldn’t notice too much. Patience is not a virtue of mine, but I am going to keep trying. Thanks again.

  4. @ Deana - i’m back doing yoga, the constraint for me was being able to do warrior positions. I’ve been back a few months now (i’m at about 9.5mths now).

    @musicman - I did a lot of phys (still am) but still not got hte strength in my legs back. My cycling fitness is OK, but I lack power even with doing plyo etc.

    I’d say i’m pretty much there, am back surfing, learning skateboarding (its my push off leg). A friend asked the other day what i’m not doing…I’m not playing squash or indoor football…not sure if i will either ;) But other that that…

    (Having said, I’ve had the dream recovery. Of the 4 friends who have done ATRs since I did mine, two have had poor outcomes (rerupture and healing long) so back into surgery. )

  5. Deana, thanks. Re PT, I had a progression post surgery. Don’t know your situation but in my prior posts I talked about taking the time to heal, i.e., I spent a long time doing PT, bit by bit. I was on able to bear weight 2 weeks post surgery but my balance was not there.

    On the yoga side, I think it all depends on your situation. I “started” some time ago, but you can progress at your own rate. If you have been doing yoga for awhile, then you know the key is to allow the breath to take you on the journey. Some days you’ll feel great, and others you’ll feel like you know what, . . . So you should do yoga at your own pace. The balance stuff is great; just don’t push/rush it.

    Also, on yoga, you can do the asanas (poses) with a block or strap to give you support. Just tell your yoga teacher where you are and they should be able to suggest some gentle adaptions.

    I would avoid the “jump backs, etc.” as the sudden explosive movement is rough on the other parts of the body, in addition to the Achilles.

    Good luck and thanks again.

  6. Chuckp17, hang in there brotha! First two weeks are the roughest. In my prior posts I talked about mentally taking each day as a step towards rehab, and a sign of healing. So the first time I tried to curl my toes, it was less than 1/2 inch. The next time, a bit more, and so on, . .

    The point is make each day a positive one by “improving” if ever so slightly. And, if you don’t have improvement, remember that it takes time and you’re just having one of those days.

    Good luck and thanks for the post. Hang in there and stay positive. I know you’ll be focused.

  7. Bronny, if you can, you might want to consult a personal trainer. The leg strength program I am on involves: band walks, seated straight leg raises (single leg), single leg balance with 1/4 squat, prone hamstring curls, calf raises (how I love doing these), leg press, single leg skaters, and body weight jumps (easy-soft landings).

    Again, these I have progressed to over time.

  8. liverpoollass, you are absolutely correct about taking the time to value what is important. To me the injury was a mixed blessing in many ways. It made me realize how much we take for granted our health and how precious our time is with respect to our “day.”

    I focused on being in a “healing” mode the entire time, and would try not to let any negative energy impact me. I treated setbacks as just one of those days, and continued to be positive. Mentally, I simply focused on getting better and I think that contributed to my overall recovery and psyche.

    Glad to hear you’re on the mend. Be well.

  9. Great story, MM!

    Unfortunately, I’m now obsessing about Bronny’s two friends with the bad outcomes. That’s tough, for sure. B, were they also in NZ, and did they get the standard NZ non-op cure that you got, or did they go under the knife initially? (You say “BACK to surgery”, which makes me think they got the op.)

    My Cardiac Rehab program just switched me from 2.5 miles of power-walking to 3 miles of “walk-jog”, 7/16 mile walk, 1/16 mi jog, rinse and repeat, 6X total for 3 mi. It’s definitely lots more work, it reminds me that I’m out of shape and gets me into a sweat unlike the power-walking, but my ATR leg has felt totally normal throughout, and glad to be running again. My 1-leg heel raise is still short and difficult, but there’s hope for everything else, even if it never comes back! :-)

  10. Hey Norm
    My two mates were both non-surgical and had the standard Wellington NZ protocol. Having said that, I think they were (statistically) bad luck. One says he didn’t have his foot pointing down enough in the cast - reckons that is why the healing long. The other, well it never healed properly and reruptured at about 12 weeks by banging his foot on a chair - so pretty unlucky!

    @MM I have been going LOTS of leg stuff with my physio (and I am a PT as well, haha): single leg squats, lots of different kinds of squats and lunges, box jumps, squat jumps etc. I think my standards are pretty high, and its probably going to just take longer than the rest :(

  11. Awesome post! Love the attitude, love the vitality! Great words of wisdom for those of us on the mend. Thanks!

  12. I am interested to read these type of informative post.

  13. There are many aspects of this article on which I concur with you. Thank you so much for sharing such an awesome blog.

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