Ruptured my left Achilles (complete tear) on Sunday, June 3, 2012 around 5:30 pm on a wall run after an obstacle course training class at my parkour gym.
With each and every obstacle course or mud run I find myself loving them more and more so I was excited about training for & completing my first Tough Mudder later this fall. But wow, little did I know how much all this training will come in handy for what I’m about to endure both mentally & physically over the next few months of this recovery process. Ran through the course, practiced some of the obstacles again and at no point did I feel any warning sign, soreness, etc. On the last run, as my foot hit the wall, it felt like something weirdly slipped- like a gear slipping in a car. No pain, no loud snap, nothing like all the other cases I’ve been reading about. It was like time stopped for a second. I immediately knew something was wrong but had no idea how bad it was.
Turned around, hopped down on my good foot, tested out my left foot and nothing….jello leg. Really creepy how floppy it was and I remember thinking, wow- this is a really weird sprain. It started swelling and turning purple instantly so we taped it up and I hobbled out to the car to go get it checked. Pulling into the hospital, I could actually place a bit of weight on it so I got all excited thinking, phew.. it can’t be that bad.. well except for the fact I thought I was walking on a hill or a bump in the hallway floor when my friend swore it was flat.
At the hospital I was seen within just a few minutes and ushered back to the examining room. Still in denial I remember thinking, wow, this might take a few weeks to recover- I hope I don’t have to miss the relay run at the end of this month. 5-6 miles a leg shouldn’t really be all that bad on this. Alas, the doc had a different perspective.
He asked a few questions, joked about parkour (Tosh.0 reference) & then had me lay on my stomach to compare the back of both legs. Apparently you could clearly see the indent where my tendon should have been. They also did that test where you squeeze your calf and the foot moves- not so much when they got to my left leg. Poor floppy foot didn’t move at all. Then he broke the news. As for that relay, marathon, Tough Mudder, Taekwondo blackbelt test, all the runs I had planned, all the gymnastics, parkour, hockey, etc.. scrap it all. I’d need surgery, would be on crutches for a couple of months at least & wouldn’t be able to run for at least 9 months or so. What????
This is when the tears stream from the corner of your eyes and the kind of shock, disappointment, fear, and a whole host of other emotions hit you all at once. What the hell am I in for? Got splinted, crutches, some drugs and a Saltine cracker and was soon in the car heading home to get on the internet to learn more about Achilles ruptures and what this all meant.