Feb 20 2012


6 Months.

Posted at 11:54 am under Uncategorized

Feb 24, 2012, marks 6 months from the day I fully ruptured my right Achilles.

This is part of the Angels Landing Trail, in Zion’s National Park. This is a particularly fun part of the trail, I think it’s called Walter’s Wiggles. My wife Joan (that’s her in the picture) and I climbed it back on Feb 12. This picture seems like a perfect metaphor for the ATR recovery, it’s a long tough climb from our starting point, filled with lots of twists and turns.

That climb up Angels Landing was done on the 1st day of a 3 day vacation. The day after this hike, we spent a good 8 hours walking - in and around the Vegas strip, shopping malls, etc. Day 3 brought even more walking, outlet malls, Freemont Street, back to the Strip, and such. It was a very rigorous test of my Achilles, and it handled it fine. So, I’m declaring myself essentially recovered. I’m not quite 100% yet, still lacking some strength on my right side, but I’m able to do everything I was able to do before the injury. Sometimes I can’t do those things quite as fast, or for as long - but the injury no longer dictates what I do.

Though still a subtext of my life, the ATR is no longer the plot.

One of my final goals has been to do a little speedskating racing this year. I did so - a 1000m race - for the first time on Feb 18. I’ve got two hurt legs, plus I’d been sick for a few weeks… so needless to say, I didn’t exactly set a blistering time. But, I finished my race, didn’t hurt myself, and skated exactly the time I was expecting; if not the one I was hoping for. All things considered, I have to allow myself be very satisfied with that accomplishment. I’ll do some more racing, and hope/expect to improve my times somewhat, but accept that any racing this year is going to be “just for fun”. Before this injury, my goal for the season was to crack the top 10 for my age-group. That’s obviously not going to happen: this is a “preparation sport”, and this injury has essentially robbed me of a full season of training and fitness.

Here is a little racing video from Feb 25. This is the start of my 1st (post ATR) 500m race, and the 2nd (of 5) corner of a 1000m race. I’m in the light grey skinsuit. Both of these races (500), (1000) - were good enough for a top ~50 spot (as of Feb 25… the season isn’t over, I’ll get bumped down the list as faster times are posted).

My hope is that by the time I hit the one year mark - after a full season/summer of cycling, and hiking, plus 6 more months of strength training - that I’ll truly be back close to where I started; with full fitness and ready to hit next race season hard.

A ski video I shot on 2/26; on the 6 month anniversary of my surgery.

I owe many of you here a BIG thanks for all the support and information. This injury is certainly a tough one, and it sure was nice to not feel like I had to go through it alone. It doesn’t seem all that long ago that I was the new guy here, asking all sorts of dumb questions.

This isn’t a farewell, but I expect this will probably be my last blog entry for quite a while. I’ll drop in occasionally to check up on you all :-)

Good luck everybody!

9 responses so far

9 Responses to “6 Months.”

  1. housemusicon 21 Feb 2012 at 4:21 pm 1

    Well said Ryan!
    I loved your post and the pictures. Good luck with your training, and hope you will still visit us once in a while.

  2. Januson 21 Feb 2012 at 8:33 pm 2

    That’s great news! Very encouraging. I’ll take it as positive example. (But allow myself a little more time. I’ve got a tendon transfer and misc. damage).

    I like how you said the ATR is subplot but no longer dominates. Right now the ATR and related nonsense is taking over too much of my life — but I’m looking forward to getting that back in place and context.

    Once again, congrats on your progress!

  3. doryton 22 Feb 2012 at 9:04 pm 3

    Great job on your hike! Zion is awesome and that hike has been on my bucket list for a while. What a Cool metaphor! I’m right behind you, approaching my 6 month mark. Take care Ryan and thanks for the great info you provided.

  4. kilomikeon 24 Feb 2012 at 12:33 pm 4

    Amazing! Great job not only on your hike but your mental fortitude and positive attitude through the entire process!

  5. mljackson60on 25 Feb 2012 at 3:04 pm 5

    Thanks, Ryan. You have been very encouraging to me in my journey.

  6. ahnadlasson 26 Feb 2012 at 5:45 pm 6

    Wish you all the best. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.

  7. pablomoseson 02 Mar 2012 at 4:37 pm 7

    Cool Zion pics… good to have some hope for summer activities!

  8. truckeron 21 Mar 2012 at 11:28 am 8

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of your blog..gives me hope…so here is the question..I am at day 20 PWB with crutches…trying to get to that FWB stage, but how did you know it was time…when I put more weight on the foot I get heel pain on the surface that touches the ground and some pins and needles….like you said I am still trying to figure out what Is good pain and what is destructive pain…no pain in the achillies, just stretching

  9. ryanbon 21 Mar 2012 at 11:43 am 9

    I remember the day well- but it’s hard to describe how I “knew”. I was crutching around in the boot, and just realized… “Hey, I can stand on my leg!”. Not long after: “Hey, I can take a little baby step!”. 24 hours later, I had pretty much dropped the crutches for good. Looking at my log, I think that happened right at 4 weeks (day 28).