Feb 20 2012
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!
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