sallycolella’s AchillesBlog

Achilles Recovery WOD and Rumi

August 17, 2013 · 12 Comments

Today at Crossfit I did a workout of the day ("WOD") with everyone else but Achilles Recovery Style.

Achilles Recovery Style WOD:


10 Clean squats with overhead lift with dumbbells with knee on box

10 One leg push ups on dumbbells

500 row with the adapted rowing machine

I did this series 5 times. I am getting more adept at moving around safely and I took my time on the transitions from box to push ups to rowing machine and worked on my form — shoulders down; proud chest! It makes a big difference to be at the gym (crossfit "box") with everyone else and the music blaring.


Yesterday I had to take a day to rest. I had been pushing too hard. The crutches have scraped skin off my chest wall so I have been trying to hop or scoot around on my butt. I live in a house with two large staircases and was trying to clean up and do some laundry and it was all a bit too much.  Yesterday I spent more time off my feet and paid attention to this Rumi poem.

"Very little grows on jagged rock./ Be ground. Be crumbled./ So wild flowers will come up/ Where you are./ You have been stony for too many years./ Try something different. Surrender."

Knowing when to push and when to surrender seems to be the trick!

I also think things happen for a reason and I am asking myself why this injury now? What is my achilles heel telling me? Can I create something strong where something snapped?

Categories: Uncategorized

12 responses so far ↓

  • normofthenorth // Aug 17th 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I’m a lonely crutch-defender hereabouts, and I often respond to complaints with suggestions for adjustments or technique changes — but the chest wall, below your armpits, is where you SHOULD be clamping the top pad of your crutches, squeezing it there with your upper arm. OTOH, the actual weight should be on your hands, with the clamped top pad just adding some stability. And if your arms/elbows are straight, they should be giving the crutches most of their stability.

    Have you tried adding padding to the crutches where they’re bothering you? If your hands or wrists-forearms are so tender that you’re “leaning on” your chest and upper arm, it should help to pad the hand-grips and the vertical parts above them. I wrapped mine with cheap camping pad (=~ Yoga mat), sliced, wrapped around, and taped. Others have found relief from gloves, but I found it much more convenient to have the crutches “wearing the gloves” 24/7, so I didn’t have to put ‘em on and take ‘em off all the time.

    If you’re already doing those things and you’re still wearing away at your chest wall, try adding foam to the top pads, and/or wear a heavier shirt. I’ve got some spandex-and-Velcro back belts around the house (to cure lower-backaches), and wrapping one (or anything else) around your chest should also solve the problem.

    This rehab is hard enough without painful scrapes from crutches!

  • kellygirl // Aug 17th 2013 at 9:31 pm

    What a thoughtful post. I like the poem too. Great that you have been able to modify Crossfit. You are setting a great example!

  • ekiaer // Aug 17th 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Regarding crutches - I live in a house with a set of stairs, so the scooter just didn’t work for me. Instead I found this crutch that let me rest my knee on a platform and hobble around with one crutch and my arms free. Mine was called the Only One Crutch although there are others out there. Might be something to look into.

    And only surrender temporarily…;-)

  • Sally Colella // Aug 18th 2013 at 8:13 am

    Thanks for the amazing suggestions on crutches. When the nurse told me to hold the crutches against my chest wall and I have been holding them way to low on my body. When I clamp them between my upper arm and body and keep my arms straight I am not bothering the scraped areas and I am not seeing any new damage. Thank you so very much!

  • kiki // Aug 18th 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Do your crutches have a pre-set height? FWIW, my doctor told me my elbow should be out about 10-15% (not straight), and to get this he adjusted the crutch to the marking 1″ above my actual height, and the hand grip up one notch as well. With my back nice and straight, this distributed the weight more evenly on my upper arms/shoulders and less on my hands. I try not to let them touch the side of my chest, or my underarm, at all. From Cross Fit you probably already have Michelle Obama arms, but I didn’t before–and after 8 weeks I sure do now! Maybe this won’t work for you, but it might be worth a try.

  • kellygirl // Aug 18th 2013 at 11:12 pm

    *waving* Love the picture of you on the cool torture device :)

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  • seaweed // Aug 19th 2013 at 8:50 am

    Wow, congrats on the early return to the gym, Sally…it took me four weeks to get the courage to go back and hobble around, it is much better now that I am FWB in the Vaco boot. Good luck with the recovery!

  • steve // Sep 5th 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Hey Sally .. we are the same age and therefore similar timeline. How come you went surgical .. was your Ortho old school? So from you I can see that I can work out as long as I keep my knee bent and no extra weights on my Achilles?

    I would appreciate if you would share your workout.

  • sallycolella // Sep 6th 2013 at 11:49 am

    Hi Steve -

    On surgery - I did not do nearly as thorough an investigation as most people on the site. I went right from gym to ER to OS in one morning and the OS, who plays soccer with my husband and was recommended by a Dr. friend, recommended surgery as best way to maintain active lifestyle. I did find this site prior to my surgery but I was already in the mindset that surgery was the way to go. I am usually very cautious about surgery and went to great lengths to try to avoid with births of my two sons but I think I was also eager for a “fix.” So far, I have been pleased. I am a month out and healing well. I go to OS Monday and hope to start PT soon.

    In terms of workouts I go to cross fit gym. For cardio my trainer has set us a creative solution — two rowing machines beside each other. I row with one leg and the recovery leg goes along for a ride. My OS was okay with this. There is a picture of this on an earlier blog post. Today my workout (with boot on) was 3 rounds of:

    750 row
    10 push ups (one leg - booted leg behind the strong leg)
    15 sit ups (with a 15 lb dumbbell on my chest)

    We did the “dead bug” for warm up - legs and arms at 90 degrees in the air and I could participate. Others were stretch hamstring earlier and I just stretched ‘good” leg. Other workouts have included:

    overhead lifts with dumb bells while seated on box
    lying face down on bench and lifting my arms in T, I , Y and W position while keeping shoulder blades firmly on my back - to counter all the crutching.
    Stretching upper body with bands

    Does this give you some ideas?

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  • superjewgrl // Sep 6th 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Steve…. this forum is for support and guidance, not questioning people’s decisions.

    Sally - I had the forearm crutches and loved them. So I only choose them because I saw David Beckham using them, but it helped with posture and I felt more confident using them.

    Great picture! Your post is a terrific inspiration.

    Happy Healing.

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