As I write this I have a compex device attached to my lower leg stimulating all of my atrophied muscles to contract. I have spent 72 days in a cast, and have 12 more to go including today.

With the cast coming off soon most people are asking if I am happy for this whole process to be ‘almost done’. Those people do mean well, they are interested and they are trying to find a way to connect with this clearly horrible thing that happened.

But man are they wrong.

When I agreed to have reconstructive surgery I committed myself to a long, hard and often lonely path. A path with many steps, some of them to be done with company, most of them to be done alone.

The first step was deciding this was a worthwhile investment of my time. This decision I made alone after having the details presented by the surgeon, who I trusted.

The second step was actually having the surgery done. This involved so many people. Surgeons, anaesthesiologists, neurologists, technicians, and then the several days in hospital with all of the nurses.

Then I went home. And started to wait. Friends came to visit frequently, I was (and still am) blessed with how many people came to help me cook, clean, tidy, or just to keep me company.

Six weeks later I was allowed to put my foot on the ground. This was a big step forward. Each progressive step towards full weight bearing, another small step in what is to be a long, long, slog.

Taking the cast off will seem huge to someone not intimately involved with the process, but to me, getting to put down the crutches and take back both hands was a bigger one.

Taking off the cast might seem liberating, but it is also scary.  I will have to learn to trust my foot again. I will have to learn how to overcome the terror that through a moment of inattention I will invalidate the sacrifice of the last two and a half months. Taking off the cast is a symbolic victory, but in reality, this victory merely shines a light on the gruelling climb I have before me to claw my way back to where I was before. From hardly being able to stand, having lost multiple inches of muscle mass, lost the ability to contract those muscles, to crossing the finish line of a half-ironman..

Compared to where I will have to go, most days, it feels like I am just getting started

 

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Treat for my ears and my sanity

 

For some reason my cell company gave me 300 bucks to renew my standard contract. It’s pretty generous, and I expense it to work, so all in all, was pretty jazzed to receive 300 bucks.

Which I turned into some high end noise cancelling headphones. The Bose Quiet Comfort 35. I have had them on for less than an hour, and cannot describe the peace of this bubble. I can’t even really hear myself typing on the keyboard, even after the song ends.

I was never one for spending too much on headphones. I lose them. I run in the rain with them. I use them for 8+ hours a day on end, and they simply don’t hold up. I also download all my tunes, but really, having gone through three replacements on warranty from Sennheiser, counts for a lot. (TBH It’s me, not them, love their headphones).

But I spend hours on trains most days. And, I am learning to admit, I am slightly more sensitive to my environment than other people. It winds me up, sets my teeth on edge, and it takes awhile to wind back down. For awhile I was riding in first class. It was great, wider comfier seats, and blissful silence. But it was too expensive to maintain in a lifestyle that includes Christmas’s in Malta, Trek Madone’s, and race fees of up to 400$.

These, these headphones, I think will be a game changer.

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Christmas 2017 – Malta baby

Life sucks right now. Like a lot.

Like someone cut my foot in half and sewed it back together, and as much as it is going to be better when it heals right now it blows.

Like my brother died at 32 from complications from pneumonia. Because that’s what 32 year olds die of.

Like the only thing standing between me and the business school of my dreams is a stupid entrance exam (and how to pay for it) but people keep cutting up my limbs and dying.

Like that casual bf of over a year leaving, now, in the middle of all of this for four months.

 

So for christmas, I am going to malta, and staying in a five star hotel. Because I can. If you have any thing to recommend in Malta in December, let me knooowwwww.

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Matchy-matchy

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Things that are hard to do with one foot (when you are used to having two)

That caveat in the title probably isn’t necessary. Some shit is just hard with one foot not two, but, I don’t really know maybe people who have only used one foot all their life (or for longer than a week) will chuckle at my struggles. I hope so!

  1. Getting out of your house when there are four steps when you want to use your knee scooter.
    1. Sit down on the top step. Shuffle down one step. Reach up behind head. Lift 10kg scooter from above head down past toes. Shuffle butt further down. Apply brakes, pull up on scooter, grin, sit down, catch your breath.
  2. Cleaning the incisions at the back of your heel
    1. Like where you get a blister. Who needs yoga when you have to somehow spray the back of your heel and wipe it off, without falling off your chair, or, moving your mangled frankenstein foot. 5 days in, still have a foot, haven’t fallen off the chair yet.
  3. Answering the doorbell ‘IM COMINGGG… COMMINGGGG!’
    1. Self explanatory and my apartment is tiny.
  4. Listening to your very well intentioned friend say ‘ah but an athlete of your level will come back so quickly’
    1. Think about your 2:15 chip time half marathon best. Think about that last half ironman you got dq’d from because you ran (on your shitty ankle) too slow. Smile, count to five, and realise they mean well 🙂
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Waiting…

My most recent ankle sprain was January 2016. I tore several ligaments, a tendon and bruised a few bones. It looked like it was healing well, I went to physio, and I worked hard.

Every single race I ran in 2016 was a personal best. 2 races 5k or under, 3 races 10km, one half marathon. Two sprint triathlons, and one half ironman.

It was a good year.

Then it became obvious that the ankle well, had rather hit a plateau. I tried a new physio, I went back to my doctor, I got referred to the surgeons, and I kept working.

Now it’s September. I was meant to have an ankle reconstruction two days ago. I have waited, and worked, and pushed.

This year held no PRs. This year was pain, and frustration. Silent eyes and swollen ankles. This year, I accepted the ankle just was no longer viable.

Now Monday, they swear they won’t move it again, that Monday I will get my new ankle. New ligaments, new heel bone… I am tired of waiting and ready to start healing.

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Double race weekend… with bronchitis

This weekend was miserable. I am one week post GMAT and MBA application submission, and four weeks pre-Rapperswil IM70.3. Brilliantly I signed up for two races thinking that it would motivate me to train. Well. It didn’t, but I guess you can race your way to fitness?

Sadly the weather did not corporate and it rained the whole weekend. I had a sore throat for a few days already, and morale was low.

First race: stretch one of a relay race. Only 3.8 km with 65hm it was an easy stretch, but one I ran the previous year post ankle injury and I felt the weight of my previous time. I beat it by 3 minutes, over less than 4 km that is not too shabby, but it felt horrible.

Race two: a sprint triathlon in Germany with a terror inducing 25% grade on the bike climb. I was coughing my head off, and convinced I wouldn’t go. I did end up going, but was convinced I wouldn’t even start. Then I found myself in a wetsuit with a dubious stranger asking me ‘are you sure you want to do that’ as I honked away at the side of the pool. Convinced it was worth it to swim, I was already wet, I didn’t think I would get far on the bike… well.. you know where this is going.

It was a pathetic time, and a second last finish (what that chick had going on who knows), but I didn’t cough myself off my bike, and I didn’t give up. Two days in bed later, maybe I should have. IMG_7024

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hobble hobble hobble

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three and a half weeks and counting. 

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there is a nice eastern european lady cleaning my apartment

While i hide in my bedroom and cringe at how truly she must be discovering I do not know how to clean like an adult. And pretend my house is usually sooo much cleaner, and not full of boxes.

Still a grownup, still a grownup, still a grownup…

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Negotiating is tough.

New jobs are exciting. New people, new routines, new places. New skills, new challenges, new adventures.

Negotiating contracts on the other hand is not exciting.

It makes my skin itch and my stomach sweat.

I asked for more money, and they did give me some. That was nice. Now I want them to define the non-compete clause, because it is really quite vague and I worry that it would be overly restrictive without any further clarification.

Itchy, itchy, itcchhyyy

This is my second contract negotiation, and in the first, well, I just signed it.

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