Long time, no blog updates. So, I thought I'd check in now that it's been about 2 years since my lisfranc ORIF surgery,
I think things are just about as normal as they ever are going to be for me, which I am totally fine with, by the way. What have I been up to since the new year? Nothing much out of the ordinary!
I've been doing a lot of getting back to just my normal routines. I am hitting the gym regularly again, about 3-4 times a week. There's not a whole lot that I find myself unable to do, unless it comes to a lot of jumping or high impact exercises. I do a lot of weight training, spinning, yoga, and bootcamp classes. I haven't gone back to the treadmill - I never really liked that anyway! - but I when do the cardio machines I spend a lot of time on the Stairmaster, since I think it helps continue to build strength in my legs and foot in general. I also love doing the rowing machine, and there is a new rope trainer at my gym that I've been really excited about. Think a never-ending rope climb, and a total upper body burn! I have found so many things to do that I really don't think about what I can't do anymore. If I'm in a class at the gym and we are doing an exercise that hurts to do or I'm not comfortable with - I just modify it, plain and simple. There's no shame in it. I haven't run very much since Ragnar; not that I don't want to, or can't, but a lot of that has to do with winters sucking in Utah and I don't dare run outside. And, as mentioned above, I dread the treadmill and haven't really figured out how to effectively use it since my injury; I find it hard to get the right pace. Now that summer is here, its regularly getting over a hundred degrees everyday. I am a zombie in the morning and hate working out first thing, and that's really the only time I could run if I was going to do it. I'm anxiously awaiting Fall so I can enjoy being outside again, and get in a few runs in the cool air.
I can now successfully do multiple single leg calf raises on my right foot. Weighted, even! I focus a lot of my strength and weight training on my legs. It is of course great exercise but also functional, since my lower body is where I really need to build the most muscle, strength and stability. I've gradually gotten back in to practicing my box jumps, and even took a little video of jumping onto the Bosu balancer at the gym a few weeks ago. It took almost two years to do that with confidence and without pain, but I eventually did get there. Which is pretty much the motto for this injury. You're going to get there, I promise.
I'm also right back to hiking every weekend, working every Sunday to log more and more miles during the hike. I feel like my left foot/leg is still the dominant one, so I've been trying to focus on building up the right one more, but it doesn't come naturally. I can actually come up on, and push off my toes when climbing a steep hill. That was something that I wasn't able to do last year so it's definitely an improvement! I used to feel super competitive about hiking, focusing on how fast I could do it and compare it to my previous time, and how fast I could fly up and down the mountain. Now I just go at whatever pace feels good, not caring how long it is taking. Going uphill, I take in the sights, and stop for breaks when I need them. I'm still a little slow on the downhill and have to really concentrate on my footing so I don't slip on rocks. As long as I pay attention to every step I take, I am fine. But I get so distracted by the beauty of the mountains, the natural scenery and wildlife, that I need a little slip to remind me to stay focused! (OOO SHINIES) I frequently stop and take pictures on the way down. I at least try to set a goal of going faster on the downhill than the up, which usually works out! I feel a lot more trust in my footing this year, and a lot more confidence. But, I still get anxious when it comes to the steep downhill parts of hikes. I am not joking in the slightest though when I say I have to pay attention to every step; I literally look right in front of my feet the whole time! If I do slip, I'm not so great on the reflexes and catching myself. I take it slow and do what is comfortable. I try not to think about, or worry about, what anyone else is thinking of me, even if I'm going slow and I have to let others pass me on the trail. Hiking is one of the things that makes me the happiest in my life, and I look forward to it every week, so I am going to do it my way!
My foot is still sore for pretty much the rest of the day after hiking though. That hasn't changed. The same with a lot of activity or a long walk or run; my foot gets tired and angry. At times, painful. It is what it is though; it isn't enough to stop me from doing what I'm doing or deter me from doing what I want.
I did "run" the Dirty Dash in June, about a month ago. It was just a 5k, and a lot of slogging through the mud. I only skipped two obstacles, but pushed myself to at least attempt them! It was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I did it! The race was held in Soldier Hollow which was the first time I've done a race there since my injury. A lot of feelings came back, but only for a moment. I've moved on. There are times when I re-live it, and think "what if I didn't fall that day?". A lot of things would be different. But this injury has changed my perspective on things in so many ways, taught me a lot about life, myself, and about others, that I'm not sure I'd want to change that. I hate that I had this stupid injury, but grateful for all of the experiences and people that I've met, and been able to help along the way!
I think about my foot everyday. Mostly in the morning in those first few steps getting out of bed. Or when I encounter some stairs - which I'm about 200% better at - but I still have to think about it. When a storm is coming, the metal in my foot swells and I feel the pressure change. I feel like an old lady trying to get up off the floor or in and out of the bathtub at times. I won't lie, I have pain in some fashion every single day. Honestly though, it's such a part of my life now. I'm not bothered by it. When I read blogs of people saying they still felt pain 2 years later, 5 years later, I was crushed. Here I am though, 2 years later, and so proud of where I've come, and all I've done to get here. When I started this blog, I thought full on that I would be the miraculous recovery story and just back to my old self and exactly how I was before. I'm not. But to tell you the truth, I don't even remember what my foot felt like before my injury! It really is all about perspective and living in the now.
What's next for me? Keep setting goals, blasting through ceilings and breaking down barriers. I will lace up for Spartan in 2018. I will finish the race. I may do it at my own pace and skip some obstacles, but I'm not competing with anyone here. I'm not even competing with myself. I'll be out there to face my fears and my demons. I'm done thinking about what could have been, and embracing the health, and life, that I have now, no matter what the challenges are.
Thank you for reading, friends!