Crutches versus Glamour

Gratitude, as I said in my Blogiversary post, is a many-splendoured thing. gratitude

I had a glorious Guerrillas workout again this morning, as opposed to this time last year, when I was rocking the granny shoe look.

This unflattering form of footwear was the only equipment offered me, and I have a looked at many other accoutrements made available to others who underwent leg injuries.

For example I would’ve enjoyed the services of a knee scooter and so, I’m pretty sure, would my friends in the pub!f0c9ae3cfa7bd1d3445449e01db4150a

The magical Marilyn Monroe knew that crutches certainly were NOT a Girl’s Best Friend – but that didn’t keep her away from the cameras.

Note the interesting combination of stiletto heel with the bandaged foot shown right – she doesn’t look too happy does she?

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Marilyn out jogging in Hollywood in 1951

I had imagined that, as Marilyn was no stranger to the joys of exercise, (regularly going jogging before it caught on as a trend) her frustration could only be imagined.

She sprained her ankle whilst filming in 1953 and not happy with the conditions in which she was injured, reportedly insisted on wearing a cast and taking time out of the schedule – to get back at the director!

If I’m wrong on the above please let me know – I’m admittedly no expert on Monroe, but I like her spirit.

MEANWHILE!

Hopefully, most leg injuries are temporary in the great scheme of things, but – for those who do currently have a broken foot like I did – and/or need crutches like Marilyn – here are some questions to ask yourself/your doctor/your best mate etc etc:

  • Will you be able to rest your injured limb on the ground? If so, can you use it for balance while walking?
  • How can you bathe? Can you stand in the shower, or do you need to use a bath tub?
  • Can you just use one crutch as a cane? If so, what’s the best way to walk with a cane?
  • Can you go swimming?
  • What are the best ways to position your arms and maintain posture while using crutches?
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‘You’re Not The Ride’- My Return To Yoga

A new beginning?
A new beginning?

Standing on one leg is always going to be a challenge for someone recovering from a broken foot – and sure enough, my mending metatarsal reminded me of its presence.

Yesterday I did my first yoga class since the fracture.

I freely admit that, after a period of feeling I was medically forbidden to do any exercises that put any weight on said foot, I am still finding it difficult to get back into the routine of keeping fit.chill homie

A Chakra Balance class marked my comeback at Yogi Smith‘s.

Admittedly I do find what could be defined as the “spiritual” side of yoga more difficult than the physical.

An instructor tells me what to do with my body and I’ll have a go – and what happens after that is not for want of trying.

The class featured a meditation session on what roles the mind and body play – to me, an interesting concept in the whole idea of control – after all, isn’t that the reason you go to any class in the first place? That sense of wanting to control at least one aspect of your life?

Tree pose was always going to be a challenge!
Tree pose was always going to be a challenge!

Do you control your body? Or does it control you?

I found one parallel particularly useful – that life’s fluxuations are like a theme park ride – but you’re not the ride.

My recovering metatarsal made its presence felt during Vrksasana, or “Tree” pose – standing on my left foot.

It didn’t hurt, but I could still feel it was there.

(While the visual truth of the fracture was confirmed by an X-ray a few months back, I could still see the bone’s cylindrical presence there in my mind’s eye).

After the class I told my instructor Espi – she told me that was the bone’s way of protecting me.

You can read more of Espi’s advice on yoga and recovering from injury here.

And here’s a link to her website.

I’m Back!

The time has come – and as far as the big kid in me was concerned –  it couldn’t come quick enough.

You work out for a minute at different stations
You work out at different stations

We are, however, talking more than the obligatory three months (doctor’s orders!) between fracture and weight-bearing exercise.

So Team Guerrilla was the venue for the relaunch of my life-as-someone-who-exercises-regularly.

It was the first time I’d seen myself in my workout gear in months – and my assessment was ruthless.

Keeping it real - it's early days
Keeping it real – it’s early days

As someone who still walks a lot, the legs weren’t too much of a write-off. I’ve not exactly put on weight but I’m flabbier – especially round the midrift and arms. My bust? Well let’s not go there.

The session basically consists of working-out for a minute at different stations – but even then there can be a sense of “why on earth am I doing this?”

Of course, I know why I’m doing it, (not least that fantastically happy feeling you get at the end) but with those vile soft flabby upper arms of mine it looks like I’m a long way from my goals.

Nerves? Yes! This shaky selife was taken BEFORE the class!
Nerves? Yes! This shaky selfie was taken BEFORE the class!

There was a sense, admittedly, of real anger too – regarding why I’ve almost “back to square one”.

As you know, I broke my foot trying to switch off the smoke alarm.

Clambering on to the sofa arm to reach the device (which was on the ceiling) resulted in a slip, and the fracture. Oh, and Em’s Way To Go!

In a way I have myself to blame. Taking the plunge – pscychologically – has admittedly been difficult.

So – months later – I picked up where I’d left off.

No hiding places at Guerrillas!
No hiding places at Guerrillas!

There were no surprises. I’d expected the sensation of my heart-trying-to-smash-its-way-out-through-my rib-cage and, sure enough, it welcomed me back.

More galling was just how unfit I’d become – at one point my arms couldn’t support me when previously they could whilst doing the same exericse – and I practically fell flat on my face.

But other exercises gave me that “welcome back” feeling – like declaring war on my burgeoning cleavage with the pectoral exercises, to name just one.

That sense of regaining control is fabulous. Whether it’s a coping strategy or not, a vital component of my lifestyle is back.

The foot? I could slightly feel that left fifth metatarsal as I walked back, but  that’s about it.

It was reminding me of its presence but hopefully now it knows who’s boss!

A Runner Reborn?

I’m officially allowed to exercise.

I'm heading for a new horizon
Heading for new horizons…

I apologise for my recent absence from blogging – work commitments prevented me, and – as a relatively new blogger – I’ve yet to develop the confidence to make it part of my daily routine, like brushing my teeth LOL.

So now I rise, Phoenix-like, from the “ashes” of the past three months which have passed since I broke my metatarsal.

Ouch! But the original fracture is a memory now
Ouch! But the original fracture is a memory

The swelling, throbbing, pain and limping are now memories.

Without access to a gravity-defying treadmill, and without a sufficient budget to get me into the gym or one-to-one sessions with my Guerrillas instructor Andy, I have become flabbier.

But then, this can all be eradicated! And, like most Geminis, I get very excited at the start of a new project.

Yep - it's incentives time!
Yup – it’s incentives time!

I can not begin to describe how relieved I am in the knowledge I can run again.

But do I approach it in a “couch-to-5k” way? After all, unlike blogging, I’m not a total beginner when it comes to running!

And now I’ll be looking to eat more healthily too, after all I have an incentive.

Hoping to return to my half-marathon form!
Hoping to return to my half-marathon form!

Meanwhile – I’m teetering on the brink – after all, something that’s been a part of my routine has been missing for the last few months or so.

I almost wish there was a metaphorical hand behind me to give that all-important push.

So wish me luck as I take the plunge!

The show must go on – Foo fighters frontman performs with broken leg

Breaking your leg during a live performance and carrying on ranks pretty highly in my book.

A screen shows Dave Grohl at the concert (Pic: AFP)
A screen shows Dave Grohl at the concert (Pic: AFP)

And that’s precisley what Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl did at a gig in Gothenburg, on Friday.

Swedish festival goers looked on in horror as the former Nirvana drummer fell off the stage half way through the second song “Monkey Wrench” – yet still returned 15 minutes later (reportedly) after being attended to backstage.

He told the audience: “Hey, ladies and gentlemen. I love you, but I think I just broke my leg.”

The X-ray was published on the band's Twitter page
The X-ray was published on the band’s Twitter page

The band played a set of covers sung by drummer Taylor Hawkins before Grohl resumed his performance sitting in a chair – one photo shows him belting out a tune with a paramedic attending to him.

Fans watched in horror as Grohl fell during a rendition of "Monkey Wrench" (Pic: Reuters)
Fans watched in horror as Grohl fell during a rendition of “Monkey Wrench” (Pic: Reuters)

He jokingly sang the David Bowie & Queen song, Under Pressure.

He told the crowd he would not leave the stage unless given orders by a doctor to do so.

The 46-year-old said: “I may not be able to walk or run, but I can still play guitar and scream”.

Grohl resumed his performance sitting in a chair
Grohl resumed his performance sitting in a chair

Later the band tweeted an X-ray image of the broken leg (believed to be the singer’s!) with the message, “Thank you, Gothenburg. That was amazing”.

It comes just weeks before the Foo Fighters are set to headline the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury.

The-show-must-go-on mentality isn’t restricted to Grohl – last week Enrique Iglesias stayed onstage after he tried to catch a drone and it sliced his fingers during a concert in Mexico.

Both men demonstrate that injury doesn’t compromise their allegiance to their fans.

Way to go, guys!

Footless!

Exercising with an injured foot is a challenge – but here are some vids which prove it needn’t get in the way of your workout if you’re determined enough.

Heather Frey of Smashfit won’t let injury stop her regime despite being footless! Note how she incorporates an element of cardio by doing her reps quite fast.

The workout does focus on the arms and shoulders but yes you do get the metabolism heart-lung emphasis too – reminds me of when I hurt my knee quite a few years back, I used an upright rowing machine at the gym to keep that side of my fitness regime going.

And while we’re on the subject of cardio, here’s a chair-based workout from Trish Blackwell – she’s even got a heart-rate monitor on under her sports bra to prove it works (Actual workout begins about 2.15 into the vid after the preamble).

My Google search for Trish Blackwell revealed she’s a confidence trainer – as well as a fitness coach – interesting, really, when you think about it – not being able to exercise the way I want to has affected me in more ways than just physically.

Anyway! Here’s another vid of how to exercise with a broken foot – please accept my apologies for the music – there is no commentary but you’ll see a woman called Katie Hartman (can’t find any web links to her outside of YouTube) doing a lot of the exercises I’m looking forward to getting back to in Guerrilla Training (I think the US equivalent is crossfit).

Yet again – it’s great to see people working out, in full exercise gear despite the relevant bandaging!

Admittedly there's one exercise I haven't tried
Admittedly there’s one exercise I haven’t tried

I have just over a week to go until I can legitimately run again, do all yoga again, go to a normal Guerrillas class again.

But the week in question is going to be packed-full of crazy work commitments so that’s what I’ll be concentrating on.

However, I can’t wait to be back in the saddle and there’s still going to be plenty to go at in this blog, so watch this space!

Does this mean I have to DIET?

I’ve been putting off this post for a lonnnng time – but it’s time to grasp the nettle and do it!

I must apply myself - and it's not a happy situation (posed by model)
I must apply myself – and it’s not a happy situation (posed by model)

From that first shoot of pain after I hit the floor, from the moment I saw the clear break on the X-ray, I knew I faced losing a vital coping strategy – exercise.

Not least in my war against weight.

I like that satisfying feeling of sore muscles as I relax in the evening after a work-out.

I have bad memories of going-on-a-diet
I have bad memories of going-on-a-diet

I like knowing how rock-hard my muscles are – whether that’s looking at my sharply-defined calves in a mirror or even running my hands down my thighs.

I like that clarity of mind – and even the “high” that running gives me.

I like that sense of achievement and satisfaction gained from exercise.

Couch potato status is looming large (posed by model)
Couch potato status beckons (posed by model)

And – arguably, most of all – I love the fact that it means I don’t have to religiously watch what I eat.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not what would be described as overweight – my BMI is about 24 and I don’t even own a set of bathroom scales.

You’ve gathered I’m a driven person – I’m certainly not a coach potato.

Nice, comfy slippers for my new lifestyle?
Nice, comfy slippers for my new lifestyle?

Yet Failure is inviting me – it’s like a big, soft, cushy armchair, calling my big, soft, flabby body (so it seems) to settle down.

I’ll freely admit that my eating regime is not meticulously healthy – but then exercise has always been my “get out of jail” card.

Just think – I used to avoid a flabby midriff by doing the “plank” – but now I can’t because that puts weight on my foot too.

The plank used to take care of my abs - now I can't do it
The plank used to take care of my abs – now I can’t do it

Now it seems I must apply myself to disciplined eating – and it’s not a happy situation.

Of course I’m familiar with the regime of “eating sensibly” – and, believe it or not, when I was a member of Weight Watchers that regime was very welcome (and successful!) indeed, not least because it caters for those of us who live in the real world.

Navel gazing; Obsessing over my bikini bridge belongs in the past!
Navel gazing; Obsessing over my bikini bridge belongs in the past!

So, wanting to get an angle on reality, I approached the cook at my local pub –  she’s lost a couple of stone with Slimming World – and she put me in touch with her leader.

Paula, who runs the Slimming World group at Abbey Hulton, Stoke-on-Trent, told me; “I’ve got some members who can’t exercise – and they’re still losing weight every week.

“One lady broke her leg last year, she put on weight with comfort-eating, but she’s lost two stone so far.

I know! I know!
I know! I know!

“It can be frustrating sometimes if you can’t exercise, but if you get the food on plan you’ll lose weight for sure.”

She did, however, go on to say: “I think that once members have reached Target, the ones who maintain it tend to be active”.

I cannot fault all this – in fact I applaud it.

It is just I have what can best be described as a “hang-up” about dieting.

Urgh!
Doesn’t a picture like this just make you want to scream?!

Without going into gender politics, the psychological aspect bugs me.

Dieting is part of female life, so it seems.

I remember my mother preparing what she happily described as a “skinn-ee lay-dee” salad for herself.

From my teenage years I was acutely aware that the “naughtiness” of eating something that tastes good can give me the type of body I detest.

And now, of course, it’s time to grow up.

Nine weeks since the break and – instead of calories – I’m counting down the weeks ’til I can run again.