Well – give or take a couple of days, it’s my first Blogiversary!

In plaster

Breaking a bone in my foot which stopped me doing my favourite workouts was just the catalyst I needed – as I never have been an “ideas woman”, yet knew I needed to blog.

The idea was ultimately to give hope, not least to myself, but to anyone else for whom exercise is a way of life that’s suddenly taken away from

I broke my fifth metatarsal in my left foot falling off the arm of the sofa whilst swatting at the smoke alarm – my boyfriend had been cooking sausages.

Gratitude is no bad thing. Today I just threw on my kit and did what I normally do, just go out for a run. This time last year that simply wasn’t an option.

therapeutic shoe - me
Ugh – just LOOK at that shoe!

We are talking a crazy-sized granny shoe and the geriatric “hobbling” which easily made me appear much older than my years.

And I’m comparatively lucky.

During the course of this blog I featured the story of Austin Rathe, who faced the real possibility of leg amputation after a road accident – and developed his resolve to run a marathon whilst recovering in hospital.

Detail from The Hostile Forces, Beethoven frieze, by Klimpt
Flab fear – I don’t want to look like this

I wanted a dancer who’d recovered from injury – and she came along in the unlikely form of Amber Kershaw, then aged nine, who’d recovered from a broken arm to street-dance on a competitive level.

Blogging is a steep learning curve and I’m still learning.

Part of the fun, of course, is seeing how well each blog post does – it really is quite fun looking at the stats.

In that respect, by far my most successful post was Maxing Out, which featured fellow blogger Christian Boyles, from Illinois, US, of Maxed Out Muscles.

guerrillas shakey selfie
Nerves? Yes! A shaky selfie just before my return to Guerrillas


Having suffered depression and flare-ups of Crohn’s Disease he told me: “I wanted to take control of my life and not allow myself to become sick again.”

Another high-hitter was Does Yoga Heal? a Q and A with my yoga instructor Espi Smith.

My inevitable fears over putting on weight led to an article on my pet hate – dieting. And I’ll level with you, the inevitable flabbiness caused by lack of exercise did impact on the choice of clothes I could wear for work in the unforgiving summer.

skeleton pray
Yup, I’ve learned to be grateful

Of course there were land-marks along the way in my recovery – getting the six-week all-clear at the fracture clinic, my return to running – and Guerrilla Training!

And whether I was able to run or not, I kept in regular contact with ParkRun – where, much to my surprise, I returned to do a Personal Best.

In the end it was simply a question of patience and letting the bone recover, as it inevitably did.

But this blog did (and still does , as I have no intention of finishing it) help tremendously.

So it’s true – Time really is the great healer.

Along with blogging!


Eve of the Fracture Clinic

Well – tomorrow’s the biggee!

He's smiling - will I be?
He’s smiling – will I be?

Time for my 6-week check-up at the Fracture Clinic.

Good news – I no longer hobble. Or even limp. The bone soreness is still there but the grotesque elephant-man swelling is gone. The outline of the tendons can be seen. The OAP-style bloating of the ankle has vanished too.

And I’ll be honest with you, when they said six weeks I couldn’t really envisage any improvement whatsoever.

But there has been a coming-to-terms-with-the-situation – or acceptance – and you’ll have gathered I’m a pretty impatient person.

No Love Like Shoe Love!
No love like shoe love! But when can I ditch it?

In “The Lore Of Running”, Tim Noakes, MD, says; “Finally, after some months (!), the athletes learn to accept their injuries and to modify their ambitions to accommodate the inadequacies of the mortal body.

“When this occurs, the athletes are likely to be over the injuries.” (My italics)

So is Time really the great healer?

There is still plenty of work to be done regarding this foot – very much a Work In Progress. And plenty more to go on this Blog.

The science behind a lifestyle screw-up
The science behind a lifestyle screw-up

Now I just need to know I’ve got the right questions for when I finally get to see the doctor!

  1. How can I know if the bone has healed?
  2. What physiotherapy will I need? (So far I’ve been offered nothing at all)
  3. Do I need to keep wearing the shoe?
  4. What advice on exercise? When can I start doing it again – eg – running, guerrillas, high impact.
  5. What are the chances of this injury happening again?

I just want, above all, to be treated as if this injury, small though it is, is not inconsequential.

Okay it’s not life-threatening. I can still work.

I just want some acknowledgement of the impact it’s had on my life. As if I haven’t imagined the whole thing.

The one thing I really don’t want right now is disillusionment.

Once again – watch this space.

Mistaken Identity

I need to summon my inner super-hero!
I need to summon my inner super-hero

If one more person refers to me hobbling I will scream. Whatever happened to limping?

A broken bone in my foot has catapulted me to OAP status. (What next, incontinence pads?)

Bear with me. I’m wondering if I’m alone in all this – and I know I’m not! (And more to the point, it’s hardly life-threatening).

I feel as though I have positively morphed from an independent person who could influence their identity through exercise to what I perceive as a flabby invalid to whom the very option of exercise is denied.

Detail from The Hostile Forces, Beethoven frieze, by Klimpt
I don’t want to look like this!

At what point was the moment of transition? The moment the fracture actually happened? Or the actual diagnosis?

Was the huge-breasted, flabby-armed, big-bellied entity I dread becoming born in the snap of the bone?

I was in denial until diagnosis.

It came hours after being X-rayed in A&E – initially in the form of an apologetic-looking nurse calling my name and telling me I needed “a shoe”.

Carrie Bradshaw wouldn't like the latest addition to my footwear collection
Carrie Bradshaw wouldn’t like the latest addition to my footwear collection

A doctor met me in the corridor and took me to a consulting room where she showed me the X-ray – and the fracture.

The good news was I didn’t need a plaster-cast – just the goddamned shoe – which, bulky and OAP-like, was velcroe’d on.

Now I’m no Carrie Bradshaw – but the latest addition to my footwear collection is nothing short of hideous.

Of course there’s always the option of not wearing it all. I go through phases where I kid myself that, because my boots match, the fracture never happened.

Therapeutic shoe similar to mine - French manicure optional
Therapeutic shoe similar to mine – French manicure optional

In more accepting moments, there are still problems.

After all, the shoe I wear to the office on my healthy foot actually has a thinner sole than the one on my injured one. (Heels are definitely out).

So – unevenly shod – I’m more likely to limp anyway!

Or am limping because I’m wearing a therapeutic shoe which everyone can see?  Indeed I often feel duty-bound to do so for that very reason!

This patient needs patience
This patient needs patience

And the latest news? Apparently we’re all too sedentary – “sitting is the new smoking” and “the couch potato culture has spread to the workplace”.

Standing up will at least use up some calories.

Well, normally I’d welcome a story like this – but injury means a nice little calorie-burner like standing up for longer periods of time is not really an option for me.

Read the article here

And I’d like to think the foot will heal at some point so I can help Get Britain Standing  (Have a go at their Sitting Calculator – I wouldn’t dare!)