Thursday, November 29, 2012

Step One: Don't Give Up!

Two months ago today I was returning from Disney World and the most miserable vacation of my life.  Shortly before I left I had another setback in my battle to recover from an Achilles tendon injury.  When I got to Disney I was hurting so badly that I couldn't wear a shoe and could only wear flip flops and even then walking was very uncomfortable.

They say you can go down no further than bottom and I figured I was there.  I had the State trials for the National Senior Olympics coming up in two weeks and a marathon in three and a half months.  I had a few choices;  I could just rest and eventually get to a point where I might be able to walk without discomfort.  I could give up on the goals and just quit being an adult athlete.  Or I could figure out a way to beat this injury and accomplish my goals.

I had been going to PT for three months and that was a series of get a little better and then have a setback and have to get back to where I could function again and then have another setback.  Two days before the Disney vacation was over I made the decision to beat this injury, qualify for the Nationals and be ready to do the marathon in January.

I started doing the exercises, the PT had taught me, but in the pool instead of on the floor.  That took some of my body weight off the injured Achillies and allowed me to do them without the danger of over stressing the tendon again.  Another setback wasn't an option so I took it slow but continued to increase the reps.

There are many videos on line that demonstrate how to treat that big sore knot that was once my left Achillies, with deep tissue massage.  I have been doing that since.  After I have finished training that is the last step before applying ice and or heat.

I started back with my race walk training, but only every other day, no back to back days.  Instead I alternated between walk training days and pool training days.  Then I added two rest days into the plan.

I'm currently 2 months into this recovery plan and doing very well.  I'm qualified for the Nationals and up to 6.5 mile training walks over a very difficult route.  Next week I'll be increasing to 8 miles.  Along with that walk I'm doing a couple of good 4 or 5 mile training walks.

When I come to the start of that Marathon in January it will be as a strong and ready adult athlete, not as an injured and defeated man.

Thanks for reading.

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