Seven Years Later…

On a cold morning in December; a milestone in my continued recovery back to health.

It was in the February of 2019, that I found myself finally being able to use the treadmill – not for running as one may imagine, but simply to be able to walk on it without limping. As the weeks and months passed, I slowly increased the pace and the distance I walked, until I got to the point where I could manage a very slow jog. By the September of that year, I was able jog 5k every other week: why ‘every other week’ you may be ask? Well, it’s because this is how long it took for my damaged legs to recover after each run. Then by November, I was completing the 5k (still on the treadmill) in around 25 minutes or so.

I was amazed by my progress on the treadmill, but the desire to see if I could run outside was getting stronger. That said, my lack of confidence was a seemingly unsurmountable barrier. Then, somewhat ironically (if one is superstitious), on one Friday the 13th in December, I awoke to a rather rare fine and dry morning here in Lampeter, and I guess that provided the impetus to 'have a go'. I prepared for the run with a thorough warm-up, and rather nervously, out I went. I had no clear route in mind (except that I would prefer a route with fewer passers-by), and neither did I own a tracker or fitness watch with which to log my efforts: I simply went for a run...

Sometime after my departure, I returned home thoroughly exhausted. I took the time to take on water and completed a good cool-down. Then, using an online facility I plotted my route. To my astonishment I found that I had run just over 5 miles (8.23 km) – my body knew it had exerted itself, I was definitely tired, and my legs were sore, but I felt supreme: 'wow, look what you have just achieved!' I said to myself.

So what's the point of this blog? Well, when I suffered the fractures to my tibia and fibula, due to the nature of the fractures, the orthopaedic team were unable to align the bones correctly, leaving me with an offset foot and a bad limp. That incident occurred in 2012 - yes, that was seven years earlier, and whilst my rehabilitation was ongoing (both physical and mental health related), all the more compelling was that I had long given up the hope just to be able to walk without a limp, yet on this day I ran 5 miles.

I hope that everyone reading this blog can take from it, that no matter how limited you may feel your capacity for improving your health and fitness may be, do not give up. Do it on your own, with a partner, or seek professional instruction, but whichever method you choose, try and pick yourself up, find an activity (or even a few) you like the sound of, and give them a go - you may just surprise yourself, and both your body and mind will be the better for it. But remember, be kind to yourself: don’t take short cuts with your warm-up and cool-down, and equally, start off gently – this is not a race; it’s a considered journey to a healthier life. Good luck.

Yours, Al.

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