Adventures Of The Leg 2019 Edition!

 In Broken Ankle

I’ve had a few people asking lately, so I figured an update was long overdue. It’s also five months to the day since I had the operation, so it seems a good moment to take stock and look at the progress.

Learning to walk has been a challenge, I still can’t walk without limping except for short periods despite my best efforts, that’s been my goal for a while now, and it’s getting better, but I’m hoping the limp goes soon.

After passing the motorbike test which was one of my major goals (riding that has been awesome), I set losing the limp as the next challenge, and it’s been tricky.

When I first started learning to walk a couple of months back, the progress was rapid and fast, but now the improvements are barely noticeable. All I can do is keep working hard on the physio and keep fit at the gym.

Talking of which I’ve become a total gym junkie, my one and half hour sessions quickly became over three. I have a whole plethora of physio to do so I do that at the gym as well as rowing, cycling, walking practice, weights and balance skills. I never thought I’d enjoy the gym, but it’s funny when you can’t do anything else I’ve found I thrown myself into it. That’s always been my personality though, all or nothing! For the record I always worked out, I just hated gyms haha.

Since I was signed off to drive, I did a tour of the UK seeing Jo Wilson and her family in the Lakes (also picked up the Ducati) then down to Newquay to see Dom Moore and Kate and then back to Devon to see Robin and Sukie and the rest of the Westward Ho crew.

It was fantastic to be out on the road and be mobile again, I’m usually always travelling so staying in one place for three months was strange. Catching up with friends has been a real highlight, and I’ve managed to see lots of them of late!

I’ve had some great motorbike rides along the way, and the best thing was getting back to saying ‘tomorrow I’m gonna do this’ then making a plan and carrying it out.

Before the crash planning activities was a big part of my life and it’s funny how you miss not only the action but the planning too. Usually, I’d be looking at the weather and thinking about the bike, kite, skateboard, Moto or something and I really missed that since the injury. The sad bit is that with the winter in England the plan is pretty easy, it’s raining tomorrow so no motorbike haha.

Thanks to Tim Turner for persuading me to go to Aus at the end of last year. I had an awesome trip, and Special Assistance was fantastic in getting me around the airports. I’m writing this from a Virgin Atlantic flight to the US and while I didn’t feel a wheelchair was necessary hats off to the crew who saw the crutches and let me sit in an extra legroom seat. Turns out travelling while injured is pretty luxurious and it was Tim who wouldn’t take no for an answer from me and gave me the confidence to go. He also kindly put me up for a week and cooked a fantastic BBQ!

Five months on I can stand on my bad leg on a wobble ball for about a minute, which is longer than my sister can stand on any one leg. The bad news is the range of motion in the forward knee bend is restricted. It’s very common with the injury I have. My first session at the excellent BodySym physio in Ramsgate measured that at an 11cm difference between my good leg and my bad leg. We got that down to 5cm with lots of hard work and exercises (I like getting gold stars), and this last week it’s gone down to 4cm, but getting it any more might not happen, and that’s why I limp. In time it will either get better, or my body will compensate for it, hopefully.

I’ve got a long road to go still, considering the damage done and the injury sustained the physio is super impressed with where I am at. I’m now allowed to do small jumps, which is incredibly exciting and radical. So I’ll continue to work my hardest at getting better.

Prognosis for the future is I can now start to do gentle sports with low risk falls like paddle boarding and road cycling. However higher risk sports like kiting MTB and surfing with more impact are still off the cards. I’m hoping in a couple of months I’ll be able to try kiting again, which would be 7 months since the crash, but it might be a little longer. We shall see. Flat water and a strapless surfboard or foil seems the way to go. I really really missed kiting in Aus as it was warm, sunny and it’s one of my favourite places to kite. Back in the UK In the cold, I wasn’t so bothered!

With all the gym action you’d think I’d be ripped; however, waaaaaaaay too many social functions over the festive period haven’t helped, I need to learn to say no to a night on the beers, but that was never one of my strong points!

I’m fit though which was one of my goals. Talking of goals the huge Trello list I made in the hospital has largely been ticked off, I’m super happy with that. Writing a book is the last major job on there, and I made a start on that recently. Don’t worry it’s got nothing to do with me and my leg. That exercise has reaffirmed the power of goal setting though, it’s crucial in pretty much every aspect of life!

All in all, I’m making good progress, but it’s mind blowing how long the recovery is. The human body is an incredible thing, with everything this leg has been through it blows me away every time I stand on one leg to put my socks on (new party trick). It’s equally mind-blowing that I still have a long way to go.

There you go, I’m still working hard at physio and recovery, I’m good distance down the road all things considered, yet I still have a few more months before I’m “fully” fixed or at least as fixed as the ankle will ever be!

The motorbike has been a saviour, I’ve not ridden it much due to the weather, but it puts a smile on my face from ear to ear every time I open the throttle.

I’m in NYC at the moment seeing my brother and then off to Cape Town for a few weeks for the KOTA. Hopefully, I’ll see some of you the kiters out there!

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