Hello everyone. I feel like lately I’ve been writing so many posts that I’d rather not be writing. Posts about missing goals and fighting tired, banged up legs. Posts about the struggles of running, training and racing. Currently, I’d give quite a lot to be able to feel those things and write about them.
Last night while playing basketball, I ruptured my Achilles Tendon. For those of you unfamiliar with this injury, the Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord that connects the muscles in the back of your calf to your heel bone. If you overstretch your Achilles tendon, it can tear (rupture) completely or just partially. During a fairly routine play, I went up for a jump shot and felt like somebody hit me with a crowbar right in the back of the right leg. I actually thought the defender hit me at first. I was on the ground and by the burning sensation in the back of my leg and my inability to get up, I knew something was wrong. This was bad. My teammates helped me up and I lied on the floor. A teammate got me some ice. The first thing I could think of wasn’t about basketball, it was about running.
I love basketball and I love my teammates, but running makes me whole. It’s so much a part of me these days and I risked it for something that means less to me. I finally paid the price.
My good friends Cody and Brandon took me home and drove my car back for me. Jen was there waiting for me to help get me what I needed. I was smiling and joking with them about it. It was all I could do to keep from crying, honestly. I took some pain killlers and tried to be optimistic. Maybe it was just a calf strain. I’m no doctor. So what if some of the guys heard a pop. They could have been imagining it. Other things pop anyway.
The pain was a bit intense for a short time last night, but after some RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) my leg didn’t feel too bad this morning. I was actually optimistic. I scheduled an appointment just to make sure it wasn’t something major. Unfortunately, it was. We talked about my options. You can choose to not have surgery and just rehab, but with that option an athlete will likely never be the same. That wasn’t an option for me. The surgeon came in and we talked about what I can expect. 2 months in a boot. Rehab. At least 6 months before I can get back to being the regular me.
I was thankful that the plan was to get me into surgery on Monday. I want that rehab clock to start as soon as possible. Now I’m having surgery tomorrow. I’m a little freaked out since it’s my first surgery ever, but I’m excited to start the process.
I’ve thought about how I’m going to handle this time away from running. Will seeing posts and chats about running make me bitter or sad? Maybe I should just stay away. No, I can’t just stay away. The people and the stories are too important to me. So, I guess I’ll see running again in 6 months or so. That doesn’t mean I won’t be a part of the running community.
My posts will be different for a while. There won’t be races and there won’t be miles. There will be a slow, frustrating road to recovery. I hope that some of you will join me in that journey and help me through it.
I plan to come back stronger and better. My body might not ever be quite the same, but my experiences and my mind will make up for whatever is lost. I’ll be back.
Has anyone else dealt with major injuries? Do you have advice for me?