Sunday, 9 March 2014

A Taste of Summertime

I realised as I started to write that this blog has been snoozing for a couple of months now. I suppose that's because the road to recovery continues to stretch ahead, though hopefully the terrain gets easier, and for me recovering from a broken leg has become normal, part of life. Nothing to report.

Except actually, the last couple of weeks have been one of those periods of time where things suddenly seem to come together. Similarly to when you suddenly see where your training is taking you, I've suddenly found many things that were up until very recently impossible are beginning to be within reach.

Three weeks ago, traversing on a flat wall made me cry.
I just hated how much discomfort putting my entire
body weight through the rod caused. And I was scared.
Now, I can warm up on the traverse wall. YEEEEAHHH!!!
 This weekend was a weekend when most of us have remembered just what we're waiting for. A weekend to dry projects, and to play outside. I'm still not really at the point where it's easy to climb outside without a lot of planning- I guess I'm really waiting until there are more sport climbing options, and it's very hard to know what's OK- pain wise and safety wise too. But even though I was indoors today, I realised that I'm finally really seeing that I'm starting to get better and that summer will come, and I'll be able to climb in some capacity.

Medically, things are good but uncertain. Essentially, it seems that pinning/engineering lies on a fine balance between allowing enough bone movement to heal, and preventing too much bone movement to heal.
It wasn't possible to tell from the last fracture clinic whether it was making much progress any more. They explained that there is a chance that things are just slow, or it's possible that the metalwork is too stiff, preventing healing from occurring completely. If that's the case, more surgery will be required to allow things to rub a bit more... but a CT scan in the next few weeks will confirm this either way.
But for my part, they suggested as much activity as was bearable, pain wise- hopping and walking as much as possible. But not lead climbing or landing from 6ft. Ha! As if I'd dare...

So I guess I'm relieved that if things aren't really healing, I'm doing the right things, and the best thing to do is be active.

I'd hate to be put back another few weeks, but at the same time I've got used to this being long and hard, and I guess it'd be back to the finger board. 

Physio has continued to make a huge difference to my life: it's amazing how much various bits of my leg (ankle, knee, calf, hip) seem to enjoy complaining when I actually did what was best for them in a high impact situation and snapped the bit that wasn't complicated. Sometimes that gets me down but I can also see how much strength the physio has gained me, especially in the calf department, and I hope that eventually I'll reach the balance there once was.

But on a joyous, terrifying and wonderful note...

I slipped off the fingerboard, landing on both feet, a couple of weeks ago, and realised I was OK. Not only was a small amount of impact medically encouraged, but it was somehow, incredibly, bearable. 

The last week has seen  both my first bouldering session and my first board session at the Foundry. The problem of choice was dolphin belly slap. This was something I never got round to finishing last summer- I found it so much harder than it's mate crucifix traverse. But the real reason for doing it wasn't that it was a nemesis, it was that it was an absolutely bloody perfect place to start.

Barely off the ground, with no left footwork whatsoever, it couldn't have been more appropriate. With careful spotting there was absolutely no possibility of getting hurt. 
The session started really well. I felt strong, I felt surprisingly confident and it seemed like I would do it pretty quickly. But somehow, my confidence slipped after a couple of goes. I found myself yelling one time that I fell off, though not far and not painfully, and it was the sort of mortifying scream that you hate that anyone could have heard, because it comes straight from your soul, and it shows just how in control of you the fear really is.

I think the fact that I've only route climbed, and the fact that I was scared, meant that I very quickly became knackered. it seemed after all like I wasn't going to finish the problem. As much as I knew that it was an incredible thing just to be able to try the problem, I'd also attached a fair amount of symbolism to it. Somehow, well after dark, I managed to finish it... just.

I'm now at a confusing stage where a 6a sport route can shut me down completely on a flat wall if it so happens that I have to put too much weight through the rod in my tibia, but I can climb much closer to my limit on steep things. As a girl who never had any upper body strength before climbing, this is very novel.
The board at the foundry has been the starting point back into bouldering for many a climber with a leg-related injury, and I can certainly see why. I started climbing sticking to the kick board, but made it to the point where I can climb as high as my own height, without being hurt. This allows me the freedom not only to traverse the board, but undertake the challenge of zig-zagging up and down the bottom of the board to fit enough moves in. 

As much as neither of these activities were huge, or involved dropping from any height, I was amazed by how quickly they felt OK. I'm sure that bouldering proper will be more scary, but as it's not currently an option, I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.
For now, fingers crossed for a good CT image of bone... and I hope you enjoy the weather :-)