“To move freely, to breathe fully and deeply, and to have the ability to surmount physical obstacles is a privilege”
This is what I posted early in the morning the day I was heading out to run my second Spartan Super of the year and second race of the weekend. Little did I know I was about to get a lesson in just how true this is!
I was super excited to be racing that morning. My team, Pink Fluffy Monsters, and I had run the Sprint at Brimacombe Ski hill the day before and I loved it!! The hill was small compared to others we had done and there was a lot of flat easy terrain to do some great running on. As we warmed up to run the Super on that same hill I was pumped! I had figured out how to work my new Bluetooth speaker so we had tunes, it was a beautiful day and I was feeling good! About 3.5km into the race things took a turn for the worst! Dun Dun Duuun! (OK I exaggerate a bit) But I had just nailed the parallel bars and we were on one of those awesome easy downhill running trails when I took a tiny miss step, hit a rock, heard and snap and down I went! I didn’t really feel too much pain, but knew something wasn’t good when a giant golf ball lump emerged on my ankle almost instantly. I moved myself to the side of the trail and my teammates came to check on me. I was so mad! I hoped things
wouldn’t be bad and I’d just walk it off, but at the same time I had a feeling I wouldn’t be finishing this race and the thought of not achieving my goal of earning a double trifecta was enough to make me cry! I sat there with my foot up on a rock while one of my teammates went to find a staff member to help me out. In that time I’m pretty sure 95% of everyone
who passed us offered to help or get a medic and that’s part of what I love about the Spartan and OCR community, no one gets left behind. I even had a guy tell me he’s not doing the race for time and would literally spend the day helping me get off the mountain. It was super sweet.
There was no way I was letting my team not finish so once I was safely on a 4 wheeler heading to the medic tent they carried on. I spent the next couple hours at the medic tent chilling with the prettiest orange splint boot thing on my ankle and chatting with other folks who came for a bit of first aid. Once my team finished the race it was off to the hospital for x-rays. I was still hoping it wasn’t too bad, and Kim and I talked about how we could just walk the Montreal Super in a few weeks (a race we hadn’t planned at the time’) and then do the Beast the following day to ensure I still achieved my goal of earning a Double Trifecta. My hopes were high!! I’m sure you get where I’m going with this… X-rays were in and yup! It was broken! After my heart broke and I had a teeny tiny melt down the next words out of my mouth were “do I need surgery?!” I knew that would involve months and months of recovery!
Thankfully this wasn’t the case, but I was told I would get to wear this fancy ninja boot, plus crutches and no walking on it for at least 3 weeks, and that they scheduled me an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon back home in Ottawa, not because I need surgery, but because he’s the bone guy.
Crutches are not new to me, I broke my hip (yes! My hip, like a 90 year old woman would do) when I was 12… that’s a story for another day… and luckily it’s like riding a bike and my crutching skills cameback quite quick. But man… feeling like you are completely helpless is not a feeling I enjoy! OH and stairs! My condo is a 3rd floor walk-up it’s been a treat managing those!
Happily at my follow up with the bone Dr. I was told the break was super stable and that I could actually start walking on it! WOOT! Call me excited! This also meant that I didn’t need to wear the Ninja Boot all the time… double WOOT!! I do however wear it when I’m out and about namely for protection from people playing Pokémon Go who aren’t watching where they are going!
I was back at Rideau Crossfit 5 days after my injury, there was no way I was going to let all that hardwork go down the drain. I’m super grateful to have a gym with amazing coaches that easily modify the WODs for me and who push me to do my best to the best of my ability at the moment, which is actually a lot! Who knew there were so many things you could still do at the gym with a Ninja Boot. I thought I would be doing seated strict press and pull ups for 6 weeks straight, but I’ve been rowing, on the airdyne bike (oi no one likes this bike!!) I can still do burpees (on legged) and tons of other movements.
I’m definitely looking forward to my follow up X-ray where the Dr. tells me I can start to move heavy weights again *fingers crossed* but until then I just keep doing what I can. I’ve been on an intense supplement regime, plus acupuncture, drinking bone broth and elevating my foot which is all amazing for healing my body, but the positive atmosphere at my gym and from my friends and family is what keeps me going!
I’m almost 4 weeks post injury my recovery is going amazingly well and I have learned so much being in the Ninja Boot. Whether I’m wearing it or not I move at a turtle’s pace which is the complete opposite of my normal go, go, go, and then go some more life style. I like to be busy and always moving. I have learned that it is ok to slow down sometimes, and that slowing down doesn’t mean you aren’t still moving towards your goals. I had set out at the beginning of the year to travel to western Canada and complete my double trifecta at Sun Peaks. That is still my goal however I’ll be completing my first trifecta of the year there and depending on how my ankle fares in that race I’ll see if I can make some magic happen and finish my double trifecta in the states before the end of the season.
Getting back to the quote I posted, it truly is a privilege to have the ability to surmount physical obstacles and one that I no longer take for granted. The smallest daily tasks became big obstacles for me, like hopping on a bus to get to work, or zipping out to grab a quick lunch, not so simple when your hands are occupied with crutches and you can’t carry your lunch back to your desk without help.
Would love to hear how you’ve overcome obstacles in the pursuit of your goals and what tips you may have for others on how to stay positive and keep moving forward!