I’m not big on identifying myself with one label or another, though. The best term I’ve heard from a coach was before my first half marathon. Erik, the guy that wrote the training program said that I was now an “endurance athlete.” That stuck with me. Without the ability to use my body, I’d feel like I was losing part of my identity.
So what happened?
I mention it in a post in December. It was plantar fasciitis that I didn’t take seriously enough. I was referred to physical therapy a month after cortisone shot proved ineffective at pain relief. I still wasn’t allowed to run. I was also told not to jump and that if I came to a place where there was an elevator and stairs, to use the elevator. I had 3 sessions of physical therapy in the rearview and I was doing my exercises as prescribed. I went an entire day without pain on Sunday, which was a first in recent memory.
Monday, I was working out. Upon walking from my wall ball target to a barbell, I felt a POP in my heel. I planted my feet to pick up the bar, I felt too tender to fully plant my left heel. I finished the workout, went home, rested, and babied my foot. I browsed the internet, which no matter how I looked listed “ruptured plantar fascia” as the cause of the popping. Most sites said it took people from 3-12 weeks to recover and it required a cast and/or boot to heal. I sobbed. I talked to my husband about it and told him that I didn’t want to go backwards in progress and that I was already restless not being able to run. He told me that by not seeing the doctor, I was only delaying getting back to running and being fully healed to work out like I want to. I started to look up “how to work out with a broken foot,” and saved many articles I found.
I went back to the gym the next day and did the workout very scaled down, but worked really hard. After class, I told my coach I was pretty sure I ruptured my plantar fascia and was delaying seeing a doctor. His reaction was encouraging and he agreed that not seeing the doctor would only make me go on longer with scaling workouts and not being at full ability. He said we could work around a cast.
So, I called the podiatrist as soon as they opened and got in before work. I brought my boot with me and left it in the car hoping they wouldn’t need it. They did x-rays to rule out a broken bone, then the doctor came in to examine my foot. He told me that 1/3 of my plantar fascia had ruptured. He could feel in the bottom of my foot that the area that was once very tight was now too lax. He explained that it was possible this was a blessing in disguise because surgery would have meant clipping that third. He listed things not to do and encouraged me to to continue working out because he said he could tell it was something important to me. Then, someone came in to put the cast on, went out to my car for me to get the boot, and sent me on my way.
I’ve been working out each day since. I’ve had a lot of core work and I like to joke that my right leg is going to be super strong after all of this. I’d poured through the internet looking at different things to do without use of one leg, but I haven’t had to use any of those. The coaches at my gym have found ways to keep me moving and strong. I’m grateful that when I spoke up about it, I felt encouraged and positive about my outlook.
Things haven’t been absolutely positive all of the time. I’ve gotten mad that I can’t bear weight on my foot. I hated that I couldn’t pick up the bar. I’ve been more tightly wound because I’m sitting down so much to keep my foot up. Honestly, I’ve been really excited that I finally know this will be coming to an end soon. I have finally gotten a peek at the finish line ahead despite having to pace myself to get there. I’m working on things to still get me to some goals while I put a couple others on hold. Maybe, I’ll finally get that first pull up. Maybe I’ll get famous. The odds are about the same at this point. (lol). I absolutely believe that my faith in God and that my positivity are propelling me forward in this and that there’s certainly a lesson to be learned by me from all of this. Probably more than one lesson. One good one is that pain is more than just for letting us know we’re human and we’re alive. It’s probably a sign that something needs to change.
When I started writing this, I had something so different in mind. This is kind of just what came from my heart. I hope you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading!