06 February, 2019

Injury, Recovery, and a Retrospective of 2018

It is such a shame that the year where I had plenty of trips I could have written about, I apparently forgot how to use a keyboard. (For anyone interested, I plan to post the Cliffnotes for 2018 at the bottom of this post.) Actually I started countless posts, and just never finished them. What a perfect way I could view the whole year of 2018. The year started with me blowing through my climbing goals for the year before the end of March. I also began tearing through additional goals I set for myself and my Kayaking goals for the year. Unfortunately, as my paddling season came to an end, and I began to rededicate my time to get in shape for climbing, I partially tore my right Achilles. It took some time to piece together how it actually happened, but as anyone who knows me I have injured my right ankle multiple times over the past few years, and after multiple rather large ground falls (missing my crash pad) throughout the year I think my ankle just started to become weak. In retrospect I can remember a few times when I would be heel hooking on my right heel, and it would be excruciatingly painful. But, funnily enough, I didn’t actually tear it climbing! On October 14th, I met a friend, Nick, at Wilson Creek for a couple laps at +6”. After our two laps, we were walking back to the car on the stairs that lead up from the riverbed, and with my 50lb kayak on my right shoulder I stepped on an uneven step and immediately thought I had messed my ankle up, but I could still walk just fine. My heel just felt bruised, like it had almost a year prior when I fell 18ft off of a boulder. Two days later at work I realized I was having trouble walking, and slowly began limping throughout the day. That Wednesday when I woke up, I couldn’t walk; I couldn’t weight my foot at all. Thus began a long, and ongoing recovery process. I spent the next two months in a walking boot, and roughly an additional two months in Physical Therapy. I still plan to schedule one more Physical Therapy session, but for the most part my tendon is healing nicely and my calf muscles are re-strengthening. There is still some residual scarring on the tendon, that is uncomfortable when pressure is applied, but other than that it feels pretty much back to normal, though maybe a little weaker. I on the other hand have gained some weight and gotten weaker during this process, so I plan on working hard over the next month or so to try to get back into shape before I miss the entire climbing season for the year! My resolution for 2019 is to get back into my climbing and kayaking shape, and hopefully take a step forward, but with my main focus on staying healthy.