The battle to get better

It’s been a while since I really wrote about my life apart from the usual OMG-we’re-back-at-uni-shock post which has become an annual occurrence. The last update was way back in February (click here to read).

Anyway, since netball training isn’t on tonight I went out for a Thursday night run (just my standard easy 5km up to the nursing home, round the nursing home and then home to dinner – quick shout out to Mum for all the hundreds of nights you’ve saved dinner for me in the course of my life!). About 2km in my right leg was in absolute agony from the impact of running – I have absolutely no idea why, I’ve never injured that leg at all and in fact, it’s always been my more naturally strong leg. And for whatever reason my ankle has been really playing up the last week every time I try to jump or run.

So I kept going for another km or so before I was like, you know what? This is stupid. I’m running through all this pain in my right knee and my left leg and for what purpose? So I walked the final 3km and while I was walking, I started thinking about this blog post. It was very cold by the way. Note to self: carry a jacket next time.

It’s now been almost exactly six months since I had surgery. By all accounts, this injury should be completely behind me and forgotten about, but it’s not. It’s absolutely turned my world upside down and it’s slowly getting back to normal, but god it’s been a long road.

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I guess whatever else happens, let’s just be thankful my ankle doesn’t look like this anymore!

When I first had the surgery, I was pretty angry. Probably angrier than anyone has ever seen me but it was all internal – except for the few times I yelled at my Mum while I was stuck on the couch… sorry Mum!

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Best parents ever. Thanks for all the salads mum. And for putting up with all the yelling.

I was angry because really there was no one else to blame for this situation but myself. Because I’d cut down my year in China to a mere 9 months because of my stupidity. What people forget is that we spent two entire years preparing for that trip – studying our butts off to pass four levels of Chinese class, suffering through Contemporary China, saving every dollar we could etc etc… To have it cut short seemed like the worst thing that could possibly happen. And to be honest, I would probably still say that is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

Then, I went through the not caring stage. I was like you know what? I don’t care if this never gets better. I’ve lived with it for six months (this was early January) and I can live with it forever. I remember that at this point, I actually told my physio that I didn’t care if I never jumped or ran again because I hadn’t done it since July so what did it matter? In hindsight it was totally overdramatic but it’s literally what I was thinking at that point. I was still blaming myself and this is when I started wondering if I actually needed the surgery. Could I have recovered just having intensive physio? (The answer is no for those following along at home. A definitive no).

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Celebratory 2cm of movement picture

Finally, I got to a point where I could almost see a light at the end of the tunnel. I was back to running, still not back to dancing but running is better than nothing I figured (this is the point where I think Jes and Kat deserve a shout out for listening to all my ravings about how great it is to finally be back to running. And also Ash for listening to all my post-surgery should it be feeling like this questions).

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Also shoutout to Jes for coming to the Swans game with me in the rain. That is true dedication.

And then at the beginning of the week it all turned shit again. I have no idea why, but jumping or landing on my left leg sends a shooting pain up the side and back of my leg. So the last four days have been me wondering if this is it – is this as good as it’ll ever get? Maybe I just have to live with the fact that running will never be as easy as it was. And get better at using a heat pack on my hip and knee every time I exercise. Maybe I give up on running altogether and take up a life of long walks (preferably involving a beach….).

Anyway I guess overall this post is an apology and an explanation of sorts, for those amazing people who’ve had to put up with my changing mood for the past six months. I’ve learned that recovery, like dance, is 80% mental and 20% physical. However it doesn’t stop me from  having days where I get out of bed and from the very first step want to roll myself back up in the blankets and forget about life for a while. People have said but you danced for so many years, you must’ve had struggles before – let me tell you, this is completely different. Before, I had so much motivation to be better, to be more competitive – now that’s all gone and I’m trying to find it once again. Don’t worry, once it comes you will all know about it!

So that’s the story of the last six months. Hopefully the last time this stupid injury will ever get a mention on this blog. Bernie and I are headed down to Melbourne tomorrow for a weekend with the grandparents which will be a nice break from our hectic life here in Sydney! Stay tuned for the Melbourne is awesome post which will come next week no doubt.

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