The Crutch Chronicles: Episode 5

This week has been absolutely jam-packed. It feels like so much life is getting crammed into my days, and I can’t believe we’re only two weeks into 2017. To recap: I discovered at the very start of the year that I didn’t need surgery on my ankle and the past few weeks have been all about endless rehab. So here we go with this week!

Baby got a job

The big news for this week is that I’ve started a new job! It all happened incredibly quickly and I can tell that it’s a fast-paced role that’s going to challenge me. Whilst this news isn’t directly related to my injury, it’s certainly helped take a load off my mind in terms of the rest of my life. It’s also taking up a lot of mental space for me right now, but in a good way – I have a lot to learn and a great opportunity to do so, and so that’s my focus for now!

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-23-05-42
Plus this is my commute!

Where I’m at physically

I’m off my crutches! Yay! Though I may have to think of a new name for this series… But anyway. I’m now walking short distances in just my Air Cast, and I’m even able to walk around at home with just an ankle support on, as long as I’m very mindful. The commute to my new job is really taking it out of me both in terms of sapping my energy and increasing my pain level. Nonetheless, I’m trying to balance this out with good rest, lots of ice, compression and elevation.

I didn’t have any physio this week, so it’s just been a case of doing the same range of motion exercises as before. I’ll be seeing all my specialists this coming week, with a view to getting back into exercise of some description, be that gym, swimming or yoga.

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-23-07-41

Food

I thought I was doing really well with food- eating normally slightly past being full (with my new plant-based approach, I eat a lot of veggies and high fibre foods, so my concern is usually to be eating enough). However Friday night and Saturday I was uncontrollably hungry, to the point of feeling week, jittery and anxious. Not ideal. Even though I know I’d eaten “enough” for my level of activity, I apparently hadn’t been taking into account the amount of energy required to heal – plus everything is twice the effort when you’re in a cast. I’m just trying to accept that my body wants what it wants – there’s nothing I can do but say yes!

 

tumblr_n439z4R3f81rfwyd0o1_1280.jpg

 

Exercise

I’ve been getting out and about now that I have a new job, so that’s great for me mentally and physically. The past few days since starting my new role, I haven’t had the mental or physical energy to train at all, and so I’m just letting it be for now. My plan is to rejoin the gym next week in order to keep both my motivation and fitness level up – I’ll probably be focusing on weights as opposed to cardio!

screen-shot-2017-01-14-at-23-08-04

Where I’m at mentally

I’m still trying to focus on my one day at a time mentality. That’s really all the wisdom I’ve got right now! Having started my new job I now have a huge weight taken off my shoulders both financially and mentally. I can already tell that this new role is going to challenge me, and so I just need to make sure I’m taking care of my mental and physical health whilst proving myself in the role. To be completely honest it’s been an exhausting few months and I think it’s finally catching up on me, but I’m also using January as an excuse to hygge it up.

I’ve been taking advantage of podcasts and books as a way of keeping me focused and positive, and I’ll be sharing my recommendations with you soon!

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-18-39-58

 

Please tell me, how do you cope with injury? The mental and physical side of it!

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Podcast of the Month: Tim Ferriss

Times have been tough recently, but one thing that’s been getting me through my job-related struggles (and the existential crisis that naturally follows) has been the Tim Ferris Podcast.

tim_ferriss_morning_hacks

I’ve always found this podcast to be instructional, inspirational and incredibly relatable. Tim interviews world class thinkers, performers and athletes – people who are at the top of their field- and tries to pick out the habits, practices, morning routines to see what makes them great. More recently, he’s been responding to the deluge of questions he receives from listeners and fans; because after all, he’s a world class thinker himself.

16217509194_3f0ec295a0_o

One such episode was titled 5 Morning Rituals That Help Me Win The Day. It’s a series of practical tips and habits that pretty much anyone can adopt, including simple things like making your bed or journalling for five  minutes. If you have a chance, do go ahead and give this a listen- you’ll feel more motivated, and you’ll be able to put into practice some of these tips and tricks to help you start the day on the right foot.

 

What does your morning routine look like?

Do you listen to any podcasts? Let me know- I’m always on the hunt for recommendations. 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

Mindfulness: 2017 Word of the Year

I’ve seen a new concept recently in writing, blogging and self-improvement circles: the Word of the Year. You pick a word that you want to be your mantra, or your focus, or even your aspiration for the year ahead, and keep it in mind in everything you do. Sound too self-help-y? It’s simple: just pick a word, and live by it. Whilst the rest of the world seems to be on a juice cleanse, it’s a refreshing approach to the New Year that seems altogether more sustainable.

My 2017 Word of the Year seems to have fallen into my lap quite naturally:

Gratitude. 

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-23-10

 

Gratitude is where it’s at. Be thankful for what you have, and stop moaning about what you don’t. Even though the proverbial shit has hit the fan in more ways than one over the past few months, I’ve been able to maintain an altogether more positive mindset, and I attribute that to gratitude. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my shares of ups and downs (and downs), but it feels like my base level of contentment has been ever so slightly elevated, and I feel altogether more resilient.

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-13-36-42

In one of my favourite books You Are A Badass, author Jen Sincero argues that you need to live from a place of abundance in order to make good decisions. The opposite of abundance – fear – is what causes us to make bad decisions that ultimately leave us feeling gridlocked and wanting more. And guess what? Gratitude is simply a way of acting with abundance. You’re grateful for what you have, and you see the small opportunities and positives that come your way.

Wow that turned into a whole thing!

But seriously; gratitude, folks. This shit works.

Have you ever had a word of the year? What would yours be?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

The Crutch Chronicles: Episode 4

It’s been a long and eventful week! The high point was definitely hearing that I didn’t need surgery on my ankle (yay!) and now it’s just a long, slow road back to recovery. I’m going to chart my journey in the hopes that it will be useful to someone out there; I personally have scoured many a running blog looking for tips and tricks on injury recovery, as well as the therapeutic benefit of knowing that someone out there is going through the same struggles and frustrations. So here we go.

Physio

I was lucky enough to see a physio immediately after being discharged from the care of the orthopaedic surgeon on Tuesday. I have a set of exercises that focus on:

  • building range of motion (ankle circles, flexing and pointing my feet, peddling my feet out)
  • stability (learning to stand on both feet again)
  • all-round strength (wall squats and glute bridges)

I’ve been so grateful for my free NHS healthcare; in particular how focused all the specialists have been not just on getting me back to normal, but to be able to run at the level I was previously. That being said, I’m pretty sure I’m a nightmare patient, with my long list of questions and concerns. I’ve also found myself asking about all kinds of questionable complementary therapies I would never usually believe in if I weren’t so desperate!

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-13-35-50

 

Hydrotherapy

Who’d have thought it- I’m getting hydrotherapy on the NHS! I could not be more grateful right now that this particular set of doctors and physios seems to care about me and my physical activity. However, no matter how glamorous and high-tech hydrotherapy sounds, it’s actually very humbling. I have to learn to stand again, as well as practice the motion of walking whilst held up by the water’s buoyancy. As someone who previously ran like a maniac, it’s been tricky to accept how difficult and painful simple exercises like these have become. That being said, I’m lucky enough not to be in too much pain, aside from what’s to be expected from rehab.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-13-36-42

 

Food

This one is tricky. I’m barely exercising, which means my metabolism has ground to a halt. That being said, I’ve been given strict talking-tos from my doctors about the perils of under-eating when recovering from a traumatic injury; something they see frequently in athletes. I’m trying to make my peace with the fact that I may become a bit more doughy, but that it’s all for the greater good. I’m focusing on whole foods (for the most part), supplementing with Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D, and eliminating alcohol completely for the duration.

Exercise

I try to get outside for a hobble every day, as the fresh air does so much for my mental health. I’ve bought a kettle bell, and have been using it in conjunction with some weights and resistance bands I already had. It’s been a challenge to create at-home workouts with limited mobility, but I’ve been really enjoying it- getting a sweat on and some endorphins pumping makes a huge difference to my mood. Plus, I’m getting (gradually) closer to my 2017 pull up goal!

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-13-35-38
#seenonmyhobble

Where I’m at mentally

Ugh, this could be a long one. It’s difficult dealing with an injury and trying to remain positive, especially when you know that you’re going to be out for a long time. My main goal is to focus on the small, incremental steps that will get me where I need to be – one day at a time. That being said, it’s difficult. When running is your therapy and it’s suddenly taken away from you, it’s harder to cope with every other little thing that life throws at you. And when one of the things you’re struggling with is not being able to run, it all becomes a bit meta. Anyway. My current daily prescription is (at least 3 out of 4):

  • Get outside
  • Eat well
  • Get some human interaction
  • Move your body

 

IMG_0170.JPG
Human Interaction is key. Plus can we just mention that arm definition? #crutchgains

I need to find other coping mechanisms, and that’s a good thing. I’ve been reading lots, as well as listening to audiobooks and podcasts in order to keep me engaged and stimulated. Thankfully I’m a voracious learner so there’s always something to keep me busy.

The takeaway of all this? This injury clearly sucks. That’s a given. But it’s also an opportunity for growth. If anything, it’s going to make me more resourceful and resilient, because I have no choice but to put my big girl panties on and deal with it. I don’t have the luxury of sitting around and moping about it (as tempting as it might be). I’m having to learn to lean on the people close to me, and take it a day at a time. And that’s a good life lesson after all!

 

Please tell me, how do you cope with injury? The mental and physical side of it!

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

I don’t believe in miracles…

But if I did, I’d tell you someone up there is looking out for me.

Today I had a roundup appointment at the fracture clinic. Hold your horses people. The results are in:

NO FRACTURE

NO TORN LIGAMENTS

NO SURGERY NEEDED

!!!

Excuse me while I throw myself a mini dance party! (Just kidding, I can’t dance RN – but still, lets take a moment to be grateful).

giphy-34-5715f24fc88b7

Okay.

Now that’s all over, what does this mean for me? Well here’s the basics. It’s a really, truly horrific ankle sprain, but there’s no torn ligament and no breaks. Not a whistle. I’ve done some pretty bad damage, and it’s gonna take a long time to heal. I’m on a rehab programme that will have me gradually returning to walking over the next three weeks, and combining in swimming, cycling, yoga, pilates and strength training.

The main takeaway is I won’t be back to running at 100% for 4-6 months. That’s pretty crap. However, the physio has told me that this is a very conservative estimate, and that I may be able to run carefully and tentatively in around 12 weeks; it’ll just take me longer to get back to where I used to be.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-12-28-15
Just for clarity, this is where I’d like to be! 

I could get angry and frustrated that I’ll lose fitness, or that I was hitting some really good training paces just before the fall that ended it all. But really, is that gonna do me any good? I’m all for moaning and getting frustrated and rallying against the universe, but honestly it’s in my best interests to be positive right now. I have two (almost) working legs; the rest of my body is healthy (touch wood), and the news I got today was pretty much the best way to ring in the new year.

That’s where I’m at, folks!

Please send positive vibes my way! 

Lots of love,

Pippa