Ok, so I know that sounds like a stupid question. Of course we all know how to walk, unless we were born with some disability. Or do we, really? How would you describe every step in the process of walking? When you take the next step, exactly what do you do? Do you start on the heel or mid foot? How fast do you linger in the step before switching foot? What makes you stable while you switch foot? And so on…
I’ve had a 4,5 month long
horror show journey with a stress fracture in the foot, and until recently, I haven’t done any real walking since April. During that time, I’ve done everything between limping, hobbling with crutches and “walking” with a CAM boot, which I was using for 8 weeks. A month ago I started getting out of the boot, and my physiotherapist gave me a 4-week program to wean off the boot and the crutches. I’m now on week 5 and since a bit over a week, I’m walking at home without a crutch. Or rather, “walking”.
I thought it would be straightforward. You know, just getting back to something I’ve been doing my entire life. It isn’t that easy. First of all, after an injury and especially after using a boot for a long time, the foot is a disaster zone of random aches and pains and all sorts of pins and needles and stuff because of nerves waking back up and muscles and tissues being loaded for the first time in AGES.
Secondly, after such a long time not walking, I’ve become used to having to be careful not putting weight on the foot, and later learning to get around with one leg higher than the other and with no ankle joint. The art of real walking seems to have disappeared from my brain.
Yes, I do remember that it’s about putting one foot in front of the other and sort of moving forward. LOL.
However, there’s more to it.
Have you ever thought of how much balance you need for simple walking? I’m fascinated. Even when I feel like I walk somewhat normally, I walk with a limp without even thinking of it. Some of it is fear and that I don’t fully trust the foot, but most of it is lack of balance and stability. I’ve lost so much of these skills that it’s scary.
However, this can be fixed, and I’ll be ok. I saw the physio yesterday, and have new homework to do. There’s massive balance & stability training going on here now! I’m very hopeful that I’ll be back walking in no time.
To put things into perspective
Instagram was hard in the beginning of the summer. Who needs to see all those perfect people reels being fed to you when you’re having a long lasting injury?
Among all the noise, I’ve also found some amazing accounts that I now love to follow, people who kick ass and do all the hard things despite circumstances. A 74-year-old lady who climbs trees and does all the cool things (age is just a number, you know). A marathon runner with a leg prosthesis – she had her leg amputated because of cancer and now she runs to raise money for cancer care and research. A young man who was partly paralysed in an accident but can do most things because he’s made is upper body super strong. A lady with a hand/lower arm prosthesis who does pull-ups and all other kinds of fancy lifts. Another young man who had some spinal cord or if it was brain injury, was told he would never walk again and now he’s in marathon training. Our own (in terms of Swedish) Anna Holmlund who was a an Olympics ski cross athlete but got a serious head injury in 2016 during training. Now she seems to be back in sports, but as a swimmer and more. And the list goes on.
The concept of doing hard things despite circumstances is very inspiring and empowering.
One of these people is a Swedish woman, a few years younger than me, who got a brain bleeding in January this year and she shares her rehab journey on her Instagram account. She is extremely inspiring and you should go follow her, she writes in Swedish but you can always click “see translation” below the caption.
I’m still scared to of using my foot normally, but seeing people like these gives some oomph and also reminds me how insignificant my own injury really was, in comparison. I’m very fortunate after all, I’m getting out at the other end of the tunnel now and I WILL get back walking 10+k again!
Here are some inspiring people to follow on Instagram:
- Anna Holmlund (in Swedish)
- Elin @elinstrokefighter (in Swedish)
- Ageing disgracefully
- NC Runner Jacky
- Super Sofia (this little girl is so cool, don’t miss the wall climbing videos!)
- Chase unfiltered
- Louise Hawkins
Long time no see, I’m joining Denyse’s words and pics link-up.