Mostly about foot rehab and music

This was the week when I’d go 100% bootless. It feels good but it’s very scary. Now I challenge the foot more and of course I’m nervous. But there’s nothing obviously bad going on yet.
I’m continuing the work of learning to walk normally, various physiotherapy exercises, my usual strength training, and some indoor cycling.

This week was also a lot about music – prepping for our gig on the weekend, so keeping guitar fingers active and song lyrics fresh was a big thing! We also enjoyed a fabulous concert on Friday night.
Fitness-wise, this was the first week in a long time when I managed to get in 5 days of exercise, which feels great! Weather-wise it hasn’t been so great. Wednesday was good, otherwise dull with rain showers and 16-17C (60-62F). You people who complain about hot weather all the time? Come and enjoy an Irish summer! I’m sure you’ll like yours a lot more after spending a summer here!

Here’s a summary of the week, fitness-wise and else:

  • Monday – indoor cycling, 8 km
  • Tuesday – gym & physio
  • Wednesday – indoor cycling, 10 km
  • Thursday – gym
  • Friday – all about music
  • Saturday – music prep
  • Sunday – strength work at home


I continued my cycling route along the Varano lake in Puglia, using the Kinomap app. I’m not too much into using apps for workouts but for cycling it helps keeping the interest going while cycling I’ve never really been a fan of indoor cycling but now after such a long time doing no cardio training, it’s a good way to get the heart pumping and work on my leg muscles, and anything to make it more fun is good.
I’m not sure how much I like this particular app though. It has some nice routes, of different difficulty levels, and I love that they have quite a few in Italy. But sometimes I’d prefer more action. I’d like to try Bkool and Zwift to see what they’re like but I’ve had problems to connect both of them (it’s possible I’ve solved the problem though) so maybe I’ll just consider the quiet Kinomap routes a relaxing time in “nature” which isn’t bad either and at least more inspiring than looking into a wall!

I wouldn’t mind cycling here for real! (this is from Google maps, not the app)

Tuesday – physio appointment and gym

The most important event on Tuesday was to see my physiotherapist. He said all the aches and pains I described are normal after getting out of the boot, because nerves are sort of waking up after being passive for months. That made sense to me.

It’s now time to do start doing some more serious weight-bearing. I need to build back strength in feet and lower legs, and I now have some more challenging exercises to do.
To begin with, he asked me to try toe raises. These were absolutely terrifying to do, and they probably will be for a good while! But I knew they were coming, and that I wouldn’t be able to escape them forever. You remember when you were a kid and had a loose tooth and wanted to pull it yourself? That’s the feeling I had! I had to gather some serious bravery to do it, and 100% trust the physio.

The foot didn’t fall apart, and I’ll continue doing these at home, along with a single leg balance exercise (the same exercise that helped me conquer the Bulgarian split squats earlier this year), proper glute bridges, and continue my ankle strength & mobility exercises. It seems he thinks I’m doing really well with everything and I left feeling encouraged.

Later I went to the gym for a nice chest & back session.

  • Dumbbell row, 17,5 kgs
  • Tricep pullovers, 10 kg dumbbells
  • Dumbbell chest press, 12,5 kgs, these are so challenging for some reason but it’s just to keep trying! I did three ok sets and then repped out after 2-3 reps on the last set.
  • Barbell row, 32,5 kgs. These are going really well and if I fail with the chest press, here’s where I pick up some confidence again. 😀
  • Barbell chest press, 32,5 kgs. I was very happy with these.
  • Flyes, 10 kg dumbbells

Overall a good session but I’m annoyed over my dumbbell chest press… It’s not the first time though. I’ve struggled with them before when we increased weights. It’s just to keep trying and keep doing them.


Today I finished the cycling route, doing the last 10 km. Other than that, nothing interesting going on.


This morning, the toe raises possibly seemed a little less terrifying. I also went to the gym in the afternoon, and did a nice set of leg and hip/glute exercises, followed by shoulder work.

  • Lying down leg raises
  • Side leg raises with resistance band (around ankles) and straight legs
  • Side leg raises with resistance band (around knees) and bent legs
  • Leg press with resistance band
  • Outward rotated leg lift – see more below
  • Upright row, barbell, left knee on bench (still need to check the weight on this)
  • Forward raise, 6 kg dumbbells
  • Lateral raise, 6 kg dumbbells

Do NOT underestimate the power of resistance band exercises. These are quite tough. The last leg exercise was one I hadn’t done before. You lie on your back on the mat, rotate your ankle outwards, and then lift your leg up. This worked a lot on the glute, and hip flexors.

Friday – music practice and concert

My physiotherapy exercises and walking was my main physical activity today. Otherwise, everything was about music. It was the day before our gig, so I took time off to get those guitar fingers moving, go through songs both in terms of time (do we have enough songs and tunes to cover 2 hours?), lyrics, singing technique, guitar solos, and more.

But in the evening, we went to a local pub to relax and listen to some truly brilliant musicians – Sharon Shannon with band was finally back in town. We’ve seen her three times before in this pub. She’s Ireland’s accordion queen, and if you don’t know about her, you need to check her out, for example here.

The absolutely horrible stage light setup forces me to make everything black and white! I’ll share more photos in another post later.

Saturday – gig night!

Saturday night we had our own gig in another pub. We had a great time! My husband and myself met because of music in 2004, and we both kept fiddling around on different instruments until the first Covid lockdown, when my husband started getting serious on the mandolin and I decided to learn to play bluegrass guitar. This topic deserves its own blog post but the short version is that we invested in proper music lessons online, practised every single day for two or so years, and later started a band as a bluegrass duo. Last year we were asked to do a few sessions in this pub and apparently we sounded good enough to be asked this year again.

Since last year we’ve played weekly in another pub, a quite laid-back session where we are paid in drinks. Since spring this year, a friend who plays various rhythm instruments has joined us and it’s always a very enjoyable night. These sessions have helped us tremendously to build confidence. For our gigs last summer we were so nervous and had everything planned in detail. But last night’s gig was lovely and relaxed – I only had a rough song & tune list on my phone.

Sorry, no photos or videos. Another time!


For the first time since April, I’ve finally made a proper program for my at-home workouts. I try to focus on core, hips and glutes but sometimes I do something for shoulders and back. Here’s what I got in today:

  • Glute bridge (part of PT)
  • Rotator cuff mobility
  • Back extensions
  • Windshield wipers
  • Deadbugs with small weight plates
  • Hamstring curls with resistance band
  • Clamshells
  • Donkey kicks
  • Fire hydrants

Foot update

I’ve now been walking on my foot for three weeks, and doing some more challenging weight-bearing since almost a week. I’m still having random aches here and there around the foot, but most of what I had until last weekend is gone. Mostly I feel quite good, and walking generally is going quite well. My exercises are ok and I feel that after doing them, walking seems easier! For now I’m hopeful, but it will take a long time before I fully trust the foot. I can’t imagine how runners go back to running after something like this!! I hope I’ll have a somewhat no-more-pains-and-aches update to share next week.

Yes, I know that the top image has nothing to do with foot rehab or music. That’s what happens when you don’t take photos! 🙃 I surely need to plan my blog posts a bit more…

Thanks Kim and Deborah for hosting the Weekly rundown link-up!


24 responses to “Mostly about foot rehab and music”

  1. Melissa avatar

    I’m so sorry about the foot pain but hopefully you get fully back in action soon! I had to wear a boot for 8-12 weeks several years ago, and it took me a while to get back at it but I did. You will too!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks for the pep, Melissa! I’m very impatient and the worst is all the “what-ifs” that come with the aches and pains. But, it’s nothing serious and overall it’s been constantly getting better so I’m trying to carry on and be positive.

  2. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    Been there, done that with recovery after an injury (I had emergency knee surgery for an undiagnosed staph infection, and also a stress fracture on part of a foot). Being forced out of one’s running shoes (or having to compromise your regimen while in recovery) is tough! Taking those first steps (literally!), as you ease back, is both scary and liberating, though. That said, I viewed both experiences as a mere “blip” in the big picture, and actually look back with a grateful heart from all that I learned about my perseverance.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh yes, about the mixed emotions of scary and liberating! I loved the first step I took three weeks ago in the physio clinic. But I still feel like “should I really be doing this?”
      I feel good though, and I’m happy for every step forward – like proceeding to one crutch instead of two, and beginning toe raises. And I’m sure I’ll be able to look back later and see how this whole experience taught me patience, resilience, and to appreciate more what the body can do.

  3. Deborah Brooks avatar

    Recovery and comebacks after an injury are never easy. You can do hard things ! I am kind of in the same boat with running. We will both get back there nice and slow. I want to see pics of your performances!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, patience and to keep up the good work, slowly and steadily, is key here!
      Aaw I actually planned to have both pics and videos taken! A friend (singer & guitar player) was supposed to join us and I wanted to ask his wife to take some photos but then they couldn’t come. But as I said (or maybe not!), we need to update our YouTube and then I’ll share something! We have another gig in September so we’ll see!

  4. Jenny avatar

    Glad to hear you’re out of the boot! It sounds like the foot rehab is going normally- lingering aches and pains, but nothing serious.
    Your gig sounds amazing! Someday I would love to see a video. And… you’re right. I wouldn’t like your Irish summer, no matter how much I complain about the heat here!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, probably normal, but I’m sooo impatient. However, I enjoy every moment when the foot feels more normal. Ironically it mostly happens straight after the toe raises!
      Oh, the gig was so much fun. I’ll write a separate post about it (and our playing in general) soon. We might do a recording for YouTube just for the occasion.
      Enjoy the hot weather! 😁

  5. Darlene S. Cardillo avatar

    Glad to hear you’re done with the boot.

    I remember that scary feeling.

    I hope your recovery continues to go well.

    Yes please post a video. Love to hear your music.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you Darlene, I hope so too. And I’ll try to get a video together in the coming weeks!

  6. Coco avatar

    It sounds like you are doing well on your road to recovery and have a good plan to get stronger. I agree that fitness band exercises are tough!

    I love hearing about your music. My husband is a drummer, but hasn’t played in a band since our kids’s sports took over our lives (even though they are grown and out of the house now).

    You know I’m all about the Peloton app for fitness. I think Zwift is sort of like a video game where you can ride/race others? I couldn’t do scenic routes with 3D graphics — they make me dizzy!

    1. Susanne avatar

      My husband is using Zwift a bit and he’s saying the same as you, that it’s more like a video game. I’m not sure how I’d like it. Perhaps I’ll stay with Kinomap that is mostly about simple routes, and there are races to join too if I’d like that.
      When I do the routes in Kinomap and there’s too much turning here and there, I sort of get dizzy too! It’s a very strange feeling. But I quite like it anyway since it’s live videos and you get to see pretty places and creates some interest and focus when cycling.
      About time for your husband to take up drumming again!

  7. Wendy avatar

    This sounds like a really great, positive week for you! You will be surprised how quickly you bounce back now. The body remembers! My coach has me do a lot of resistance band exercises, so I’m in agreement with you on how challenging they can be. Just be patient with yourself as you come back.

    That’s so cool about your gig this weekend! I’m sure it felt good to perform and to be with others who like the same music as you. I don’t know if you know but bluegrass is having quite a renaissance here in the US. I’m a big fan of this new wave!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, there are a lot of younger generation bluegrass musicians out there now! While the old ones I always listened to are slowly disappearing. My heroes are people like Tony Rice, Doc Watson and Norman Blake, but also younger folks like Gillian Welch (mostly not bluegrass, but she has lots of good songs).
      I have a love-hate relationship with performing. I’m generally quite insecure and not a fan of being in the centre of attention, but then when I perform in the right setting, I absolutely love it and get some kick out of it! This pub is not the best place for this music, but we had a great time and enjoyed ourselves.
      With getting back on my feet, sadly I’m very impatient and frustrated right now. But I just need to keep doing what I’m doing.

      1. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

        My ex husband played for years in a blue grass band – he played guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo – so I’m familiar with Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Jerry Jeff Walker and other old timers. My favorites were John Prine, Emmylou Harris, Joni Mitchell. Gordon Lightfoot…

        1. Susanne avatar

          Wow, that’s so cool about your ex-husband playing all those instruments!
          You mention some great names there. John Prine was a genius. I know very little about Gordon Lightfoot but have understood now after his death that he wrote many songs I’ve been listening to. And Emmylou is one of those who’ve inspired me to start playing and singing in the first place! I’ve been planning to write a post about those years and what formed my passion for music.

  8. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    I’m glad that your rehab seems to be going well! And I loved your story about how you guys got serious about your music during lockdown. I was just considering buying an Indian flute (I played regular flute when I was growing up, still have it, but haven’t touched it in decades). Then I slapped myself upside the head, knowing I’m already spending enough time painting . . . but the seed has been planted.

    I’ve been lucky to never have a really serious injury so far, knock on wood, but I do have a friend who just got out of the boot after breaking her foot. Slow and steady wins the race! She’s planning to work on getting back to running (slowly, when she gets the green light) — and she’s 71. Still there are all sorts of ways to remain active, as you amply prove!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Well well, playing the flute is certainly more enjoyable than painting! And if you need to re-learn it, learning new (even if not totally new) things keeps the brain young!
      My husband is laughing at me tonight after I told him I’m surprised my foot always feels so much better after doing my new challenging exercise. Like… perhaps thats why the PT made me do them.
      I loved reading about your friend. I hope everything goes smoothly for her. My case is probably a bit unique because I’ve gone for much longer than usual being unable to use the foot. It will certainly be easier for people who got a quick diagnosis and all the right things done straight away.

  9. Debbie avatar

    How fun that you and your husband have a band and play in local bars!

    The key to a successful recovery after injury is patience and getting back into your previous workouts slowly. It sounds like you’re headed in the right direction!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, we have lots of fun with music!
      I’m slowly getting more comfortable with walking. And my exercises are a lot less scary. I’m guilty of having very little patience with this but I’m happy about every step in the right direction.
      I’m having troubles commenting on your blog! (or do they just go to spam or moderation queue?) It’s like I need to be checked by Cloudflare (or similar) every time and then I get to a blank white page! I loved the photos from your post-storm bike ride however!

  10. Marcia avatar

    I had to catch up to learn what happened to your foot. I’m so sorry! Sounds like you’re well on you way on the comeback trail. You will get there! What a fun story about how you and your husband got into music! I’ll bet those pub performances are lots of fun!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, slowly and steadily, as has been the theme in this comment section!
      The most funny thing about our lockdown music project was that before Covid, I played the mandolin and my husband played the guitar. We didn’t even decide to switch, it just happened. The guitar suits me much better!

  11. Jenn avatar

    It sounds like you have a fantastic plan in place for the foot pain, and I hope you are able to get on top of it.

    Your gig looks like so much fun! I wish I had any kind of musical talent!

    1. Susanne avatar

      We had good fun! Just wish I had some photos of ours. The photo is Sharon Shannon. Maybe next time!
      It’s never too late to learn music! You don’t need to have talent. You just need an instrument, a passion for music and some time to practice!

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