Moving on with a useless foot

I meant to post for the Weekly rundown last week but really wasn’t up to it. After starting this injury being positive and having a plan and a focus, I was caught up by negative emotions and just wanted to hide under a blanket.

I’m still there, sort of. Just not all the time. My usual, productive pissed-off energy, that is always triggered by an injury, is lurking in the background. And I’ll be back, but differently.

So what about the foot? It’s very confusing. It’s been slowly improving – but then I get setbacks, and some mornings I have so much pain that I think it’s in pieces, and then I’m almost pain free in the afternoon. FYI, I’m still waiting for the MRI but I’m 100% treating this as a metatarsal stress fracture.

Moving on with fitness activities

How do I stay active, while having a useless foot? It’s almost impossible not easy but I do my best. I’m going to keep challenging my body, and work hard on keeping my fitness level as good as possible, but in ways that will allow my foot to heal.

I can’t row because you’re supposed to push off with your toes. Honestly I don’t know if I’ve done that because our machine has flexible foot plates, but I’ll skip it just in case. So right now I have no cardio training options at all. We’re talking about getting a spin bike of sorts but will have to rearrange the house a bit to have space for one, so maybe in the autumn.

I’m very restricted with core and other exercises. Have you ever thought of how many exercises require you to bend and put weight on your toes? But I’ve looked up workouts for people with foot injuries, and found some very good moves that will challenge hips, glutes and core, and I’ll add them to my Sunday routine.

Other than that, I decided to focus more on some other good things in life. So why not add some, let’s call it fitness activities for fingers and vocal cords. I decided to use the time I normally would go for a run, and spend it on music. Getting back into a practice routine is a great feel-good activity for me, my guitar needs more TLC than I’ve been giving it recently, and we’ve been asked to do some gigs again in the little pub in town this summer, so there are songs and tunes to brush up and we want to add some new material too.

Music goals
My partner in crime 🙂

Here’s a summary of how the week went in terms of fitness activity attempts.


I made a few more videos of simple strength exercises for my inlaws. I had felt quite miserable in the morning, but after lifting some weights, even just a few reps, my mood was restored.

Debbie wrote a while ago about choosing your sport, and my sport is strength training. That’s where my passion is, where I’ve made progress, and what has given me self-confidence, a feeling of achievement, and a body I’m beginning to feel comfortable in, both in terms of health, wellbeing and appearance.

At the moment I’m almost certain I won’t be returning to running. I know this sounds awful but I feel it’s not worth the trouble, and I don’t even know if I’ll be able to truly enjoy running again after this. I don’t ever want this kind of injury to happen again, it’s disrupting everything that is important to me (except music). Being unable to continue with all my good work in the gym is extremely upsetting, lots of the progress I’ve made will be undone when my foot is healed. I guess I was naive with how strong your body needs to be to run, and what a high risk sport running is, even when you’re just starting out.

I’m fine with that. If I can get back to my normal weightlifting routine, challenge myself there, go for long walks again, and perhaps get that spin bike for cardio training, I’ll be happy.


Gym day. I was happy with all my chest work and did some good work on shoulders too. I’ve stopped documenting what I lift. There simply is no point doing it when I can’t do my usual programs. Or maybe I should, for upper body. But for now I’m just happy to be able to continue training even if I can’t do everything.


My foot was a horror show on Wednesday morning and I was certain that I will be forced into a walking boot and to do nothing for at least a month. I can tell you straight away that I’d never even go out with such a thing – how is it even possible to get around in them? I’ll prefer crutches.

Then in the late afternoon I was almost pain free.

To distract myself I decided to start that music practice I mentioned, and had a blast playing Tony Rice licks and some phrases I use to practise playing across multiple strings. One of them is simply the B part of “Gold rush” and it’s a perfect warm-up for the fingers and the brain. Later, I finally started learning to sing “Tear my stillhouse down” by Gillian Welch which has been on my to-do list for a long long time. It was a quite good day after all.


I did some stretching, hip mobility moves, and did my usual rotator cuff exercise. The foot was still quite bad. I’m trying to chase the hospital to which my MRI referral was eventually sent. Let’s say the information on their website isn’t particularly helpful and I’m rather annoyed.


My foot was much calmer again.
It was the gym day, but I seemed to lack energy and oomph. With this current injury I’ve been able to keep up my performance in the gym and not let it be disturbed by mental lows, but maybe I was affected anyway by the recent pain setback. However, I did my best ever performance with dumbbell row so that’s something to celebrate.


Music and random house jobs. That’s it.


I did my new program for glutes, hip flexors and core, and threw in some kneeling press-ups too.

Side planks with twists and hip dips are good for the soul

To end this week, I want you to stop for a moment and be grateful for what your body can do. Never take your body for granted. What a joy it will be when I can walk normally again! And what a privilege it is to be able to move the body without restrictions.

I hope you are doing well and had a fabulous, active week! This post is linked to the Weekly rundown linkup, hosted by Kim and Deborah.


26 responses to “Moving on with a useless foot”

  1. Jessie avatar

    Oh, I’m sorry to hear about the foot Susanne. I hope you get some answers soon. Good luck with the rehab.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Jessie. I’m a long way from starting some rehab, sadly. But I hope to at least get a proper diagnosis soon.

  2. Darlene S Cardillo avatar

    I Hate that blog title.

    Crutches suck but that boot?!! It gave me hip and back problems because I couldn’t find the right shoe to match the height.

    Hope you find out what’s wrong and it heals. It’s got to be so frustrating… the pain and the not knowing!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Yes, perhaps the hardest part is to not know 100% what it is or how bad it is. Right now I have to limp around and I have horror images in my head about making everything worse and that I have full-on fractures and won’t be able to walk until next year. But I’ve ordered crutches online. I’ll definitely not risk messing up my back! it’s already bad enough from not being as active as usual.

  3. Kimberly Hatting avatar

    You summed up everything well with your advice to appreciate what our bodies CAN do rather than dwell on what they (currently) cannot. Both of my setbacks – knee surgery for staph infection (2017) and foot stress fracture (2020) – reinforced that very gratitude. I was able to walk (a lot!) while my knee recovered and biked (even more) while the foot healed. I’m sorry biking isn’t an option for you right now. I had a boot for the foot, and it was a nightmare to get around in that! I named the boot Frank (short for Frankenstein, LOL)…it was so heavy and awkward, and totally threw my back into a nasty mess because it was a good two inches “higher” than my regular shoes. I hope this healing period goes well for you, and that you find strength (sorry, bad pun) from your strength training. hugs <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Kim. Well that says it all about a boot, I’ll refuse one, because my back is already a hot mess from having to sit too much. And Darlene said the same thing! I’ve seen there are some kind of shoe gadget for the other shoe to get to the same height as the boot and that really seems awkward. I’ve ordered a pair of crutches online from a pharmacy in Cork and that’ll have to be enough!
      Your name of your boot is hilarious, lol! Isn’t it great to be able to laugh about the thing though.

  4. Chocolaterunsjudy avatar

    That is so odd about the back and forth with your foot, and I can only imagine how frustrating it may feel. I hope you get some answers soon. Yes, we are on our feet for a lot of our lives and most of us just take that for granted until something happens.

    I don’t think you have to run to be fit. It’s great for cardiovascular fitness and mental health, but there are many other options. But you never know when you feel better, you may change your mind about it. Have you ever considered hiring a coach to guide you?

    I love that you are getting more into your music thought. That s definitely making lemonade (does that saying translate?). Running does take up a lot of time!

    1. Susanne avatar

      I’m definitely going to appreciate the ability to walk every single day after this.
      Regarding cardio training, I think we’ll go ahead with the plans of buying a stationary bike. And when the foot heals I can use the rowing machine again. But you are right, I shouldn’t say never just yet about running. It just feels right now that I don’t want to do it again because it’s too risky. If I’d change my mind, step 1 would be to have my foot mechanics assessed, and to hire a running coach would probably be the best way to go after that. We’ll see in the future.

      Yes about lemonade! I’ll continue working on that song this afternoon.

  5. Wendy avatar

    I’m so sorry about the ongoing foot saga. I will tell you that 2 years ago, I broke my foot and ankle when I fell from the rope at CrossFit. Not a stress fracture–2 breaks. I was in a walking boot for 2 months. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I did ride my bike (in the stationary trainer) which gave me a lot of cardio. I also did pool running-I don’t know if you have access to a pool-and I continue to do that weekly because it was just so effective! I agree with you that rowing might put too much pressure on the break. I think you have a good plan in place to continue your strength training.

    Hang in there!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Wendy and thank you! I’m a bit more positive today. Your foot fracture sounds awful. I can’t imagine how it’s possible to bike when you have it but that’s great if you can!

  6. Deborah Brooks avatar

    You summed it up well with learning to appreciate what our bodies can do instead of dwelling on what we cannot. I am in a similar situation of sorts myself. It is not easy at all. The bike does offer a great way to train when you can’t run. I hope you get some answers on your foot and that it feels a lot better this week. Hang in there

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks, Deborah. I know you’re having a hard time too, but so good you can go for short runs at least. Although – of course it’s not the same as a half marathon.
      We’ll definitely look into getting a bike, that would be a good help for both of us.

  7. Lindsay avatar

    I’m so sorry about your foot! But, you have such a great way of reframing the time right now for music practice and approach to weight lifting. For years, I thought all fitness progress was measured by cardio endurance – until I started strength training and learned how I could see and feel progress there; truly changed how I approach exercise!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh yes, fitness is so much more than cardiovascular fitness! Muscle mass changes everything. I’m glad you started strength training!

  8. Jenny avatar

    Ugh, that is so frustrating! I know- I once sprained my ankle really badly and then discovered how many things I COULDN’T do- like lunges, squats, and every other thing that required me to put any weight on my foot. It was terrible. I did have access to a bike, so I did that (but I wasn’t happy!) I think in your case it’s extra frustrating because you don’t know what this is. Since it goes back and forth between being extremely painful and then much better, it’s hard for me to believe it’s a fracture. But what in the world would it be then? I hope you can get that MRI soon and get some answers.
    Glad you are able to focus on your strength training and your music! Keep us updated with your progress.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you for your support, Jenny! Bad ankle sprains are HORRIBLE. I had lots of problems with them in my youth. I agree that it’s hard to believe this is a fracture. It just doesn’t act like one, other than the soreness on top of my foot. If I knew what it was I could at least take action and have a plan. That would be a relief even if it meant a boot.

  9. Marcia avatar

    I’m so sorry about your foot, Susanne. Sounds like it’s given you some valuable perspective. Way to focus on what you CAN do vs your limitations. Hope you get some answers and a recovery plan soon.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you Marcia, during this time I definitely have realised, more than with any of my other injuries, how invaluable it is to simply be able to walk! And of course to move your body without thinking twice. Even if I don’t run again I’ll enjoy every step of walking.

  10. Michelle avatar

    I’m really sorry for the continuing issues with your foot. I so agree about focusing on what your body can do, but also know hard that can be sometimes. I hope you’re able to get that MRI and with it some answers. Hang in there!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you, Michelle! It IS hard and I’ve been so down these weeks. I haven’t had the MRI yet but at least some relief the last few days so there is hope.

  11. Jenn avatar

    I’m so sorry. Injuries can truly be so devastating. I hope you are able to get some answers, take some time to honor your feelings, and find something that will bring you joy in movement.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thank you Jenn, and thanks for you mention of honouring my feelings. I saw a Youtube video on mental health during injuries and suddenly felt like I’m normal being depressed and all that. I’m trying hard to focus on the good things I can still do.

  12. Lisa @ TechChick Adventures avatar

    I hope you get a clear diagnosis on that foot! I agree – so much activity is based on having a good foot! I was thinking of ways for my husband to keep active with his hurt foot and the choices were super limited. BUT, I can tell you that I had a walking boot for a whole summer in 2014. The worst part was how hot it was in the summer heat! Beyond that though, it really wasn’t that bad. I could drive with it and I even rode a bike with it on! I’d rather have a broken bone or stress fracture over having annoying muscle pains. Those bones will heal up and you will be strong again 🙂 Hang in there!!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks so much for the pep, Lisa! I feel quite shit at the moment but thanks for reminding me that bones will heal… and I agree that in a way, I’d rather have a stress fracture than something that just keeps nagging. Actually the one thing that makes me feel positive about wearing a boot is the possibility of being able to ride a bike!

  13. Anne avatar

    Oh, Susanne. How utterly frustrating and annoying and disheartening. I am so sorry that this happened to you – when you were doing so well. But… I hope that strength training and the prospect of another cardio option help you hold some hope. I think you know that I am no longer able to run, and it was a hard realization to come to. I did get a spin bike and do that every day. It works for me now, for which I am grateful. So I get it – wanting to do something but being unable to do so – for me, it’s forever – is a loss. And you have to grieve that loss, even if you were “only” doing the something for a short period of time. You were invested. Your body protested (sigh, bodies…). Here’s hoping your grit comes back in full force. You’ve got this.

    1. Susanne avatar

      This is awful and shitty in all kinds of ways, and it seems like every time I get to the same stage of running progress, something happens. (although this is unfair to say when it’s only the second time, I don’t count the knee mishap) Yes, you told me you can’t run anymore, and I’m going to give it up too. If I was younger I would probably decide to do more strength training on certain areas and then hire a running coach, but now I only wanted to run because it was enjoyable and for the challenge, but running isn’t so important that I want to risk things like these again to do it. When I heal, I’ll be happy just going for walks and lift weights. But yes, I’ve invested a lot of time and energy in running and that sucks. But I’m also happy and a bit proud that I gave it a try, because that was unthinkable a few years ago.

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