I’m hoping that this will be the last update that ends with a boot…
Days 18- 20 – After the good news at my doctor’s appointment, I spent the latter part of the week exploring my newfound freedom to attempt some cardio. Although me boot-legging my way around the neighborhood could hardly be described as heart-pumping, it at least felt good to get out. It took me 27 minutes to walk the .85 loop, but I had zero pain, and even got stopped by a little old lady who informed me that I was “doing the right thing” by trying to stay active. I also experimented on the elliptical machine at Inner Peaks, and was pleasantly surprised that I could actually get my heart rate up for about 20 minutes before the awkwardness of the boot started taking its toll on the rest of my lower half.
Day 21 - Climbing gym by day, climbing gym by night. This morning I was psyched to be able to onsight a vertical 5.10b (is that called a boot-sight?). No hangboard, but I did a lot of up/down laps on steep but moderate terrain. After a lazy afternoon we were back at the gym for pizza, cookies, and overall fun and merriment at the Inner Peaks Member Party. I was disappointed I couldn’t enter the women’s dyno comp, but was happy that somebody from our climbing crew represented and took home the prize (Congratulations April! ).
Day 22 – 23 - Took another walk around the neighborhood and thoroughly annihilated my previous time. This time around I felt like I was walking more or less at a normal pace, and only felt myself gimp a little bit when walking down a slight downhill section. I made it easily around the loop in 18 minutes this time, and my ankle felt good enough to keep walking for an even 30.
Day 24 - Added weight to my hangboard workout, by plopping a 5 pound bean bag in my chalkbag. It’s amazing what a big difference such a seemingly trivial addition can make! I also experimented more with downclimbing my staple 5.9 in the lead cave, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I could go up and down twice before giving out and coming back to the ground. There was also a new route up in the lead cave that was significantly steeper and more of a challenge boot-leg style, but the holds are big enough and just close enough together that I can manage.
Day 25 - I’m very grateful that I am able to get outside and go for walks during this beautiful spring weather we’ve been having, but I can’t wait to get back to pounding the pavement again with my running shoes. I never thought I liked running until I couldn’t do it…
Day 26 – The hangboard is getting old. Although I can quantify my progress relative to the board, I can’t really see applicable results on the wall yet, since the only routes it makes sense to attempt boot-leg style are ones with good holds since I’m constantly cutting my feet to bump the one good foot up. To be honest, boot-leg climbing is getting old too. It seems silly to try and really “work” routes that don’t have an obvious campus/one-legged sequence, as I don’t see how that is going to help me long term, so I’m kinda stuck with the same old routine day in and day out. I do however feel like I’m making tons of strength gains by climbing up and down really steep routes. I’m getting really comfortable without using any feet, which is actually a big step up for me, since pre-injury losing my feet always made me feel slightly out of control.
Day 27 - The boot not only made it successfully around the neighborhood with ease, but also made through a previously held tradition of walking to Chick-Fila on Friday nights. We used to do it every Friday we were in town this past spring and summer, and this is the first time we’ve had enough light AND my foot has felt good enough.
Day 28 - Up, Down, Up, Down, Up, Down was the mantra for today on the steepest lines I could muster myself up. Rounded out the day with my token 5 sets of pull-ups to failure. Still a long way from my goal of 10 on the last couple of sets, but at least the first 2 or 3 feel solid. The afternoon provided some uncharacteristic fun when I got to get all dolled up for a photo shoot – Today’s Charlotte Woman magazine is actually doing a story on little old me for their April Issue, which is themed “Women on the Edge.” I’ll give more details when the issue is actually out, but I will say that the photo shoot was pretty fun – it was all waist-up and head shots, so the boot didn’t even get in the way!
Day 29 - 30 – 45 minute power walk around the neighborhood plus 30 minutes on the elliptical machine means that I’m actually starting to be able to do enough in the boot to get my heart rate up a bit. It also means that the boot is starting to get a little stinky. Thankfully I only have 2 weeks left.
That’s right – 2 weeks. 14 days. 4 more hangboard sessions. 2 more weekends – 1 of which will be filled with fun activities for Cragbaby’s birthday! I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it sure can’t come soon enough!