Taking up photography meant I could be involved with the team at carnivals. Not that I needed an excuse. I wanted to be useful to the team. Taking photos gave me a buzz and I practiced my skills at surf carnivals. Just being there was exciting. Trampling up and down the soft sand in my boot was tiering, but it didn’t stop me.
Rehabilitation for a ruptured Achilles is a long process. Everyone told me this, the doctors, physiotherapists and friends who had ruptured their Achilles. Perhaps one of the longest required for an injury. My doctor told me it could take as long as 24 months to recover. If I was lucky as short as six, but generally around 12. A calculation in my head determined that there was a possibility I could race next season. Immediacy I cemented this as my goal. Without this, rehab for the sake of rehab would be tough. So there it was, I would learn to run again.
When I got to hospital, I was put on a drip. Antibiotics were pumped through my body. For the entire night and day, I waited restlessly for the second operation. There was nothing else for me to think about. I just had to wait. Finally at about 7.30pm I was prepped for surgery. This time was much harder. I'd been waiting for this all day.
My leg was in a plaster cast for two weeks. When it came off my ankle was incredibly stiff. I could barely move it and my heal wouldn't touch the ground. I wondered if I would I ever get my foot flat on the ground again? The orthotist fitted me with a boot. My heal had to be chocked up about 5cm because it was so stiff. Gradually I would learn to move my ankle and remove the chunks of foam from under my heal, stretching it back to the ground.
Anticipation was building, as the day of my surgery got closer. Excitement isn’t the right word to describe how I was feeling. I was eager for the day to come. An Achilles repair is not a major procedure. Patients are on the operating table for between 45 minutes to an hour. You spend a night in hospital and then you’re free to go.