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.
There is nothing like the thrill of speed, I'm talking about the fast kind not the drug! I love the feeling of running fast, perhaps my love affair with this is what made me such a successful sprinter. Being lost in the moment. Moving my legs and arms as quickly as they will take me. Relaxing my body into the rhythm and pace. Feeling the coolness of the wind speeding past my cheeks. My hair fly’s behind me and my face is cold. All I can think about is what I can do to go faster. My arms glide back and forth and my legs follow stretching out. My feet gracefully take the weight of my floating body, impacting on the firm surface.