A Different Kind of Summer

Back in May I hurt my leg. I fell off climbing indoors and hit a hold on the way down. At first I was pretty sure I had broken it, but thankfully the x ray was clear. What I did have was a severe ligament tear.

For the first week I could hardly weight-bear, and resorted to hobbling around with some walking poles as crutches. I was told it would take 8 – 12 weeks to fully heal and so most of my summer climbing plans had to be shelved.

Having never been seriously injured before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Actually, it’s been pretty good. A foot is good thing to injure as a climber because you can still train pretty hard on the fingerboard. My coach wrote me a brilliant training plan based on upper body work, which I started as soon as I could hobble down the wall. It’s amazing how beasted you can get without actually climbing!

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Training down at the Foundry in Sheffield

I’ve also been hammering the physio work and slowly building up to cycling and running again. It’s taken a while, but I’ve quite enjoyed working out the best ways to rehab my foot (vitamin C and wobble cushions apparently!).

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First day back climbing. Still couldn’t get a normal rock boot on at this point so I had to borrow one several sizes too big.

The thing I’ve missed most is being outdoors. For over a month I couldn’t walk on uneven ground so I was confined to the city. I really missed being in the countryside, breathing the fresh air and seeing the crags.

I was also disappointed not to be able to take part in the British Bouldering Championships a few weeks ago. I had been training really hard for it previously, but unfortunately my foot didn’t feel up to it and it was not to be.

Two weeks ago I began climbing properly again on lead. I still feel very nervous in case I fall badly and re-injure my ankle and I think it will take a few weeks to get my confidence back, but it’s great to be climbing again. At the moment I am mostly sticking to the steep stuff as my ankle still feels weak, but luckily I have a lot of projects at Kilnsey so there’s plenty to keep me busy!

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First day back at the crag! Top roping only, but it was great to be out.