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!


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!).


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!


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