Image of foot with bones

2 Years After Foot Surgery – Slow But Steady Progress!

Two years ago was Feb 4, 2020. The “before-COVID” times. It was also the day I had foot surgery, specifically an osteotomy, to address my inflamed posterior tibial tendon (aka. my flat arches were causing issues). I had to have three large incisions on my left foot, and one on my calf to “lengthen my calf muscle.”

Afterwards I had to be non-weight bearing on my left foot for four weeks, and I was riding around on a knee scooter like a pro! Then I used crutches for four weeks, and after that did three months of physical therapy. You can read more about the details here, and even see gross post-surgery foot pictures if you want to!

The healing process felt never-ending. Even after I was discharged from physical therapy, I wasn’t back to normal. I still had a bit of a limp sometimes. When I first got up in the morning, my left foot was stiff and I would hobble around for a while until it loosened up. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to go running again, and honestly I was kind of afraid to, since that was the catalyst for my injury.

Even one year later, I was still keenly aware of some of my limitations that I hadn’t had before my foot injury – like experiencing some residual foot pain and always needing to wear supportive/orthotic shoes.

I think it’s valuable to take a moment today to look back and remember where I was two years ago, so that I can fully appreciate just how far I’ve come in terms of recovery. In my post from May of 2020 (four months after the surgery) I had written:

My foot is not perfect, I’m still waiting for that glorious day when I can do a heel raise while standing only on my left foot, but I’m not there yet. I’m longing for when I can go on a walk around the block without limping or feeling sore, and I’m dreaming about a day when I might be able to go for a jog again.

May 2020

Later that year in October, five months after writing those words, I went for my first post-surgery jog. It had been 17 months since I had been able to run. I couldn’t run as far or as fast, and my foot was really sore after, but I did it.

How often do we get to receive the things our hearts are so desperately longing for? Honestly, it may be more often than we think. If you do any sort of journaling – whether it’s personal writing, blogging, or even photo journaling – it makes it easy to see where you were and how far you’ve come.

Many times we get the exact things we’re hoping for, and we’re happy for a little while, but then we move on to hoping for the next thing, and then the thing after that. It’s easy to feel like we haven’t “made it” yet because there’s always something we are looking to accomplish next.

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2020: Did You Survive or Thrive? (*spoiler – either answer is totally valid)

I’m laughing as I look back at my post from January 4, 2020. I wrote, “I’m really optimistic about 2020 – I think big things are going to happen for me. I have no proof of this, just a feeling.”

Well big things certainly did happen for all of us!

Despite 2020 being a year that none of us could have predicted, I don’t look back on it with disdain. 2020 was different for sure, and not what I expected, but it still brought me a lot of good. (P.S. It’s okay if this is not how you feel! It’s okay if you never want to hear the word 2020 again!)

My focus word for 2020 was “thrive.” I just wanted to feel good about myself, and to make more time for things like exercising, eating healthy and spiritual growth. Amazingly, by the end of the year I find myself doing exactly those things – I’ve been jogging again and even lifting some weights at home (I joke with Dean that he better watch out since I’m getting so muscle-y). Around mid-August I started being more purposeful about the food I was eating (less sugar, more veggies). And with some encouragement from friends (or perhaps more accurately, accountability) I have made more time to pray and meditate and do feel like I’ve grown spiritually this year.

I know not everyone is able to express positive feelings about 2020, and that’s okay. I’ve seen many iterations of the following, but as the image states, it’s okay if all you did this year was survive.

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30 (more like 20) Pushups a Day (more like every few days) for a Month

My current foot situation (in a boot, not full weight-bearing) has obviously prevented me from running or working out very much at all. I finally decided that I should challenge myself to do something despite my limitations, and focusing on my arms seemed like the best idea. It also was pretty timely, as social distancing became the thing to do… it gave me a challenge I could easily do at home. I decided I wanted to do 30 pushups every day, probably in sets of 10, and see how I felt/looked in one month. Here’s a quick day-by-day accounting of what that process looked like:

Feb 29 – Thought I would do 30 every day, after doing a set of ten, 20 seemed good enough.

Mar 1 – Why am I sore? Oh yeah… I think I should take today off.

Mar 2 – Two sets of 10 in the books!

Mar 3 – Two sets done before work… I was late to work.

Mar 4 – Pushups seemed easier today.

Mar 5 – First set I was able to do 12 – second set of 10 was hard but doable.

Mar 6 – Today was my first day on crutches, I think my arms got enough of a workout.

Mar 7 – Nope.

Mar 8 – Daylight Savings Time, we sprang forward… no pushups but I did get a nap.

Mar 9 – Did a set of 12, then a second set of 8 at lunch break.

Mar 10 – Didn’t happen.

Mar 11 – Two sets of 10, check!

Mar 12-16 – I took an unintended break, stuff has been getting crazy due to the coronavirus! 

Mar 17 – First set of 16 (yeah!) and then a second set of 10. Amazing since I have missed so many days!

Mar 18 – Not today.

Mar 19 – Two sets of 10. 

Mar 20 – Two sets of 10 again.

Mar 21 – 12 pushups and then 10 more. A few sit ups too.

Mar 22 – Rested.

Mar 23 – 20 in a row! (woot woot!) 

Mar 24 – Two sets of 10, plus a little free weight work.

Mar 25 – Took a break, it was Dean’s birthday.

Mar 26 – No pushups, but I did go out for a “ride” on my knee scooter. 

Mar 27 – Two sets of 10. 

Mar 28 – No.

Mar 29 – I thought about it, but was tired.

So… I only did pushups 14 out of the 30 days, which is less than half – so if I was going for a letter grade, I guess I’d get an ‘F.’ But I choose to not look at this as a failure, but as doing pushups 14 more days than I normally would have. And I can always challenge myself again this month to try again, although honestly I think everyday is a bit too much… doesn’t give much time for recovery.

Lastly, if you need some motivating up-beat workout music, check out some of the opening and ending themes from the show Haikyuu – just about every time I did pushups I listened to music from this anime – specifically “I’m a Believer” from Season 2. The kids in the show are so motivated to train (they are on a volleyball team) and I find that their motivation is a bit contagious.

I'm a Believer - Haikyuu!! Second Season OP | Piano Cover ...

Thanks for reading!