There’s nothing like multiple fractures to make a workout more interesting.
I was asked back in October to take part in, and report on, the Times Colonist Health Challenge, a 12-week program that has successful applicants take part in workouts supervised by personal trainers at various gyms around town.
I agreed to participate because I had a lot to gain — and lose. I’ve got Type 2 diabetes and am on insulin, so exercise and diet are extremely important to stave off nasty complications like kidney failure, blindness, heart attack and stroke.
I wasn’t taking the best care of myself. My weight topped 180 pounds, a lifetime high, and I’d fallen with a thud off the exercise wagon some time ago.
If I could go back to 2010, when I was a healthy weight of about 150, I’d be happy. That year, I ran three 10Ks and three 5Ks.
I like running because I like to eat. It’s also a social activity where I can burn up a few miles catching up with running buddies.
I stopped running in October 2010 when I started insulin, and it took a good six months to find the right types of insulin that worked for me. By then, I was out of shape and overweight.
Since then, motivation has been elusive.
The invitation to take up the Times Colonist Health Challenge was a gift, and I was looking forward to the workouts, which began in mid-January.
On Jan. 3, I was bucked off a horse. I landed on a frozen sand riding ring and pulverized my right shoulder. But I got a doctor’s OK to proceed with the challenge.
When I met my trainer, Lindsay Forget, my arm was in a sling and unusable. She was unfazed, having worked with all sorts of injury-ridden athletes at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence.
She devised a workout plan that made the most of my three remaining limbs. I hoisted weights with my left arm. I ran up stairs. I maxed out my heart rate doing intervals on the treadmill.
On weekends, I hiked mountain trails with my two dogs.
On Feb. 10, I was running on gravel when I rolled over on my left ankle. That was fracture No. 2.
The doctor ordered me to take two weeks off work and workouts to give things a chance to heal.
I was given an air boot that looks like something out of Star Wars, and is removable for bedtime and showers.
Last week, I returned to the doctor to hear the ankle was indeed on the mend.
The bad news was that somewhere along the line, I may have broken another bone in my foot. We’ll take an X-ray next week to see what’s going on there.
This third break doesn’t cause me pain, but it does explain the persistent bruise and tenderness on the top of my foot.
If these things happen in threes, I’m done.
I have returned to workouts and felt strong enough to remove the boot and lace up my other running shoe.
“This is a first,” Forget said the first time she saw her one-armed, one-legged client.
I’m thrilled to find there’s no pain spinning on the stationary bicycle, and the various weight machines we’ve been using don’t hurt, either. Getting on and off them was the most difficult part of the workout.
I plan to continue workouts until the challenge wraps up in mid-April and likely beyond. I am determined to meet my first goal of returning to how I was in September 2010: Weighing 150 or less and a 10K running time of one hour, seven minutes.
My second goal, which I will reach by the start of 2014, is to get into the 130s and be the fittest I’ve been in my life.
It may take me a little longer than I planned, but I will get there.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
© Copyright 2013