So, a few months ago I broke my ankle. I was on a speedier ride then usual, rushing to get back to Glasgow, and stupidly chasing some cyclist up one of the hills south of Glasgow. As I descended this hill, just before I got to a crossing, the traffic lights started to change. I was thinking, “Can I still make it?” I was going quite fast so I probably could have made it, but I decided to stop. My cleat on the left shoe (the side I usually unclip with) was super worn, and I was worried it would break, so I unclipped on the right side, but because I was tired and had no time to think about the stopping procedure, I leaned to the left side. I realised I would fall, but I didn’t want too. I tried to get out the pedal, but couldn’t. Then I fell.
Next thing I knew, I was lying on the street feeling pain in my left leg, and tears started flooding down my face. Not because of the pain, but more because I was scared about what that meant for my around the world cycling trip. The cyclists that I had overtaken previously came to help me and moved me on to the pavement. They also waited till I had called a friend to pick me up. Although I wasn’t sure it would be necessary, my friend Ross drove me straight to A & E. Thank you so so much Ross!
The X-rays revealed a ‘nasty brake’, as the nurse called it. I cried again. My fibula was broken, quite low down on my ankle. Surgery was an option, but I was to come back again the next day to see what the doctors thought would be the best treatment option. I was crying a lot that day, not because of the pain, but because I knew I had to change many of my cycling plans. I had to lie around with my leg up as much as possible. Eventually I was given a moon boot. After a few weeks I started to put a wee bit of weight on it and that got less and less uncomfortable. After a month without the cast I started to cycle on my road bike again. The first time back on the bike was pretty scary. I couldn’t clip in to my pedal on the side of my bad ankle because getting out hurt way too much. I adjusted my pedals for the next ride and avoided city riding to avoid unclipping.
I’ve now been cast free for a month and a half and although walking is still uncomfortable, cycling feels better and better. 🙂 Last weekend I even cycled with the Adventure Syndicate team to support them to break the North Coast 500 mile record, here in Scotland. Cycling with them was great fun and they smashed the record! 🙂 Well done girls!!!
My physio and I are now working on getting the flexibility on my ankle back, and then we will start strengthening it (it’s still pretty wobbly)! 🙂
What does that mean in terms of the trip? As most of you will know, I was meant to leave at the end of April, which has obviously not happened. As you guys can probably appreciate I am pretty bummed about that. I am now figuring out whether I can still leave this summer. This will depend on my ankle healing up nicely, weather (I’ll need to cycle in colder temperatures, less day light etc), changes to my route, and becoming a confident adventure seeking cyclist again. Right now a lot of things feel very uncertain. Actually, the whole trip seems very surreal, and sometimes I question how the hell I ever thought I could cycle around the world. I think the uncertainty scares me. But I know the fear will become less and less the more I can trust my body and bike again, and the more I plan and prepare.
Thanks for all your support and lovely messages over the last few months. They all meant a lot to me! 🙂