When I began the journey of recovery from a skiing accident, I identified four elements for successful rehabilitation from a broken tibial plateau:
There are two other factors which I now know impact on tibial plateau recovery. This probably applies to rehabilitation from any form of surgery – an ability to tolerate pain and an ability to endure solitude and boredom.
There is nothing more solitary than a gymnasium.
During today’s Saturday exercise session, I really started to hit the boredom button. I had a beautiful morning swim at Balmoral, albeit with a snorkel. The water was warm, I went in the race for the first time at my assigned handicap rather than hanging at the back and managed to finish reasonably well, although I’m terribly unfit.
The gym in the afternoon was another matter – it became an endurance and determination test. I started with the now familiar warm up on the bike: ………..5 mins on resistance 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 – about 27 minutes. Sprinted to 100rpm, five times on levels 10, 11, 12 and 13.
I found this a chore. Adding to my woes, the stationary bike I was using was positioned in front of a dominating, flatscreen TV on the wall of the gym. Unfortunately, it was playing the documentary of the accident that occurred on Mount Hood in Oregon in 2002 and the helicopter crash which occurred during the rescue. Three climbers died that day on Mt. Hood, with many others seriously injured. The toll could have been even higher. While trying to perform a high-altitude rescue, a US Air Force Pavehawk helicopter clipped the mountain and tumbled end over end, 1,000 feet down the slope, ejecting its crew and sending parts flying.
I climbed Mount Hood several years ago. A wonderful, enjoyable event, it was nevertheless, sobering as we climbed the wall of the caldera and of course the guide, Ben Randall, recited those inevitable words, “We mustn’t fall here.” How many times have I heard that? While we climbed, Ben talked about how he had introduced his mother to mountain climbing in her late 40s/early 50s. As we summited, just after dawn, the Colorado River, winding through silent forest in the valley below, was burnished by the first rays of the morning sun. Ben revealed with some excitement, that at that very moment his mother, Carolyn Randall was climbing with three friends on the Matterhorn in Switzerland. The climb, which was unguided, would coincide with her 57th birthday. When we returned to the Lodge at Mount Hood, he was greeted with the news that his mother had been killed in a fall along with her three companions. I will never forget the look on his face or the unspoken feeling that he held himself responsible as he had introduced his mother to climbing.
I couldn’t wait to get off the bike as I couldn’t endure the remainder of the documentary. The rest of the session was pretty standard although I did have one major breakthrough.
Leg Extension…………….20 x 30kg x 4 both legs
Adductor…………………10 x 40kgs …………10 x 45kgs x 2
Leg Curl …………………..10 x 35kg x 2 both legs
Jacobs ladder ……………….5mins @ 90 spm
Plyo Soft Box …………………20 two footed jumps
Leg Press………………….10 reps x 60kg x 2 both legs warm up
Leg Press………………….10 reps x 70kg x 2
Leg Press………………….10 reps x 80kg x 2
Leg Press………………….10 reps x 90kg
Jumping up onto the PLYO box was new for me as it is quite high. Also deciding to leg press 90 kg on the spur of the moment was something of an achievement. I hadn’t planned to do this but felt reasonably good at the end of the session and thought I would give it a try. One of the worst things about gym rehabilitation is the loneliness of it – it’s a solitary undertaking with no one to talk to, going through an endless routine of repetitive exercise. I wish I had a few people to do this with.