Mon, Nov. 18

Be Fit Fit: Raising From Ashes

Magdalena Romanska

Magdalena Romanska

I hit it. The bottom. It was the Halloween night and I suffered from a freak deep cut accident to my right foot. Bleeding profusely and leaving the trace of my journey the whole way to the ER, I rendered myself to the good souls at the Sedona Emergency Room with the appeal to, pretty please, somehow stop the blood let. They assured me that it is the Halloween night, therefore, they are all fake doctors in there and have no idea…

Several X-rays and compression attempts later, I was being discharged with a glaring gap in the limb I sort of need for running. It looked like a bleeding volcano, so it was impossible to put the stitches on, as the injury took a substantial piece of my meat off. Just lovely.

The first question I had to the good docs was, of course, sports-related. Like, can I swim in a week from now? Or run tomorrow, if I am OK with the pain? Ah, you know, docs, I have high tolerance for pain and my toenails are anyway black from all the running I do, so… can I run???

They looked at me. They looked at each other. Then, I learned that it takes different time for everyone to heal such a deep and wide and gaping wound and I shall just “wait and see”.

So, this is what I did: Started the two-month long period of waiting and seeing: mostly walking/hiking, no swimming, no biking, no running with the exception of two times six miles in the later stages of healing.

In the process, I compensated and my knee and hip gave up on me. And I got infection, twice. Antibiotics and all.

About a month ago and five doctors later, my orthopedic surgeon was, finally, able to sew me back into one functional piece again.

The process of raising from a ruin was hard and very discouraging for a runner, not to mention simply painful with each step (and even at rest), time- and cost-consuming.

I decided to put my mind on the activities I could do, rather than dwell on the ones I could not (I was still dwelling excessively, but putting my mind to the positive made me take the first steps to recovery).

The Things I Could Do: such as walking and endless weight lifting had to make my days as of that Halloween night and, pretty much, until now. About six weeks ago, I started freaking out that I would now resemble a weight lifting champ. No cardio and all weights? Welcome to even more bulky muscles!

Each visit to my ortho surgeon, he could expect me asking The Question: “So, what else can I do now? Can I swim already?!?!”…

As the subsequent doc’s approvals released me, to an extent, back into the wild world of fitness, I enjoyed taking one step at a time. Starting small in order not to reinjure anything and not to re-open the wound.

When I attempted my first short run (which happened to work uphill, but not downhill, due to the knee issue), I did not even set my GPS watch. The pace was embarrassingly non-existing. My breathing was out of whack, and, most likely, I looked like I was having an apoplexy right there right then (thanks God, there were no witnesses to my misery out on that remote trail, though). The second run which I completed so far went slightly better, if not the knee.

So, for now, I just start setting the new goals for the year. Apart from the two long-distance races I am already signed for, I am soon leaving for a wonderful trek to Patagonia. My primary goal at the latest doc’s visit was to make sure the foot can handle it.

I do not care about the scar and the wound’s looks, as it changes its color daily from red to purple to freaking bluish and so on, which is, apparently, normal and might last another year or so. I was also told we shall see if I regain the feeling in the top of my foot, as, most likely, the nerve was severed.

What I do care about is my foot’s functionality. And it seems that with my cautious, boring, frustrating approach, I am finally on the mend. Now, I watch that knee, so believe me, it will be one step at a time to get back to what I consider my usual fitness level. It shall just get better!

Magdalena is the owner of the Be Fit Fit Personal Training Studio ( Visit her “Be Fit Fit” blog at

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