Keeping fit makes you ill: on crutches, hands, knees and bumpsadaisy

A little update: in my perennial battle against the flab, I have taken to running very fast on the spot — a bit like the red queen with similar health results — mostly in the kitchen while the kettle boils.

Warm-ups have been cursory; a bit of toe-touching, the odd yoga stretch. So I was more shocked than surprised when making a cuppa on Wednesday, I sprung into action like a mountain goat only to fell something go “pop” in my left leg. Something snapped in my calf muscle halfway up and down I went.

First thing I did was to feel for a knot of muscle as I’d imagined the tendon to have broken from the bone and the muscle coiled back on itself like over-extended elastic suddenly released. How the frick, I wondered, was that going to be repaired? An operation? The inevitable bout of MRSA to follow?

Luckily, a quick feel confirmed both legs were symmetrical.

No pain except when I stood and then … OW, OW, OW, OW, OW!!! Like a bullet, sudden and sharp agony.

Acting on the doc’s instructions, I went to the minor injuries clinic in A&E. The wheelchair was most enjoyable — part palanquin and part pram, I quite enjoyed being wheeled around. When I come to power …

I am now on crutches. But able to move on hands and knees like something out of 50 Shades of Grey. Or a single segment of Human Centipede.

I had to crawl to the loo in the middle of the night because of my torn muscle. Crawling back in the dark, I realised I looked like Sadako in Ringu (or like my Grudge video above) and terrified myself to the point where I cried. A bit. Not too much, coz I’m tough. Even if I scare myself. Grrrr!

With any luck, the six week estimated healing time may not be needed, as long as I stick to the RICE regimen: rest, ice,compression and exercise plus painkillers four times daily. Today I could put weight on it — just about. It’s really only the point while walking where I shift from heel to ball of the foot where it’s agonising.

So Tuesday’s Farrago Poetry Slam UK Championship will see me onstage and reading from my poetry collection, Reaching for my Gnu, whether on crutches, or hands and knees. I’m there.

Madam Miaow says … visit Anna Chen’s website here:


Anna’s food blog here:

4 thoughts on “Keeping fit makes you ill: on crutches, hands, knees and bumpsadaisy”

  1. I started doing fast running on the spot some months ago after watching a Michael Mosely documentary. Apparently, three bursts of 20 seconds, three times a week is all you need to train your body to burn available resources, and improve your blood sugar levels.

    I'm also doing alternate day fasting, only 650 calories on the fasting day, which is supposed to slow down the ageing process. I've also lost more than stone since August!

    A long time ago, I was showing off at work doing the splits, ad tore a hamstring – unfortunately it was just before I was also due to do my Lau Gar Kung Fu Black Sash exam, which had to be postponed. very, very painful, and took a while to repair.

  2. Hi Boffy, that's the principle that had influenced my exercise, except that I was doing 2 minutes, rest for 90 seconds, then another 2 minutes.

    I neglected to warm-up properly following a period of being stuck at the computer so my muscles must have grown stiff. My own stupid fault.

    Hope you eventually passed your exam.

  3. I used to do 2 minute sessions when I was training, doing 2 minutes punching and kicking flat out on a bag in a circuit with a couple of other people, interspered with 2 minutes of skipping.

    I do the three 20 seconds, with with a 40 second rest between. But, every other day, I also do about 30 minuts of various press ups, combined with squat thrusts, and jumping knees into chest, and on the other day about 30 minutes of varioous forms of sit ups, stomach crunches and curls. I also walk for an hour in a morning and 30 minutes in the evening.

    I did the blach sash exam 6 months later, and passed. I've trained up to a 4th degree black sash since, including use of Chinese swords, stick fighting and so on.

    Not bad for someone my age, really, and I can still easily do the splits!

  4. Sounds impressive, Boffy. Glad you passed your sash exam.

    Skipping — that's something I would definitely do if I had the room. My late sifu swore by it as one of the best basic exercises you could do.

    Today I can put more weight on my leg so I doubt it's going to take the full six weeks to heal, although I'm not sure when I should be thinking of running again.

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