I’ve always been stubborn. If you asked any member of my family what my biggest flaw is that’s what they’d tell you. But it’s served me very well over the last few years.
I broke my leg in August 2011. The following 6 and a half years were a long, difficult process of trying to fix my leg and not getting results.
During this time I was unable to be very active and I lost the ability to exercise. I was in pain every day and I became someone else. Someone who, if I’m honest, I didn’t like very much.
After many surgeries that didn’t work in June 2017 I elected to be put forward for amputation of my lower right leg. And on 18th December 2017 the surgery took place. My life changed again, and it got so much better.
My return to being active started with literally learning to walk again in physiotherapy. An important part of recover as an amputee is keeping your core strong. So as soon as I got my prosthetic, and could comfortably use it, my physiotherapist had me doing planks, burpees and lunges. And it was so hard. My stubbornness won through and I did it, and it did get easier as I slowly got slightly fitter.
I ended up getting asked to take part in a triathlon with a team that was put together by the limb centre I go to, and I agreed to do so.
I was so nervous about doing it, and actually a little afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it. I didn’t want to let anyone down.
So, less than 9 months after my amputation I did a triathlon. It was so tough. The swimming was harder than I thought it would be, they had to velcro my fake foot to the pedal because it kept slipping off and I didn’t run for a single second and walked the entire length of the last leg. But I did it. I crossed the finish line and got my medal. It was amazing, and scary and just about everything in between.
This is something I never could have done before the amputation. Getting active again after my surgery was hard work, but so worth it. All you can do is try your best and you will get somewhere – even if it takes longer than you think.
Sometimes a little stubbornness goes a long way.
If you’ve been inspired by Vicky’s story, find out how to get started with a triathlon.