After I hobbled home from this summer's masters nationals in Spokane, WA with my silver and bronze medals, I went to see the doctor about my jump ankle tendonitis. Once he heard my description of how much pain I was in each time I walked on it (not to mention, jumped, hurdled and ran on it) and the strategies I was employing to cope with it over the course of much of 2018, the doc booted me up for a month. Very unfortunately, this was 10 days before I planned to go to the world championships in Spain. This would not be my year.
When people look down and comment on the boot, I tell them, "It's a good problem." And it is. The fact that at age 58, I have an injury due to flying 5 feet high in the air, backwards, mind you, is a good problem. The fact I didn't get off it earlier, and listen to my body, not so much. Microtears to the peroneal tendon are a complicated injury to heal. I'm doing my best by following directions.
Meanwhile, as my normal track workouts and other gravity-requiring training is on hold, I'm trying to stay fit. Core work and LOTS of swimming is the recipe for the next month or so.
I'm impatient, I hate being off this ankle. Luckily, this hiatus is not dampening my excitement about competing, so I'm chomping at the bit to get back on the track. Whoa, lady, hold up. Focused on the 2019 indoor season, I'm telling myself ... patience, patience, and just keep swimming.
Julia Curran-Villarreal is a three-time USA W55 national masters high jump champion. After a 35-year break from her favorite high school sport of track & field, Julia returned to competition in 2013 at the age of 53. Follow her journey on @juliajumping on Instagram and @juliacurran on Twitter.