It turns out that there is an upside to being injured. You have the opportunity to discover a whole new world of cross training. In the summer, I opted for cycling, but now that it’s dark in the evenings, the appeal of my bike has faded slightly. So I’ve turned my attention to the swimming pool, where I have fallen in love with aqua jogging.
I’ll be honest. To begin with, it bored me rigid. It was the salad of the exercise world. I’d run and run and run and run and run only to look at the clock to find that a mere 30 seconds had gone by. But after a while, it started to grow on me, so I ditched the Heath-Robinson-style, use-whatever-floats-are-lying-around-the-local-pool approach and I bought a floatation belt. The cheapest, nastiest belt that I could lay my hands on.
And it has turned out to be the best buy ever. It’s comfortable, it keeps my head above water beautifully and it has opened up a whole new world.
With the belt clipped tightly around my waist, I can find a rhythm which allows me to stop thinking about time passing. I can watch families, wiry pensioners, swimming coaches and serious swimmers. But best of all, I can go hard, clinging to what little of my fitness remains, safe in the knowledge that the water will keep my foot cocooned and protected from any further damage.