Francois D’haene: “You just have to learn to be patient”

” How are you ?
How are you. There are several stages in the wounding process. I am there, where progress is made every day. I am no longer immobile, but rather like in a race where I rise to the runners in front of me. I’m back in a bit. In the morning, it takes some time to unlock. We are only 55 days “post-op” so we still have to be patient, cover ourselves well and do well. The idea is not to rush, but to build something over the long term.

Do you walk a bit?
Last week I had the right to put my entire leg – and the weight that comes with it – on the ground, which is allowing me to slowly start walking without crutches again. I am also walking on the treadmill and have resumed cycling this week as I regain speed and mobility. I can sweat again and regain feeling.

Do you know what caused your injury (malleoli fracture)?
It is always a bit difficult to know where such an injury comes from. The day it happened I was running in the grass and there must have been a hole or a rock and I was a bit cold and tired. Then I was paragliding, going at a speed of 25-30 km/h, and there it is. It’s a number of things. When you don’t really know why, and that was the hardest part of the first month, at some point you have to stop looking and rebuild yourself. I am 37 years old and for the first time I really hurt myself and I come to CERS here in Capbreton (Landes). Some of them are much younger than me and they are already on their 4th or 5th injury. That’s why you need to know how to relativize.

What type of rehab do you do in Capbreton?
It’s really everything, the days are really busy and therefore very full, that’s what’s good. You really focus on yourself, you don’t have much time to gamble. We often start with a short warm-up before cardio and then aerobics. There is also icing to prevent leg swelling, we also do swimming pool, physiotherapy, walking on weightless treadmills… We do a lot of slots until after 6.30pm. There are so many registers, possibilities and dynamics that you won’t have time to get bored. Here at home, you can do in a day what you would do in a week. This gives a big boost to rehabilitation.

How morally affected was a competitor like you?
This is quite frustrating. This first metatarsal injury, I did not see coming. In July I had a little bone knock, but that didn’t stop me from doing the Hardrock 100 (he finished 2nd) and L’échappée Belle. It was very difficult, especially since I didn’t see it coming. Then driving the Diagonale des Fous was close to my heart, which was a challenge. But I was well covered and dedicated to the event I organized in September, Ultra Spirit, which allowed me to think about something else. I managed to take it as long as I could…before that major injury and surgery. There was a fairly slow period before Christmas.

“My body is used to taking long breaks, but this exceeded the time limit”

How did you experience it?
Bad. There was no fresh air in my body. I’m used to being outside and alone even when I’m not in training mode. It’s kind of my own meditation. These walks where you sunbathe a little, climb up, watch the wind, play with the routes, you take it on yourself. Instead, I was stranded… My body is used to taking long breaks, but this was a waste of time. I didn’t sleep well, I woke up at 3am…it was a long day. After happiness, there were holidays. So, for fifteen days there was such a lack of breathing from the outside air, and frankly, it was very difficult.

When do you think you can apply?
It is quite difficult to say. I really don’t want to force it since I haven’t had an injury in ten years. Anyway, I rarely race before the end of April, so I have time. It doesn’t matter if I only have to come back at the end of April and cycle for another month. Also, if I don’t have any complications after that and that allows me to continue racing for the next few years. So I don’t want to set deadlines that might disappoint me. But I hope to have fun in the mountains this summer.

Have you drawn a line to 2023 for ultra trail racing?
Nope. It is entirely possible for me to have races in 2023. But I have no desire to register and block dates just yet. We’ll see how fit I am in the spring. Cycling and skiing will keep me fit. You shouldn’t be too early so as not to create compensation or regrets. So I don’t want to fix aprons or races. My priority is to heal for the long haul. There is a good dynamic, you just need to learn to be patient. »

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