Five months ago today I slipped in the rain and twisted my right ankle quite badly outside Yotsuya Station in central Tokyo, one hour in to an 80 minute walk to a cherry blossom viewing party. Being a True Brit I got up and carried on for the final 20 minutes to meet former colleagues at the British Embassy. With hindsight that was not sensible as the ankle became very painful and swollen as the party progressed.

The next day I went to the local sports injuries clinic to be told I’d fractured my fibula and that it would probably need surgery, so was referred to the local JR General Hospital. A day of X-rays and tests revealed that to be the case and I was admitted the same week.


An existing medical condition meant that I had to spend five days in hospital before the op which I was told could be performed under epidural and that I could listen to my iPod during the procedure. Of course I chose Eric Clapton to see me through. When the op was under way, and I was in to his Greatest Hits, Dr Iwashina asked me if I wanted some sedation. I’m not sure how serious they thought I was when I joined in with the refrain to ‘Cocaine’!!

A few months of rehabilitation and periods in a wheel chair progressing to crutches followed, and finally in the middle of June I was allowed to walk unaided again. I must admit though to choosing to use a walking stick initially for support and stability, to get a priority seat on crowded trains, but mainly because it enhanced the elegant Englishman image.

This week I celebrated further progress as Dr I told me I could start jogging again. “OK, I’ll start gently” I reassured her. “No, you can do hard” she replied.
So this morning my first trial around Yoyogi Park. I confess to walking the slopes both up and down, and to not tagging on to the back of the packs of Club runners out enjoying the unseasonal slightly cooler weather. When a pair of speed-walkers shimmied past me I realised that I have a lot of training in front of me before I’m back up to full fitness again. I’ll also have to work off those extra kilos gained eating too much English food during my summer holidays back home.


But the euphoria of actually being out again had me wondering whether I could actually do another marathon before I hit 60? Watch this space!

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