Broken leg, broken spirit – using Mongolia to come back to life

Broken leg, broken spirit – using Mongolia to come back to life

While I was hiking in Greenland a year ago, I broke both leg bones above the ankle of my left leg. Even though I am comfortable with being outside in all possible weather scenarios and have countless kilometers in my feet, occasionally, the proverbial excrement just has to smash into the fan – and the accidents just have to happen. At first, I was extremely offended by my own miscalculated step and it took a lot of time to understand that things just happen and even more to become accepting of this incident.

The fracture was severe. At the moment when it all was happening I did not even see it like that, due to the aftershock and my instinct to relentlessly focus upon the upcoming/ongoing recovery, but now, when people around me look at the picture of the MRI scan of the fracture, they start to squirm in a non-comical way, display a massive discomfort and in some cases even get scared to take a look at the picture properly. The fracture demanded two surgeries, a lot of metal parts have been installed in the leg, and a long rehabilitation which needed supreme dedication and patience had begun. I started with prescribed exercises literally 24h after the last surgery, desperate to get back to life – I am one of those people who, when a bad day happens, goes for a long walk, and who knew that all this immense disappointment cannot just be “walked off”, due to the nature of this injury. This destroyed me.

The leg was like a wilted flower. Had no control over the muscles, which were deteriorating progressively in front of my eyes. In order to move the leg I had to use my both hands. The pain was excruciating – managing the pain was crazy demanding, especially during the night. I was literally entirely dependent on others around me – this probably hurt me the most, and everything around me suffered even though I tried to keep up the good spirit.

Joint and synergic effort of many of us (surgeons, orthopedic doctors, physiotherapists, my support group and my broken self) brought me to the best possible result. The fracture fused properly, the muscles flourished after a disastrous atrophy, and it felt so good to see the results.


In order to push myself harder and to gallop full speed out of the “comfort” zone 3 months after the fracture I booked a flight to Ulaanbaatar. The idea was to have an extra incentive to train harder and with more vigor. Consistency is the key. Being entirely result oriented I knew that everything I invest in recovery will pay out very soon.

While I was training, I was feeding off my research about Mongolia. As the time passed by and the day of boarding to the plane to UB, the leg was becoming better and better and my understanding of where I am heading at became more and more in-depth. I was falling in love more and more in this destination, and I was already crazy about it to begin with.

I spent in Mongolia 9 full days. I utilized every damn second of being there to the maximum. I hiked, trekked, explored the enormous Ulaanbaatar, countryside and villages in the wilderness, walked across the steppes and forests. Immersed myself in the culture, had very vivid communication with the locals, tried the local food,… and essentially enjoyed every moment.

And I went to Gobi. Gobi was the number one reason why I went to Mongolia.

And the leg?

The leg returned the favor by being extremely resilient and supportive of my dreams and wishes. It showed clearly that it is back in full force.

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