Well, That Was A Long Break

3 minute read

I can walk!!!

Well… I kinda lost track of things for a while there, didn’t I? Let me catch you up.

How’s The Foot?

First, the big news. I can walk again! In fact, I’ve been walking for a few weeks now. It’s been challenging. There’s still some pain, and I can’t walk nearly as far or as fast as I used to. Based on my Strava stats, I know that my old walking speed was somewhere around 6 Km/h. Now it’s more like 4.5 Km/h. Before the accident, I could comfortably walk a marathon. In fact, I once accidentally walked a marathon during the COVID pandemic. Right now, I’m struggling to walk much more than a kilometer.

So adjusting has been a little tough, but I do think things get better from here. There’s a lot of physio involved in getting better. My leg was extremely weak after 12 weeks with no load. Exercises as simple as standing on my toes, or standing on one foot can been remarkably challenging, and sometimes excruciatingly painful.

But it’s worth mentioning that things are absolutely getting better. My limp is gradually disappearing, the pain I feel when walking is subsiding, and little bit by little bit my leg is getting stronger. My goal is to be able to climb and sail again. So I’m sticking rigidly to my physio routine, pushing myself where I can, and generally doing all that I can do to get better.

But if I could give you one piece of advice, it would be this—don’t break your fucking calcaneus!!!

How’s The Engine?

There hasn’t really been much motion here at all. Gradually my academic work has taken over my time for this project, and now my 9 to 5 is pretty much comprised of working on a research project. My evenings are focused on another open source project that I have recently become involved in (top secret for now, but stay tuned).

I’m a little disappointed by this, and I fully intend to finish what I started with this engine. The timeline has just been stretched a bit. I had planned to return to the workforce in November, and that remains the case. However, contrary to all my plans when I started travelling, I am increasingly considering a return to academia. I’ll admit that I was rather disillusioned when I left, but since returning I have realised just how much support is available to me from the colleagues I have worked with over the years. That realisation has struck me quite hard over the past couple of months.

So What’s The Plan?

My disillusionment with academia partially came from the fact that I have always worked on other people’s projects. I didn’t seize control of my career in the way I should have. I ought to have taken more time to plan my own projects, seek my own funding, and make my own discoveries. However, post-PhD I was far too tired and burned out to do much more than robotically write code and dream of the sea. I plan to rectify this.

My plan is to project 5 years into the future and decide where I would like to be. There are some very obvious things I would like to have achieved in that timeframe. The biggest is that I want to buy a house and finally put down roots. If I stay in academia, I would like to have obtained a position as an assistant professor in an Irish university.

I do believe that we only have one life, and it is our duty to use it to leave the world a better place than when we found it. I want to have clear roads by which I will make a positive difference in the world. This includes:

  • Delivering research projects that make the world a better place
  • Publishing papers in the public domain so that people can learn from my research
  • Creating educational material so that people can learn about my field (and other fun stuff that I know about)
  • Guiding and helping other people in their academic careers

And so these will be my professional goals for the next five years. This blog will hopefully form a cornerstone of this ambition. Here I want to write about my research, and my pet projects, including Rust-based 2.5D game engines ;).

So this blog will, at some point in the future, undergo a redesign. My goal is to write regularly here about things I learn, and projects that I am pursuing. And hopefully these writings will ultimately prove useful to people in a way that makes this world a slightly better place.