I’m a pretty impatient person, and I definitely don’t appreciate my routine being interrupted (unless it’s for chocolate or wine!), so when I sprained my ankle in Wisconsin, the physical pain was secondary to my frustration at what I figured would be a good chunk of time spent immobile.
I sprained my (other) ankle pretty horribly in February 2009 after rolling it on a run with Penny. Since I was a couple of miles from home and didn’t have a phone, I attempted to hoof it back, only to fall again, re-rolling it. By the time I made it home, my ankle was about the size of a softball and bright purple. My golf course injury was not NEARLY this tragic. The day following my fall, I was already plotting ways to get myself moving. I didn’t want to be TOO cavalier, however, so I restrained myself last week and held myself to the following sanctioned activities:
1. Arm strength training. Although I love my squats, the ankle wasn’t quite ready for the range of motion, so I stuck to arms, shoulder and back. Dan brought home a stability ball and a set of fifteen pounders so I could do everything at home (aka less walking and strain on my ankle). I did modified push-ups, crunches, shoulder press, bicep curls, tricep rows, flyes, the works!
2. Rowing. I learned pretty quickly that the majority of the injury was agitated by side to side and pivoting motions, rather than just pressure on the foot. With that in mind, I strapped my toes in and rowed away!
3. Arc training. Because of the way the track holds my ankle stable, this exercise was actually really great for my knee that has been suffering a bit from my modified walk (the body compensates for injuries in the strangest ways even if you don’t realize you’re doing it!) – it felt wonderful to actually go to the gym (finally!) and get some blood moving. I think the increased circulation and motion actually helped loosen my ankle up and start to build its strength.
Taking a “rest week” has led to some pretty interesting conclusions, especially since it was forced upon me. I realized that the injury was definitely a signal from my body, asking me to slow down a bit, as I was in the midst of a pretty intense training schedule combined with a LOT of golf when it happened. (Similar to my ankle sprain two years ago, it happened when my body was at it’s most exhausted. Oops!) Taking some time to recharge a bit hasn’t been SO bad and it definitely renewed my motivation to get back in the ring and kick some butt. Now I’m just ready to be COMPLETELY healed so I can do some fun extras, like kickboxing and plyometrics. It’s nice to be reminded that working out is a privilege and not an obligation I have to fulfill. While I enjoy working out immensely, sometimes I forget exactly WHY I’m doing it, and that is not good. I just welcomed myself to the silver lining of this situation.