A case of the MUSTN’TS

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
Anything can happen, child,
-Shel Silverstein

One of my all-time favorite Shel Silverstein poems inspired today’s post. Working on my fourth week of sprained ankledom has, at times, left me a bit discouraged about my workout routines. At certain points, I have felt like Katherine Heigle from Knocked Up, lamenting the “giant list of things I CAN’T do.”


So, to indulge my wallowing, here is my top five list of things you cannot do with a sprained ankle. Note: This is only applicable to my experience. Obviously, every sprain is different and people have varied experiences with these injuries. This is MINE.


1. Jumping rope. An excellent variation for cardio and a great way to get the interval effect going, but tough on the ankle. Painful and high risk of re-injury.

2. Sprints. Prior to injury, this was quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to burn tons o’ calories in a shorter period of time (leaving more of my workout to dedicate to weight lifting). BTW, at this point, I’m still counting out all running. Too risky.

3. Lunges (or full squats). My range of motion has been seriously limited, so bearing weight in this wide array is out of the question at the moment. No side lunges either. These would probably be the worst (I miss my Bosu Ball!)

4. Golfing. This is clearly how I injured it in the first place, and the twisting motion that comes with my mighty swing is just too much pressure for the little guy right now. Hoping to be able to get back on the course before the Chicago season is over…

5. Dancing, Zumba, Cardio Kick Boxing. Any classes I might have taken previously are pretty much out of the question (aside from perhaps a modified yoga, if I was very careful). This bums me out the most because these are such fun, efficient calorie burners.


Whew. It’s nice to get that out of my system. In the spirit of the post, I’ll end on a positive note. This whole experience has been very good for me in a few different ways. I’ll list them below for my benefit (and maybe yours?)

1. I have been able to REALLY focus on my arm strength. I’m pretty sure my gun sculpting routine is down to a science at this point, so even after I resume normal workout schedules, I know I won’t let this go.

2. Rest days have been a must, with my limited ankle capabilities. Previously, I had been very unrelenting in my workouts per week and my body was getting a bit overworked. I’m convinced, in fact, that the over-tired state of my body was a contributing factor in the injury itself.

3. Working out has become a privilege instead of an obligation. Every time I am able to do anything to work out, I am so appreciative. Going to the gym doesn’t ever feel like a chore, and every day, I am more grateful for the increased effort I am able to put forth.

So to conclude, a poem of my own.

I sprained my ankle.
Pain and suffering ensued.
The bright side triumphs.

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