Monday, December 23, 2013

Three Weeks in a Boot

I fractured my 5th metatarsal and sprained my right ankle three weeks ago with a clumsy misstep in the middle of the night down the stairs.  Today was my three week checkup.
According to my orthopod, this is an improvement from the initial x-ray.  As I'm not having much pain, he's pleased with my progress.  In another three weeks, I will have another check-up and presumably at that time if all is well, I'll be out of the boot.

My mental state through all of this has definitely improved.  I'm swimming, riding a stationary bicycle and doing spin classes, weight training, and even doing a little yoga.  My goal is to maintain my fitness and improve my eating a bit.  Because I thrive on structure, I've asked my coach to continue to give me a "schedule" of activities, like when I'm training.  It's just that the focus of my training is a little different.

At poolside, about to do my first post-injury swim workout.

A week after my injury, I headed back to the pool.  I can't kick, but I can swim with a pull buoy supporting my legs.  I've noticed that a full swim workout with a pull buoy tires me out slightly more than a standard swim workout.  Getting in the water, I have the chance to flex and extend my ankle a bit more, which is good because with the boot I feel like I have less range of motion.  The pull buoy forces me to rotate my torso, something my coach Gerardo has been telling me I need to do more when I swim but I really haven't truly understood until now.  Last week I swam six times.

I can ride a stationary bike, and can even do a spin class.  I just can't stand on the bike, which is fine by me, because I think that standing on a bike in spin class is a little silly because I don't spend much time standing on my bike when I'm riding on roads.
Sometimes selfies are fun.  That's me getting on a stationary bike a little over a week after my foot fracture.  I felt determined to get in a good workout, no matter what my limitations were.  A lot of people who get on the bikes at the gym aren't necessarily pedaling very fast, and often they seem more interested in looking at their smartphone than working out.  I'm not sure if I got more strange looks because I was the only one on a stationary bike pedaling fast, or because of the boot.  Regardless, after that workout, I felt the best I had since my fall.

I'm doing more strength training, some with my personal trainer Corey, some on my own.  Corey comes up with some good workouts, like step-ups on a bench, hopping in sand on one foot, and the usual upper-body challenges like push-ups, pull-ups, and tough core work.  And, when I'm not training with him, I'm doing some strength workout on my own a couple more days a week.  I have decided to challenge myself with exercises like one-legged burpees, which is a tough cardiovascular and strength workout, and as you might imagine yielded a few odd looks.

I've used my injury to my advantage in counseling patients, and perhaps it helps me empathize.  When a patient tells me he or she cannot exercise due to back pain, knee pain, or whatever issue they have, I can point out my own injury (because it's hard to hide a large orthopedic boot) and talk about how I am finding ways to exercise in spite of it, and encourage them to try to do the same.

I miss running more than you can imagine.  But I'm not focusing on that.  Fractures heal.  This is known.  I will be back to running in a few more weeks, maybe 3 weeks, maybe a little longer.  And in the meantime, I'm going to stay fit, and positive.

1 comment:

Madalyn Oconnell said...

That's tough. Sometimes it’s the smallest things that can blindside you, no matter how careful you were during trainings and competitions. It’s good that you could still continue to train afterwards, though at a more restricted pace. Anyway, I hope that you’ve fully recovered from that sprain soon after. Take care!

Madalyn Oconnell @ SHC Denver