Being injured is never fun. It is particularly un-fun when you are on a path of health and fitness and said injury forces you to suddenly put aside all your plans. One of the hardest things for an active person to do is hold off on their routine and rest up while an injury heals. I’m far from a gym fanatic, but even I am struggling with a serious case of cabin fever thanks to my ankle injuries.
Just joining my ankle soap opera? A quick rundown of the two separate injuries:
- June 19th: During one of the obstacles during my Warrior Dash, I land strangely on my right ankle and end up with a minor sprain. Painful, but not so bad that I couldn’t finish the race. The ankle was sore and stiff for days afterward, but still mobile and relatively painless. I choose to rest it diligently for the week and resume my normal fitness routine the next week.
- June 25th: I’m playing in the yard with my nephew. Running. My ankle is feeling awesome. I’m feeling good about my recovery. Then, I hit a hole in the yard and my left ankle buckles under me and down I go. There were pops and all kinds of other nasty sounds you don’t want your ankle making. My sister and brother-in-law help me off the ground and it immediately starts swelling and bruising. The pain was intense.
So here we are. My right ankle is healing nicely. It is still stiff, but almost entirely pain-free. My left? Whole other story. I definitely did a number on it and will be resting for quite a while before that guy recovers. Last time I sprained my ankle that badly was during volleyball try-outs my Freshman year of high school. I was out of commission for almost four weeks (but I still made the team). So here’s hoping it won’t be that long.
Enough with all of this Negative Nancy stuff about injuries, believe it or not, there are some health upsides to being injured! If I didn’t focus on these things, my busted ankles would really get me down:
- I get to clean up my eating. Not stepping foot in the gym means that my food needs to stay seriously on track. Usually, I like to think of it all balancing out. I ran a few miles, so I can have that extra cupcake (or two). But without much cardio, I need to make sure my food is clean. Which is actually a really great way to recharge my clean-eating batteries and discover new, real food.
- I can focus on my guns. Once my ankle starts to heal enough to be more mobile (right now I’m hobblin’), I can go to the gym and do some very focused workouts on my arms, chest and back. I have always had pretty strong legs, but as we learned from the Warrior Dash, I need to build my upper body strength. Now is a great time to give my guns my undivided attention!
- I’m going back to
basicsmy roots. Running has gotten me down a bit lately, but with an injury, I have the opportunity (and necessity) to get back to the basics—walking. I love walking and don’t do it nearly enough. But with an injury, walking will be a great way for me to ease my ankles back into tip-top shape and I get to do an activity I love!
- The pressure is off. I’ve been beating myself up a lot when I skip workouts recently. And if I didn’t work out hard enough or long enough, I’d beat myself up for that, too! But now, every workout will be a positive step in the right direction (just as it was before, but now it’ll feel more important).
- I appreciate the gift of movement more. My injuries are minor. 100% recoverable. But a lot of people don’t have that luxury. Being injured has given me some serious perspective about how lucky I am to have a healthy, fully capable body.