As an athlete, 2014 was one of my worst years. Mostly because of this:
You see, one thing I didn’t mention in last month’s Workout I Did post, where I talked about hiking The Lord of The Rings’ Mount Doom in New Zealand, was that I rolled my ankle during the hike. Because we were six miles from our campsite (and also because we were in freaking New Zealand, man!), I minimized the pain in my head and soldiered on. Though I made it back to the campsite safely (albeit a little bit slowly), the next morning I faced the consequences: a big, purple cankle.
Sprained ankles happen all the time, I reasoned, so I iced, Aleve-d, elevated and moved on with my life, including training for and racing a half marathon. Though the cankle disappeared, the discomfort did not — six months later, an MRI revealed I didn’t just sprain my ankle: I fractured it in two places and tore a ligament.
Recovering from ankle reconstruction surgery has been … how do I say this? Shitty. I am not made for sitting, and when you’ve got a cast on your foot, you do a lot of sitting. And sitting is shitty.
But it doesn’t have to be. After a few days of self-pity, I decided to make lemonade out of lemons. With a little bit of research, some advice from a physical therapist and a whole lot of couch time, I was able to maintain some semblance of fitness while sitting.
Because my body’s resources needed to be focused on healing my ankle, I didn’t start throwing around weights like a bodybuilder. In fact, I didn’t even use weights. Most of my exercises utilized a resistance band or a ball (I used a small inflatable beach ball). The focus here was on merely moving, not building any sort of fitness or strength. With just 20 minutes, this workout made me feel somewhat like a Fit Bottomed Girl again.
Because I had strict orders to not bear weight or move my legs too much, this workout focuses on arms and abs. The key here is to maintain excellent posture and keep your core engaged throughout the workout.
***LEGAL STUFF: This is the point where our lawyers would like me to very clearly say that you should most definitely get your doctor’s approval before starting any sort of fitness routine. Especially if you just had surgery. Double-especially if you are on pain medications of any kind. Triple-especially if said pain medications make you high to the point where you are convinced you are, in fact, Batman.
Ever been injured? What workouts and exercises could you do to keep active, at least a little? —Susan