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Accept, Adapt, Adjust

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I sprained my ankle over a month ago. I began physical therapy this week, after being in a walking boot. The physical therapist did some tests and then we discussed treatment. She said, because my sprain was a Grade 3, which is severe, my recovery is going to take longer than I thought. I gave up Boot Camp, running, hiking, long & fast walks, because I simply could not do any of them. I did not give up walking around, going up and down stairs in my house, and being on my feet, because I do not have the lifestyle or the personality to become mostly sedentary while I heal. I blogged about switching my focus from working out daily, to organizing and deep cleaning basically every room in our home. It was hard work but I was never unaware of my injury and I built in rest breaks and icing and elevating my ankle. Sometimes, I would get scolded by people that I was "doing too much" at which point I would remind them of all the things I gave up. I am stubborn but I am (mostly) not stupid and foolish. I want to remain active, God willing, until I am very old. I do not want to derail my recovery from this injury by returning to my previous activities too soon. So, I very reasonably (or so I thought) told myself I could ease back into Boot Camp and running and hiking, sometime in October, 3 months after the injury, if I modified and kept to shorter distances and times. Nope. The physical therapist threw cold water on that plan. She said I can aim for January, if all goes well, rehab-wise. She also said I should give up on the idea of running altogether, given that I also have osteoarthritis. So, now the tough work of accepting my limitations, accepting (or rejecting, at my own risk) professional advice, adapting new routines, and adjusting how I think of myself. The reality is, at 54, given the realities of my body, that it may be time to put to bed the notion of myself as someone who can do boot-camp workouts with people 10, 20, 30 years younger, and, for the most part, keep up. I may have to let go of the notion of myself as someone who runs, just as I had to make peace with the fact that running 1/2 marathons and any sort of real distance, especially on pavement, is in my rear-view mirror. My husband recently paid me a compliment by referring to me as "tough". I admire toughness so, of course, I aspire to my own version of toughness. Tough for my age, tough for my stage of life, tough enough to deal with whatever life deals me, without collapsing in a big, fat, weepy heap. Or, if I do find myself in a big, fat, weepy heap, having the strength to stand up, shake it off, and move forward. Moving forward, it is important to me that I have the physical, mental, and emotional strength to take on the challenges of daily living, along with the inevitable crises and difficulties that present themselves. I want to be balanced and flexible, and not just physically. This will require me to work on acceptance of my current reality, and pray for the willingness to adapt and adjust to what my circumstances actually are, not what I wish they were, or what they used to be. Practically speaking, this means checking my attitude, talking (or writing) through my difficulties with friends, making sure I am taking in enough nutrition (especially so I can avoid turning to sugary carbohydrates as a crutch, which I have been doing a lot, lately), getting the sleep and the general rest that my body needs as it works hard to heal up, and figuring out my new "active". I have been given the green light to do trail walks and yard work and my normal unending assortment of daily chores and errands, as long as I wear a light brace to shore up my damaged ligaments. I have been advised that I can use a stationary bike and an elliptical to supplement my cardio, and I can do upper body weights as long as I am cautious. This means saying goodbye to my normal gym, for now, because the focus there is on boot camps, and it means joining a more traditional gym that contains lots of cardio and strength training equipment. The bright side of this is that one of my friends attends a gym not far from my house, that contains everything I need, and it is far less expensive than the gym I have been attending. I just spoke to her and she is happy that we can work out together, once again. Between speaking to her, and writing this blog, I am feeling much more positive than I was when I left the physical therapist's office. Thank you for letting me sort through this, Sparkly friends. I knew you would understand emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh, Cannie, I am terribly sorry for the injury you suffered ... but so glad to know that your attitude did not suffer in any way. No doubt, you will do all that you CAN DO for now, and who knows, maybe even more later on than what your Doc believes you will be capable of. You will be the judge of that, but please be a "good for you long-term" judge. Trail walking is a bit underrated, I think, compared to running. In fact, for me, walking had me in the best shape of my life and also in the best frame of mind, while running seemed to wear on my body, but lifted my spirit that I was doing something I never thought possible for me.
    So, today, I dream of the freedom to walk .... trail walk & mountain hike ... and feel that I could go for a 100 miles or more in one day. And the thing is, I could go a lot farther walking than I could have ever dreamed of going running. But that is me .... and this is about you ....... and I only hope that you are able to do today and tomorrow whatever truly, in all ways, makes you happy.
    BTW ... YOUR SPIRIT makes me happy! emoticon

    1724 days ago
    Nothing more that I can add. Everyone has given such wonderful advice and support already. Love your positive attitude. emoticon
    1727 days ago
    You are a tough and resilient person and you can get through this! At 57 and my Lupus problems I had to come to the realization that I had limitations. In my mind I'm still 21 and feel I can do anything. You will come to terms with your new "normal", I have faith in you! emoticon
    1728 days ago
    Yes, you are ABSOLUTELY tough, but I think I would refer to you as resilient, since well, it is not only true of so many facets of your life, but also sooner a bit more girly and cute, eh? : )

    I'm sorry that you won't be getting back to your old routing just yet. I know that is a difficult reality to take in. I am so pleased that you intend to keep yourself in check with how you are dealing with that, with all of us at Spark.
    We can lift you up, support you, encourage you, and be a listening ear for those funky days that just make you want to vent. That is what we are here for -YOU. Lord knows you have been there for alllllll of us : ).

    If and when you're up for it, those spark chair workouts REALLY are tougher than they seem. I used them when I was stuck in my awful boot. Who knew one could sweat so much from practically sitting still!

    Be well ad big hugs to you,
    1728 days ago
    1730 days ago
    I am not sure that "tough" is always the best thing to go for... it´s to accept, adapt and adjust! Love your work. emoticon
    1730 days ago
    My dear friend, your great attitude continues to inspire me. It sounds like you will be able to do lots and lots of things, and maybe you will find something new that you love even more. Swimming, maybe?

    Ever since my dad got ALS and gradually lost the use of his fingers, hands, arms and then legs, I try never to take anything for granted. Just being able to pick up a pencil or walk from room to room or take a drink of water are blessings. We just have to focus on the things we CAN do, and thank God for them every day.

    You have the right outlook! Blessings to you.
    1731 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    Ouch! In so many ways. Time for yoga/ Pilates/ floor exercise? A session with a good trainer who can design an alternative workout for person used to really working out? Like these haven't occurred to you...

    I'd better take advantage of the fact that I'm not injured. Somehow I think that would be a better sympathy card to you than doing less than I already do! emoticon
    1731 days ago
    Oh Cannie! I'm so sorry! emoticon Not only are you TOUGH, but you're strong, determined, and have an undeniable grace when it comes to facing life's ups and downs. Your injury, may slow you down, but I know you'll discover new challenges, and your new normal, will continue to inspire me, to be more like you. emoticon emoticon
    1732 days ago
    We have a saying in my family...I hate things! I defiantly hate that you are injured..that's annoying. I hate having change forced on me and I know you do too but I also know you will over come all of this. I'm always here for you. Always. Love you.
    1733 days ago
    Poor baby! I remember when you told us about the accident, and tended to brush it off. It's amazing how one little slip can end up so badly. I'm glad you're deciding to not push it, but to use alternative workouts.
    1733 days ago
    Just want to let you know that I relate and that I've come out the other side doing well.

    In 2005 I was diagnosed with a herniated disk and gave up running. I proceeded to gain about 80 pounds over the next eight years. This year I finally accepted that I could do a LOT with cycling and walking, and so far I have lost 30 pounds.

    YOU CAN DO THIS. You are not alone.

    1733 days ago
    You are indeed strong, and you will adapt to this situation. My equipment of choice in my gym is the recumbent burns a LOT of calories if you have enough RPM. I'm sure a stationary bike is just as good.
    1733 days ago
    You are tough, it reflects through your blogs and updates! You have a tough attitude (like strong and positive) and you are a bit like the Energizer bunny, you keep going, and going....

    Good for you to throttle back and heal properly! I would not be at all surprised if after healing, you start adding things, like running and boot camp, as you go along. 54 is the age I started running! I have chronic knee pain and didn't think I would ever run, nor was I ever really interested in it. As I got fitter I got the idea running might be good and dreamed of being able to run down the beach. I found that running actually made my knees better. I have times I need to wear a knee support for a couple of days, and when the knees talk, I listen and back off a few days.

    I know that this set back is hard on you, it is evident in your words, but like always, you process through it and find a new route, and move on. You really are quite an inspiration!

    I look forward to reading about your new adventures at your new gym. I just know that Cannie will be showing those youngsters how soft they are and how to really get something out of the time spent at the gym! Just be careful and don't re-injure yourself our over work them!

    1733 days ago
  • KACAR51
    We do what we can do! Life is all about change! You have a great attitude and that will take you far! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1733 days ago
    I am also 54 and have had three back surgeries. I have arthritis in my back plus a couple bulging disks. It was so hard to quit doing what I loved to do. I still have "I wish" days. I walk a lot, but I'm getting bored walking the neighborhood. I think I will take the suggestion given of exercising in a pool. Now to find a pool...
    1733 days ago
    Swimming and biking are great forms of cardio! emoticon emoticon
    1733 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    emoticon emoticon Great attitude. I fluctuate between being frustrated about what I can no longer do and being satisfied that I am (or should be) doing what I am able to. emoticon is key for each of us.
    1733 days ago
    Oh, this must have been hard because like you I don't want to think about things I can't do. I sprained my big toe last November going up a mountain trail in northern AZ and although I didn't think it was a big deal, it turned out to be a very big deal when after three months I still couldn't put on a tie shoe. Unlike you, I didn't have a very good attitude and consequently didn't exercise because I couldn't hike. Now, almost a year later I'm finally back to hiking.

    Your blog is wise and I admire you for your wisdom!!
    1734 days ago
    You have a GREAT attitude and are looking for solutions rather than wallowing in self-pity. I'm very impressed! I have been battling a very sore deltoid muscle for several months now and it is aggravating me no end as I see my strength training efforts dwindle. You know... this getting old is definitely not for wimps!

    1734 days ago
    I was thinking of water exercise as has been already mentioned. Might be a possibility if it's available near you.

    It IS difficult to adapt to things as situations change, putting a damper on what we want to do. **SIGH** But you have the right 'tude moving forward. I hope the rehab helps your ankle. Yes, for sure grade 3 is severe and that takes a long time to heal. Actually strains can be more difficult to heal than fractures. **SIGH**

    HUGS sweetie. You know we'll listen, if that helps!

    1734 days ago
    This could be a great opportunity to explore and seek out other forms of exercise that you may not have thought of trying because you were so content with doing what you were already doing. I'm glad you're working on acceptance and adaptation, but I wouldn't write off all the other things you were doing. You could still potentially do them, maybe at a different level. I never say never to things. You can't see the future, so if you take care of yourself now, you may be surprised down the road. I'm glad you got the green light to do all those other things! At least you won't have to stay put.
    1734 days ago
    I'm glad you have accepted your limitations and will plan altered workouts. You're lucky to have a friend who will help keep your focus on the positives of your new routines, not to mention a workout buddy! God bless your continued recovery. You may never be as strong and active as you are used to, but rejoice that your injury was not more severe! emoticon emoticon
    1734 days ago
    You're making good decisions with grace and flexibility. Like you, I had to stop running and I don't like that. But the elliptical gives good cardio -- so does the rowing machine, cross country skiing in winter . . . And although my hands aren't happy with free weights, the ST machines work just fine. Adapt, indeed!!
    1734 days ago
    I have always found you to be one of the "toughest" people I know. But also kind, wise, and always there when someone needs you. But's sometimes it is so hard to look at what is happening to us and say we can accept what we know is not what we would want. I know you will search out what options you have and adapt and adopt. You have a strength that I envy, that I don't ever see myself possessing.
    I will keep you in my prayers, knowing God will take care of you and open windows to the doors that have closed.
    1734 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    Hi Carole
    I do believe that once you've done all the healing work that you can return to most of your favourite exercises -- but that's a pep talk for another day. You are right to return slowly, and give your ankle all the time and focused support exercise it needs to return to normal. I don't imagine you could ever be happy living a sedentary lifestyle, so know that, and work around the roadblocks. There are lots of other aerobic activities that don't involved running. I loved running most when I was fit, but as you say: Accept, Adapt, Adjust. And that may be what it takes to get back to doing what you love. Approach your new exercise options as the opportunity to discover a new love:) You mentioned rowing awhile back -- you can use a rowing machine to good effect during the winter, then get back on the water once summer returns, and -- hey -- it's a goal! Summer is just far enough away (again) that you can build incremental levels of fitness into your future. What about a masters swim team, or something like that?
    I believe in you:)
    1734 days ago
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