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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 38,258
5/18/12 9:18 P

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Sorry I misunderstood about your leg - yikes, sounds like you have an even more impressive story than I first thought!! Kayotic, I'm with you in preferring the poles to a stick because they are much more adaptable to different needs - but I still like the LOOKS of a hiking stick, even though I probably would not ever walk with one!

Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

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God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."
KAYOTIC's Photo KAYOTIC Posts: 15,603
5/18/12 9:31 A

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Welcome! and I'm so impressed by your story of coming back from your accident, I think we can take things for granted (like being able to hike and walk!) and stories like yours bring us back...

I like hiking poles over sticks for many reasons, even though they may not be as nice looking, but the new ones tend to be lightweight, they collapse (or come apart) in case you are in an area where they are getting in the way, and some have a shock absorbing feature, and you can adjust to the height you need them, so that with the strap you can actuallly take some weight off your legs and use more upper body (this is also a better workout than just walking/hiking alone!)

Nice that you can get out in your area and build up distance/stamina, keep hiking!

highest weight ever:202, SP starting weight: 143

H: 5''4" 53 y.o.

"Don''t let yesterday use up too much of today." Will Rogers

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IM-SO-WORTH-IT's Photo IM-SO-WORTH-IT Posts: 1,440
5/17/12 11:10 P

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Nice! My first step away from the crutches was my Dad's canes and then one of his walking sticks. It was a long piece of deadwood he found at my niece's acreage. He stripped off the bark and lightly sanded it, the varnished it. It was beautiful - about 6 feet long with the natural bends of the tree. Don't know what happen to it after he passed away. I hope one of the family kept it.

I might have to keep my eyes open for one our at my niece's place too.



Bev

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-control.
II Timothy 1:7




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RONDARC's Photo RONDARC Posts: 10,700
5/17/12 7:35 P

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Welcome to the team Bev!! Glad to hear your didn't take no for an answer and worked your way back into walking shape. I just started using a hiking pole this year and I cannot believe the difference it makes in the hikes. On our last hike, I forgot my pole so on the way up the trail, I found this really cool piece of dead wood from an old tree. Needless to say, it's my new hiking stick. emoticon emoticon emoticon

~~ Ronda~~

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IM-SO-WORTH-IT's Photo IM-SO-WORTH-IT Posts: 1,440
5/17/12 12:39 P

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Thanks for the advice Lynda. I have been walking around town - sidewalks and down dirt alleys. I've added a small park to the walk. There are four or five small hills as a landscaping feature surrounding the playground. It's only about 6 or seven steps up to the top of the hills, so I've been practicing walking up and over these hills and around them on the incline. Finding an incline to walk on isn't hard. There are many pathways and trails throughout Alberta that are paved, or hard-packed. (In fact the one between my town and the lake I want to get to is paved.) I do hope to get onto some of those rocky mountain trails this year - even if it's just in the real touristy areas between view points.) I like the idea of a pole. I tend to fall left a lot when my leg gets tired.

I just wanted to clear up one thing. I don't have a prosthetic leg. Although my leg was taken out in the accident, I was able to get reconstructive surgery where they stretched the remaining muscle below the injury and the remaining muscle above the injury to meet. Tissues, veins and arteries, even sinus cavities (yes in the leg!) were reattached to each other and reconstructed and then left in God's hands to heal the best they could. The newly reconstructed muscle doesn't function exactly like the original muscles did because there is only two instead of four.

Have a great day.

Bev

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-control.
II Timothy 1:7




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LYNDALOVES2HIKE's Photo LYNDALOVES2HIKE Posts: 38,258
5/17/12 11:15 A

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emoticon to the team from Southern California and emoticon for making such amazing progress!! I'm sorry to hear about your accident and leg but it's clear you've worked hard to overcome the challenge and I have no doubt you will be able to achieve your goals!!
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I don't have personal experience with prosthetic legs but do know a lot of people who have hiked with hip and knee replacements, including some who have replaced both hips AND both knees so their mobility is compromised as well. It does seem that determination and building up the balance and muscles is the key. One thing a lot of people don't know is that strengthening your 'core' muscles [abs, back, etc] will help with balance! One thing I do for hiking balance is strengthen my ankles with calf raises and practicing standing on one leg helps with the ankle strength as well as the balance issues. I also use hiking poles while I walk, which turns me into a '4-legged' walker instead of just 2 legs. That not only helps with the balance and difficult terrain but also prevents injuries. When I use them, I extend the opposite arm and leg - in other words, when I step out with my left foot, I put my right arm and pole out as well - it didn't take long for this to feel natural, although my husband prefers walking with a single stick and says using two feels too awkward for him.

It sounds like you are doing all the right things to reach your goal and the usual progression is first walking on sidewalks, then progress to well-maintained dirt or gravel trails if they are available, then walking on a level trail that's in fairly good shape, then adding in distance and elevation gain as you can - Stay alert and watch where you put your feet - downhill is harder than uphill and more people are injured going downhill, in part because they go faster and don't pay as much attention to where their feet are going. Wherever possible, walk on the hardest surface available - a lot of trails will have sections that are hard-packed or rocky and other sections that are softer or smaller rocks - I choose to walk on the most solid parts available because I'm less likely to fall. I guess in Canada you have more experience than I do as far as how slippery ice and mud can be,

The only other advice I can give you is DRINK WATER DRINK WATER DRINK WATER and don't try to hike on an empty stomach - and please keep us informed on how you're doing! We all have our challenges but they can be overcome in most cases with persistence and consistency!
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Lynda in Orange County, So Calif

***********************

God Grant me Serenity to Accept the things I cannot change, Courage to Change the things I can and Wisdom to Know the difference!

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -- John Wooden

"Winners are not those who never fail, but those who never quit."
IM-SO-WORTH-IT's Photo IM-SO-WORTH-IT Posts: 1,440
5/16/12 9:02 A

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I thought I would just drop in and say hello. I am not a hiker - yet, but I am getting there. In 2004 I was in an accident that took out my left leg and I was told I would be lucky if I could ever walk unsupported again. That was not acceptable to me and I began the long journey back. First I learnt how to keep my balance while standing, then I progressed to learning how to walk again. My injury kept my walking very limited for a long time. It wasn't until 2007 before I could make it around the block. I've built up to about a kilometer without a rest in basically flat areas. Much less if there are any hills.

Now I have a good pair of hiking boots and have begun to walk in those just to get used to them. My goal for this year is to make it 2.5 kilometers to the lake from my home and then back again. Not including getting out to the mountains for some mild little day hikes.

So feel free to let me know if you have any pointers on what I should do to accomplish these goals. I am looking forward to getting to know some of you here on the team.

Bev

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-control.
II Timothy 1:7




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