I learned last Monday (exactly 1-week after suffering the injury) that I had suffered a minor avulsion fracture (this is where the ligament is strained to the point where it actually takes a piece of bone off; in my case a chip off my lateral malleolus/ankle). So this means, 3-weeks of immobilizing the joint to allow it to heal, followed by a rehab process to build range of motion and strength again.
Obviously, this could be much worse, however be it as it may, injuries of any kind are not fun and especially ones that are somewhat lengthy. This is my first ever "bone break" (not that it's much of a break) and worst injury in my lifetime for sure. And yet it's nothing compared to what many of you have gone through. I can't even imagine a worse injury like a broken leg etc... Wow.
The point to this is, it has really made me think about why we all need to keep ourselves fit and healthy to the best of our abilities. Not to be a "superhero" or "elite athlete", but to be healthy and strong enough to handle the situations you least expect when they happen. These situations have nothing to do with how we look, how much we lifted or how far we ran. It has to do with, can we handle unexpected scenarios where we need to function differently than normal.
My family and I live in a century home. You know what that means? Stairs and obstacles to navigate. Every day to get upstairs I have to hop on one leg up 16 stairs to get to my room. It makes me think, "what if I didn't have the leg strength to do this??". I would have to sleep on the couch or lounger on the main floor in the family room, which would mean I probably wouldn't get a great nights sleep, which therefore means I'm impacting my body's ability to heal and recover! To get down stairs (safely that is), I have to squat down on my left leg as I hold the railing so I can sit on my butt to slide down the steps without worrying about falling. Sure I can hop down on one leg as well, but being a century home it's a long way down if I make one misstep. So I prefer to take the safe option. BUT - If I didn't have the leg strength or mobility to get down like that, I would potentially put myself at risk. It wouldn't even be an option to get on the floor.
None of these things require me to lift 500lbs and be a power lifter. All they require is for me to be able to be strong enough to control my own body weight in different positions and conditions. When you think about it, it puts a different perspective on what you do for your workout routines doesn't it? For example, sure you might be able to squat 300lbs in the gym, but you don't have the mobility or flexibility to get down on the floor easily, or be able to sit in a deep squat rest position for any length of time. You need to find that balance between overall strength and mobility for times like this!
One of my favourite Strength Coaches, Michael Boyle preaches single leg strength work. My current situation is a prime example of how beneficial that approach can be (among many other benefits of course). Over my soon to be 18yrs in the industry, I've dealt with many people (of all ages) who can't even get up and down off the floor with two good legs, let alone just one good leg!! As tough and depressing as these injuries can be, it's these kinds of thoughts that help me see the positive side of things. It also serves as motivation to continue to take care of myself no matter what as I move through the years.
This injury has really opened my eyes to accessibility of places locally, rooms in your own home etc... It's made my mind work differently in some ways (which is fascinating really). And I will say it over and over again.....
It has given me a WORLD more of respect for those with permanent disabilities/conditions who have to go about each day with physical and mental challenges much tougher than I'm experiencing right now.
There are some amazing people out there!