Sunday, November 20, 2011

Snowboarder vs. Motivation

After my third surgery last year, I worked out every day with one goal in mind: to snowboard one more time.  But as the ankle pain grew each day, it became increasingly difficult to walk to the gym.  Eventually I realized snowboarding was further away than I had hoped.

I stopped working out.

It was either the ankle pain or the knowledge that getting back to the slopes would be more difficult than I had imagined that killed my motivation.

Not this year.

One year later, I'm back in the same spot.  I'm back in the gym regularly.  I'm still motivated by the idea of being back on my board and dominating the slopes.  But I've also learned my lesson from last year.  Snowboarding is not my only goal (Dr. Jeng told me Friday to refrain from all high impact activities, including snowboarding, for one year).

Instead, my primary goal is to get down to and stay at about 190 to 180 lbs.  I'm 6'3" and at 200 lbs now, so this isn't asking much.  But the difference of 10 to 20 lbs will help manage my ankle pain.

With all of that said, I still dream about snowboarding.

I know.  There were also a bunch of skiers in this film.  If I can't maintain the dorsiflexion I need to snowboard, I've considered -- only briefly -- converting.  But that's a decision I can put off for at least a year.

Yesterday was the most active I've been on the ankle without crutches.  It's difficult to tell if I'm having ankle pain because the cuniforms, navicular, cuboid bones, along with the subtalar joint, are all experiencing wake-up pains -- and those are all near my ankle joint.

Here's what I've been doing every day to rehab the foot and ankle.

A half foam roll can be used to work on dorsiflexion and plantar flexion.  You can also turn it over and use it to roll your ankle side to side.  These things are cheap and worth it.

A wobble board is great for loosening up the ankle.  It allows you to move the joint in all directions.  I do three sets of 20 rolls in each direction every day.

A tennis ball is the cheapest and best thing you can get to rehab your foot.  You can use it to stretch the toes and the tendons under the foot.  If you have neuropathy, rolling your bare foot on the tennis ball helps.  It does a great job of desensitizing the nerve endings in the skin.

One more video.  This one's not motivational.  It's just dumb.

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