Saturday, February 8, 2014

Biker Girl

I sprained my ankle, but it broke my heart. I should have run my first marathon on February 2, but instead I limped to student health for my appointment with a sports medicine doctor and tried not to cry. The doctor was equal parts encouraging and demoralizing. He gave me a new brace that laces up and told me I would have to wear it for the rest of my life when I go running to keep my ankle from rolling again. Apparently once you sprain your ankle, it will always be weaker than it was before. He mentioned running in the future which is encouraging because it means I have not laced up my running shoes for the last time but in the same breath he told me my ankle would never be the same. I don't want a weak ankle that's prone to rolling and other injuries and it was really disheartening to hear that I have one more medical issue to add to my ever-growing list. 

Sexy right? I asked when I could start working out again and the doctor said now. He explained that I could start doing light exercise again and that I needed to do stretches and exercises with my ankle including retraining it to take and balance my weight. He told me I needed to start standing on that foot without holding onto anything. I decided to try one activity that would combine all of this advice: walking. I figured that walking would mean stretching my ankle since going up and down hills and navigating uneven sidewalk would mean moving my ankle around. Walking also requires me to put my weight on my ankle without holding onto anything. Plus it lets me get in a bit of light exercise. I started by walking to class and back a few times last week. They were tiny walks considering I was training for a marathon before this happened, but my foot didn't swell up like a little blimp the way it did right after I sprained it. I'm doing better than I was, but I desperately want to get back outside and back to my favorite local parks.

Maybe it's the contrarian in me, but I love the cold the way most people love the heat. Fall has always been my favorite season and while the winter temperatures are sometimes brutal, I find that I tolerate it fine if I wear enough layers. Not being able to get outside and move this past month has been a major emotional blow. While I was training for the marathon, I spent countless hours running each week and the physical exertion helped me deal with the stress and frustration of law school. I need a new outlet, at least until I am able to run again, so I decided that when my birthday rolls around I am going to ask for a bike.

There are always people on bikes when I run in local parks, but I never really thought about getting one until now. The doctor said the stationary bike would be a good place to start at the gym, but stationary isn't really my thing. If it is okay to ride a stationary bike at the gym, it should also be okay to ride a regular bike at my favorite parks. My favorite parks are prettier than the gym.

I don't really know anything about bikes, but I did a few tentative google searches and I'm thinking I should look for a road bike since I plan to ride on paved trails only. If anyone has any suggestions for a good brand, I would love the input!

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