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It finally came to pass that I could no longer self-treat a minor injury of my ankle, and so it was I found myself at the podiatrist’s office a few weeks ago. He was relatively upbeat about the damage, pronouncing it a combination of bursitis and tendonitis, and packing me off to physical therapy.
In retrospect there is really nothing I could have or would have done differently. The injury was slow to build, was deceptive (sometimes apparently resolving itself only to come back again), and was as much a result of walking around Manhattan in dress shoes as anything else.
By the time I went to PT, I’d already given up running altogether, and had greatly cut back on walking. Still, the injured ankle isn’t budging. If anything, it feels more painful now than ever.
Unlike the doctor, the therapist was pretty downbeat —telling me my bursitis was the “worst” he’d seen in 16 years of practice. (Who knows, that may be his way of drumming up more business).
In the meantime I’m on a journey of adjusted expectations. Since the duration of my return to good health is unknowable, I joined a gym. At least now while I’m “out of commission”, I can still lift weights, do core exercises, stretch a lot, and use the elliptical machine for some cardio work.
There is no choice — I will do what it takes, for as long as it takes.
Ironically, the past few months have taken a toll on my eating habits. I’ve gained a great deal of weight, I’ve repeatedly overeaten, and I find myself experiencing a weight management “injury” every bit as difficult as the wound on my ankle.
It’s easy to slip back into the place where I was during/after my last injury (when I really gained a lot of weight, and totally lost my mojo). I understand the psychology. I also understand how, in my life at least, physical pain translates into chocolate chip cookies.
This I know, however: as I start getting back into a gym routine, I have the perfect opportunity to get back in touch with myself, to strengthen the non-injured parts of my body, and to gain an appreciation for the process of getting physically healthier.
My goal is to approach my food and eating recovery with the same persistence as I am with physical therapy. I’m already attending a weekly WeightWatchers meeting, as a starting point.
Next up? Grocery shopping.
One (careful, painless) step at a time.