Exercising during recovery (Guest post)

footOver the last 10-15 years, I’ve been dealing with foot pain. The last three, since I started my highland games sport, have seen the pain increase exponentially. I don’t know if it’s the spinning, the cleats or both, but the pain has been unbearable. Highland games take several hours, so it’s a lot of time on my feet, and I typically would change shoes 3 or 4 times during the day. I’ve finally had surgery on both feet to break some bones and align my toes properly. The time off has been great as I was suffering from burnout from work as well.

It became apparent once the drugs started to wear off after surgery that my lack of movement was going to cause me problems. I’m moderately active normally, but lying in bed with my feet up and doing nothing was making it impossible to sleep, and sleep is something I’ve struggled with for a long time, so when I say impossible, I mean, awake for 36 hours impossible. The first few days I was incapable of doing much, so started working my chest, arms and shoulders with resistance bands, just a few minutes at a time, which was exhausting when drugged, later moving to walking around a bit in the stores to get out of the house and tire myself out. Since then I’ve been craving movement.

I googled exercise options and was disappointed with what I saw, so decided I just needed to be creative and modify workouts I know to accommodate my temporary abilities issues. It’s only been a few weeks since the surgery so still not able to do anything requiring balancing or feet. I’ve been in the gym bench pressing, and am back up to my pre-surgery personal best. I have been in the backyard doing (really) modified high intensity interval training, on a chair with a kettlebell and medicine ball and have started pilates, modified slightly as I can’t flex or point my toes, or have the top of my foot touching the floor due to pin placement. This might actually be a bit of a blessing as my workout has to be much better-rounded to accommodate the handicap.

Getting back into the workouts has really been helping me sleep, is relieving some boredom, is probably helping me to heal faster but is getting me pumped up in general about moving more and integrating a few more options into my normal routine.

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