I can’t tell you how many times I’ve twisted and/or sprained my ankles. (Yes, that is plural.) Come to think of it, there was one time when I actually twisted both ankles at the same time, in one swift motion on a stairwell.
Most people say I’m just a little clumsy, while I tend to blame it on genetically weak ankles. Regardless of reasoning, repeat injuries have made my ankles almost useless on their own, and almost unreliable when it comes to any sort of intense, dynamic workouts. The thought of hurting my ankles ever again, is enough to make me sick; I can remember how stressful, frustrating, and extremely uncomfortable it was trying to get through life while hobbling around on crutches. In hopes that I may never have to endure this type of pain again, I decided to buy a pair of ankle supports.
They slip on easy like a sock, except they’re open with spaces to fit around your toe area and heel. Outfitted with sturdy plastic splints on either side, they lace up like a hockey skate and velcro over and around 3 times for extra security. Since I bought them months ago, I’ve worn them for almost every single workout. (I refuse to do any leg workout without them)
When I bought them, I needed them, and they were a great investment. By now, I’ve come to rely on them and feel naked without them, although I’m not sure if I need to use them as much as I do. If I continue to keep them around my ankles forever, the joints will never fully heal. They won’t regain strength, and one day when I’m without my support, disaster could very well ensue. And so, I’ve decided that my ankle supports and I need to part ways.
This breakup is harder than I thought it would be. My ankles feel so free and fragile; I’m nervous to make any sudden movements.
I feel incomplete and unprepared; it’s something along the lines of forgetting your headphones, your ipod, or the proper workout gear. The elliptical machine and non-aggressive upper body workouts pose minimal issues, but the mere thought of leg days or cardio on the treadmill send shivers right though me.
I need to conquer my fears, but I’m not sure the glory is worth the potential pain I could accidentally suffer. I’ve been making sufficient progress, and I’d like to continue without pausing for injury. So… I’m willing to make a compromise.
I’ll only use my ankle supports for high intensity cardio or dynamic leg workouts involving jumps/heavy weights/intense balance. I’ll forego the ankle ‘socks’ for all other activities, and practice balance techniques throughout the day to help strengthen the joints. I’m going to have to pay attention, and be extremely careful in how I move about – this could be dangerous.
It sounds easy enough, but it’s absolutely terrifying; if I could fully explain to you how frightened I am in thoughts of my ankles rolling over, you might understand.
Wish me luck, and let’s hope you won’t be seeing me with a pair of crutches any time soon.