Friday, August 20, 2010

The Value of Habit

It's been almost nine months since I broke my ankle. Surgery, recovery, and physical therapy have been good to me. I'm walking again and I'm starting to get back to a normal life. I still have some issues squatting on my heels and I still have daily, regular pain with each step. But it's getting better. I can walk, I can hike, I can almost dance.

I started thinking about this when my nephew Keith asked me whether I would ever be able to run again. He's ten and those kinds of things are very important to an active kid like he is. I said that I couldn't at the time, but that I was hoping to soon. And it's true. I would really like to be able to run again. I would like to be able to jump and dance and my real hope is that eventually I won't even have to think about my ankle. But I'm not there yet.

I'm still struggling to recover. My motion is not quite right and there is still a lot of internal scarring. I fell off doing my physical therapy exercises shortly after I stopped seeing my therapist. This week I've just realized how damaging that was. I've lost a lot of good recovery time thinking that walking was all I needed. Now I realize that if I had let the physical therapy exercises become a habit, I would be running by now. I would be dancing. I don't know if I'd be back at 100% but I'd be closer.

Last night I stood in front of the TV doing some of my exercises. It felt good to be stretching and strengthening those muscles. I worked on my calves and on my range of motion. And I'm feeling better today. I feel stronger, even with a bit of discomfort. So tonight I'm going to set aside some time to do all the exercises. Even a half-hour out of my day will hopefully let me improve. I was strong during physical therapy. I want to get back to that again.

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