I had an exciting thing happen to me this week. I hiked just over half a mile up and down and on the side of steep hills. To some of you, this doesn’t sound like a big deal. For me, it totally is.
For the last ten years, I’ve had a debilitating ankle tendon pain that stopped me from hiking. (I’ve seen 13 health practitioners about it and tried all their suggestions – except surgery.) There was a small window of time where I hiked around Colorado with no pain, but eventually the pain grew so bad I was limited to roads and flat dirt trails. Uneven terrain triggered a burning sensation so intense that I’d have to stop immediately, drop to the ground and wait 15-20 minutes before I could continue. A few times I’d hike with my forearm crutches, but it’s not as relaxing because I’m more focused on where to put my crutches than on seeing the beauty around me. Standing for longer than fifteen minutes is excruciating.
I read a book titled: “Fixing You: Foot and Ankle Pain” by Rick Olderman after having a terrible meeting with a chiropractor who told me I needed to treat the symptoms of my ankle tendon, take some enzymes, wear orthotics, and accept that my ankle will never get better. The only reason I didn’t believe this chiropractor was because I had seen one that had helped me immensely before we moved from Eau Claire, WI area.
The author Rick Olderman is a physical therapist who specializes in helping people heal from chronic pain. The book is short and reminds me of reading the anatomy chapters from my biology books in high school. He goes into a lot of detail about his observations working with a variety of injuries and pain points. I figured I had nothing to lose and approached the book with an open mind.
The most surprising thing I learned was that I lock my knee when standing and walking, which caused discomfort in my ankle. I also walked with a 100% heel strike (a normal heel strike should be around 50-75%). While I waited for the support tape to arrive for the exercises he advises, I focused on walking with less heel strike and keeping a bent knee. Those two things got me to where I hiked the half-mile trail with no pain. I think I could’ve gone further, but my husband worries about me overdoing things (rightly so) and advised we celebrate the small win.
This week the support tape arrived, so I’m rehabbing my foot. I hope to rebuild the strength so that I can hike anywhere and workout without worrying about triggering severe pain in my foot.
The one advantage with my ankle issue is that I have time to write and create art.
I’m still writing my romance novel. It’s fun to see the twists and turns it’s taking. I’m excited to get it finished because I have a few ideas for other stories bouncing around in my mind.
I also started a short story for a market that invited me to send them something. I expect to have it finished by tomorrow.
The novel that’s finished is just about ready to publish. I need to make the cover and assemble the book.
Other than that, I plan to enjoy the warm weather we’re having before the temps plummet. The high temps here are below 70 degrees. The other day I dug out a sweatshirt because it didn’t get above 60. It’s a little strange coming from the high desert in Idaho where they still have temps in the 80s.
Have a great weekend.