Being grateful

Hi everyone!

I hope you’re all having a terrific week.

Mine has been a bit of a mixed bag. Both training and eating have gone really well and I’ll share one of my gym sessions with you in a moment. However, two nights ago after being asleep for an hour or so, I woke up in agony. My right ankle, the one I’d broken and had surgery to fix, had locked up and it took a good few minutes before the pain subsided and I could move it freely again. The next night, the exact same thing happened only it lasted a little longer. Of course, you can imagine my frustration and immediate concern.

When I had the operation to fix my ankle, the surgeon gave it a 50:50 chance of success owing to the amount of damage done to the talus bone. I’ve had pain since the operation when I over dorsiflex my foot but nothing compared to when it was broken so I thought everything was going well. I’m able to train on it whilst being careful about how much weight I put through it and I’ve done absolutely no jumping or twisting movements. So when I got pain for no reason in the middle of the night two nights in a row, I started to question everything!

Am I doing too much? Am I loading too much weight on it? Is it occurring because I’m mixing up weights and swimming sessions – the gym being mainly dorsiflexion while swimming is almost all plantar flexion? Should I just be walking for exercise and nothing else? Has the operation worked? The consultant had explained that I would get pain now and again but if the pain became too great and the op hadn’t worked, I’d have to have it done all over again. The sheer terror of having to be non-weightbearing and unable to exercise for another ten weeks consumed me.

And then I realised I shouldn’t feel like that. I should feel grateful. Pain is sometimes a good thing, even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Pain tells us when we’re hurt, when we’re pushing ourselves, when something isn’t right. If the operation hasn’t worked, wouldn’t I prefer to know now and get it fixed rather than pretending there isn’t an issue and potentially causing too much damage to fix? Yes I would and I should be grateful for where I am now. This time last year I was hardly walking and eating rubbish to make me feel better as though that would heal my ankle. Now, I can walk without pain, I can swim like I used to and I can train in the gym. My ankle hasn’t hurt once since I’ve been training and there are those who would give anything to be in my position.

I’m happy to report that last night I slept all the way through the night without issue. No pain just blissful sleep. I cannot overemphasise how relieved I felt whilst still accepting that it may happen again in the future. It’s hard sometimes to truly appreciate how lucky we all are when we’re caught up in our emotions. That’s how I felt until I realised I should appreciate how far I’ve come. If I have to take a few steps back in order to fix something then that’s what I have to do.

So today, I’m trying to be more thankful for the important things in life and I invite you to do the same. Write down three things you’re grateful for right this second. It can be as profound as being alive or as silly as having a chocolate bar in the fridge that you plan to eat this evening. For me, I’m grateful that 1) I have a home that I share with my loving family; 2) my health is improving every day through exercise and a healthy diet; and 3) even though I may need to go backwards sometimes, I’m not scared of that anymore.

As promised, here’s my gym session from yesterday. As you know, I love mixing things up and loved doing this session.

Warm-up with a 5-10 minute bike

Main set to be completed straight through without rest – 4 sets of the following:

  • Crosstrainer   3 minutes
  • TRX squats x 25
  • walking lunges (no weights) x 20

12kg kettle bell – 10 swings and 5 push ups – this to be completed every minute on the minute for a total of ten sets (ten minutes). I loved this part of the workout as it starts off really easy and then gradually gets harder until by then end you’re aching and dripping with sweat. That’s when you know you’ve worked hard.

Followed this with some ab work –

  • plank – 30 seconds x 3
  • crunches – 20 x 3
  • reverse crunches – 20 x 3
  • Russian twists with 6kg med ball – 20 x 3

Then glute bridges with 6kg med ball 3 sets of 20 followed by assisted pull ups 6,6,7 and then a nice stretch.

I hope you like the session and are able to identify three things you’re grateful for. Have a great weekend and I’ll catch up with you on Monday.

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