Of course, I was grateful my injuries weren’t worse, but within days I started getting restless. In addition to all the things piling up undone around me, I was really getting discouraged about my prospects for running the Walt Disney World Princess Half Marathon on February 24th. I had been training for it since November, and had gotten up to 10.5 miles just before the accident. Now, here I was, stuck on the sofa. Not a pretty picture.
Everyone was offering suggestions (because, did I mention? not a pretty picture!) A friend sent links and videos of exercises I could do on crutches. The problem was, almost any alternate exercise would involve use of my upper body, and I couldn’t put any weight on my right arm. My daughter mentioned swimming, but as swollen and sore as my foot was, I couldn’t imagine trying to kick. My sweet sister typed up portions from a running book of hers with information on returning to training after an injury. I found that just about every article related to running after an injury assumes your injury was caused by running, so the focus is on correcting what you were doing to cause the injury. OK. Quit running into moving vehicles. Check. (My witty daughter was quick to point out, “you were injured while you were running, so technically, it IS a running injury.”) Somehow, as I was processing all of these possibilities, with the help of the miracle that is Google, I came across the term “pool running.” I was intrigued…
To be honest, the first time I ran in the pool, it took me all day to work up the courage just to try it. I was so afraid I might not be able to do it and that I’d just come home even more discouraged. I read several articles online and watched videos on YouTube. It turns out, this is a practice that was originally developed for injured horses, and someone brilliant said, “why not people?” The basic idea is that you’re upright in water deep enough that you don’t touch bottom, and you basically run in place, holding your ankle in a neutral position. Kind of like stomping grapes.
Ideally, you really need one of these:
I’m lucky that they have them to borrow at my gym.
Yes, it looks just about as ridiculous and awkward as it sounds, especially the first time when I was figuring things out. There’s not a lot of interesting scenery, and I can’t have my playlist as a distraction.