Ankle Alphabets

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“You’re going to be in this boot for a month.

Take a moment to wrap your head around that, I know you horse people.”

I’m not quite sure what I said at that point. My memory of it is a bit like the teacher in Charlie Brown who only says, “Wah, wah, wah”. I must have objected in some way based on the fact that next the orthopedist made some comments about trying to “avoid a surgical solution”.

Hearing those words was more than enough to stop me in my tracks.

And then I thought of all the people I know that rode with broken bones and how unbelievably stupid ridiculous I always thought that choice was.

Don’t get me wrong.

If you want to ride without a helmet or drive without a seat belt I’m all for you having the freedom to make those kind of life decisions.

You go right ahead and do you.

But here’s the thing about broken bones.

Bad things happen.

Really bad things.

I know more than a few people whose fractures became life altering or career ending.

As “all in” as I am about my path to Rolex Kentucky

there was no way I was going to risk a minor set back turning into a permanent disability.

So I ended up in a months long “no riding zone”.

And boy does that give you an opportunity to reflect on what you’re doing with your life.

This wasn’t my first lengthy side lining,

but it was my first broken leg.

I will say that every time I get hurt I have that moment of, “What on earth am I doing with my life?”

And then I remember something like the fact that driving is probably the most dangerous thing I do, and I get back in the tack.

But after 3 months of not riding…………………and boy was that a long 3 months.

When I finally got back in the tack I felt a bit like I only had one leg. The broken one hadn’t done much in so long it was pretty useless. What I wasn’t expecting was that my foot and ankle would be my source of pain. Putting my foot in the stirrup was excruciating!

While I was talking to another rider that works with me about my first ride back and my angry ankles another technician came up and said, “I know what will fix that.

When you get up before you get out of bed draw the alphabet with your toes.”

Much like my pre-XC tennis ball foot ritual…..

It worked like magic.

The only question now is…….

Block or Script?

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