Gather around, friends. Let me tell you a story about my past week in health and wellness.
Remember last week, when I was saying “yes” to everything? One of those things was a cardio trampoline class with my co-workers. That’s exactly what it sounds like — a cardio class held on trampolines. I’d vowed to challenge myself more, and trying this was the first step. Step-upville: population me. Going with a small crowd of co-workers made it less scary; if I made a fool of myself then I was almost certain they would as well.
The venue was this big warehouse style space with wall-to-wall trampolines.
The beginners class started easy, with basic jumps where you move arms and legs like different animals while in the air (“NOW JUMP LIKE A FROG!”) or landing on your butt and bouncing back up.
Then it started getting real. We began bouncing higher and further and longer, which worked a surprising number of muscles and left everyone gasping for air.
Then we started doing sprints. Running up and down the trampolines, trying to keep balance while also not trying to eat it on the foam dividers in between, which required some precision that I now know I am not capable of.
During my fifth or sixth sprint, my clumsy size 11 foot caught the foam divider and I ate the trampoline. Hard.
But it’s just a trampoline, right? So I bounced straight back up and kept on sprinting. That’s what Abby Wambach would’ve done. Where’s my world cup.
When the class finished and I stepped back on solid ground, I knew straight away that I’d fucked my foot. My big toe is now a nice dark purple marbled hue and hurts like hell to walk on.
I’ve been trying to figure out how to continue being physically active with this injury, which is stressful. All activities that I’m currently digging — the yoga challenge, ab exercises and home workout videos — are out. Even my daily walks are out. I’ve had to start taking the bus to work, which makes me frustrated and grumpy although hopefully not for too long.
What’s making me most anxious, to be real with you, is the potential impact that inactivity might have on my body shape. I don’t generally sweat it when clothes start feeling a little tight, however, right now I have a nicely tailored wedding suit hanging in my closet that needs to fit my body in two months. There’s no excess fabric for it to be ‘let out’ and I won’t have the cash to buy a Plan B outfit. So if it doesn’t fit, it’ll be jeans and a t-shirt and being disowned by my family — again. Weddings! Such pressure.
So anyway, I’ve begun trying to adapt and come up with gentle exercise routine that doesn’t put weight on my foot. Here are a few little things that have worked so far:
- Upper body weight machines at the gym
- A core workout with leg raises, side crunches and twists
- The exercise bike
- Lots and lots of limping up and down the stairs at work
Have you ever had to work around an injury before? How did you go about adapting your exercise routine, or creating a new one? How did you handle the frustration of not being as active as you had been? Some of you have briefly mentioned having injuries and physical conditions far more serious than my sore toe, so if you’d like share anything about your experiences please do.
Also, if you’ve ever broken your toe and have some tips on foot-friendly exercises then I’d love to hear them.
Oh, and, despite the injury, trampolining was actually a blast. I don’t regret saying yes. It was a surprisingly intense workout and I can’t wait to do it again, although maybe I’ll be running a little more slowly next time.
Before I sign off, I want to ask you a question.
What’s your favourite workout song? That one track that just really gets you going. I need new gym music and so I’d like to make a Working On It playlist on Spotify, crowd-sourced from everyone who reads this column. Or multiple playlists, if our music tastes end up being all over the place.
I’ve got a several favourite workout jams but if I had to choose just one, I think it would be Sevendusts’ “T.O.A.B”. Or maybe Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”? This is a hard question. I’m sorry. I still want you to answer it, please. Thank you.
What have you been up to this week? What are your working on? Did you start the 30 Day Yoga Challenge? Did you say yes to trying something new? How did that go for you? Tell me all about it.
Also, if you’ve been enjoying this column then there’s a social group that you might like to join.
Coming up next week: Doing your desk job without feeling like a sloth, and hopefully a kick-ass playlist.