Messages from the Inside (Ankle Strain)

Messages from the Inside

How’s your day going today? If you’ve been sitting down for longer than an hour, get up and move around. If you’re a guy, try a Downward Dog into ten to-the-floor push-ups, or a Downward Dog into three push-ups if you’re a woman. How did you feel? If you noticed foot or wrist pain, chances are the problem has been there for a lot longer than you realized.

Recently I had some ankle strain brought on by overzealousness while pushing myself through a ballistic acrobatic move. Needless to say I was in pain – the kind of pain where you berate yourself for ignoring your body’s warning signs. I watched helplessly as the pain transferred to other parts of my body, and I realized that I had allowed my adrenaline to take over my decision-making. As a fitness professional, I was guilty of not taking my own advice!

Pain in our muscles and joints has profound physical effects on our ability to move. Suddenly, everything becomes a negotiated calculation: how to get up out of a chair, how to stand up from the ground or go up or down stairs. Every action takes on a new and unfamiliar dimension. And then there are the mental and emotional repercussions – irritability, frustration, weakness. For those of us who have taken our bodies for granted, it’s a watershed moment, and we might wonder if it will ever get better.

I have decided to think of this as an opportunity, akin to a huge STOP sign – although I should add here that the solution is not about taking a break from the gym. We can consider ourselves at a crossroads where we can choose to ‘push through it’ and accrue more injury – or – opt to change-up our approach. In other words, we can choose to address the problem directly, and in the right way. This is a very important point because studies have proved injured athletes heal better by strengthening the original spot that contributed to the injury.

In our last blog post we talked about how practices like meditation help us to notice our thoughts. As I have always told my clients, bringing awareness to our bodies has benefits as well. One of these is to bring physical problems to our attention and prevent needless injury. Although injuries, as I learned last week, give us plenty to think about. — Paul Watson

What do you think? Do you have an injured athlete in your life? Until December 31st give the gift of health and strength with our Transform Fitness NYC ‘Five for 5’ holiday gift card. You’ll get a fitness assessment and five sessions with an expert trainer for only $500! Call or text: 917 804 1866. Or email: And talk to us on Twitter and Facebook. Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Quiroz.

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