I have a slightly embarrassing story to share with all of you today. About two weeks ago, I was walking around barefoot in my house and accidentally smashed my little toe into one of my hand weights that was lying on the floor.
(Pro-tip: this is not an amusing way to pass your time. I’d give it zero stars of out five and would not recommend this activity to anyone under any circumstances. Ha! )
That foot – and especially that poor little toe of mine – have been sore for the past two weeks, and I’ve been advised by my family doctor to give them plenty of rest and protection while they heal.
While my pain levels, ability to walk, and range of motion have continued to improve a little bit every day, I obviously have not been able to do my usual workouts for the past two weeks.
I’m at the point now in my recovery where I need very few doses of pain medication and am starting to feel eager to return to my old routines. My foot is not yet ready for all of that activity, so I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to the things I miss the most about the active lifestyle I had before this accident.
Feeling the Endorphin Rush
Brisk walks were something I enjoyed years before I became interested in other types of fitness. I didn’t have a name for the feeling they gave me for a long time, but eventually I learned about the endorphin rush that can happen after cardiovascular exercise.
For those of you who have never felt it, it’s like a wave of happiness that envelops your whole body. I personally love giving and receiving hugs, so sometimes I compare it to feeling a big, warm bearhug from someone you really care about. It’s going to be wonderful when I can move fast enough to feel this rush again.
Walking as a Form of Transportation
One of the best parts of living in Toronto is how accessible everything is, especially if you live in a dense, urban part of the city. When I’m not injured, I can get all of my errands finished without ever needing to use a car or even public transportation for the vast majority of the year. There are multiple grocery stores, post offices, pharmacies, clinics, other medical offices, and speciality stores within walking distance of my home.
I was so used to walking everywhere without a second thought that it came as a surprise to me to see how much further away everything seems when you have an injured foot. Suddenly, I had to think about how heavy the bags would be if I went shopping for groceries or other necessities, how long the journey there and back would be, and how many staircases or slippery patches on the sidewalk I might need to account for.
It’s going to be nice to return to that level of activity once my foot is up for longer journeys and heavier loads of purchased goods again. In the meantime, I’m figuring out how much time I can spend walking and how much stuff I can carry without vexing my foot.
Accomplishing My Daily Fitness Goals
Before my injury, I’d get about an hour of brisk walking in on the average day. Most of it would happen in 10 or 15 minutes increments as I accomplished other goals like running errands or watching television shows, and it would add up to about 12,000 steps a day in total. I lifted weights and did bodyweight exercises regularly, too, but I didn’t count those sessions as part of the one hour goal.
Walking that much or that quickly isn’t something I’m currently able to do, and in the beginning my foot was so sore to even the most gentle touch that I didn’t worry about weightlifting either. All I wanted was to no longer be in pain.
I miss meeting my fitness goals consistently, and I think I might be ready to start doing upper body workouts again as long as I remain seated for them.
Yes, I’ll admit that this might be an unusual thing to miss. I used to strongly dislike the feeling of perspiration running down my back when I was a kid and had to go straight from gym class to sitting quietly and taking notes for english or history.
There’s a difference between feeling sweat slowly dry on your body in a classroom hours before the final bell of the day rings and being able to go straight to the shower after a workout, though. Now that I can wash up and change clothes instead of feeling vaguely crusty and stinky all day, I like seeing how far I can push my body safely when I exercise.
The perspiration is proof that I’ve worked hard and will have slightly more strength and endurance in the future. I might not notice a change between this session and the next one, but I know that will change if I stick to the habits I’ve created and remind myself of what I used to find challenging six months or a year from now.
Here’s hoping I’ll be able to get back to my old habits soon!
Have you ever had a similar injury to mine? When was the last time you were too sick or injured to do your normal workout? I’d love to hear your stories.