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Old 01-27-21, 08:27 PM  
bfit
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Really discouraged, don't feel like I will achieve the fitness I used to have

I've written here several times over the past 6 months about various things regarding my broken foot. I appreciate everyone's advice and patience. Before the pandemic I was in the best shape of my life (I'm 63). I was running 2-3 days a week, doing barre workouts at a studio, and doing tough home workouts with kettlebells and weights. All of that ground to a halt when I got injured. It's 6 months now, and I am just barely out of the chair workouts although I can stand to do squats, I can ride the stationary bike, and I've been swimming and doing water aerobics. However, the doctor says I can never run again, never do high impact again, and never do barre again. I'm supposed to be getting physical therapy, but my therapist isn't really very helpful in terms of overall fitness. I'm just about giving up on ever getting back the level of fitness that I had which makes it hard to motivate myself to do the things I'm doing now. I'm sure there are people who have come back from worse. Does anyone have any advice or experience?
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Old 01-27-21, 08:34 PM  
Erica H.
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
I'm so sorry you're going through this. I know how discouraging and depressing it is. I've been through it many many times with injuries and surgeries. You will regain your fitness level when your body is ready. It's just going to take some time, which is so hard to deal with mentally and physically. Honestly, I was devastated at times, but it does come back quickly (muscle memory is a good thing!) and it's so exciting to see the progress when you start exercising again. And it makes you appreciate the gift of movement so much more after it's been taken away from you.

Hang in there. And I recommend getting another opinion about what you can expect to be doing in the future.

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Old 01-27-21, 09:24 PM  
Taiga
 
Join Date: May 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfit View Post
I've written here several times over the past 6 months about various things regarding my broken foot. I appreciate everyone's advice and patience. Before the pandemic I was in the best shape of my life (I'm 63). I was running 2-3 days a week, doing barre workouts at a studio, and doing tough home workouts with kettlebells and weights. All of that ground to a halt when I got injured. It's 6 months now, and I am just barely out of the chair workouts although I can stand to do squats, I can ride the stationary bike, and I've been swimming and doing water aerobics. However, the doctor says I can never run again, never do high impact again, and never do barre again. I'm supposed to be getting physical therapy, but my therapist isn't really very helpful in terms of overall fitness. I'm just about giving up on ever getting back the level of fitness that I had which makes it hard to motivate myself to do the things I'm doing now. I'm sure there are people who have come back from worse. Does anyone have any advice or experience?
Does your doctor say specifically why barre is out of the question? They have modified movements (I think I remember seeing this in Bar method but hopefully others will chime in) so that you can stay flat footed and avoid arch/forefoot pressure.

Kettlebells are golden when it comes to conditioning without impact. Just doing a swing challenge can seriously up your conditioning. So what if you have to start out with a baby sized bell--as long as you can get started, you can make progress. If needed, start by just holding a tiny KB while rising out of the chair. Or start empty handed and rise out of the chair and rep until you are fatigued. Start gradually and be smart.

If you have been off your feet for several months, you're going to feel vulnerable. We lose core strength when sitting and that can make you feel especially fragile when coming back. Show your PT what you want to do (even take a KB to your appt), get any needed modifications and then move forward. You're going to end up someplace in the next 6 months. You can fight your way back or embrace your despair. Every added rep or ounce takes you forward. Put "FORWARD" in your head and let it be your mantra.

If you could see the athletes that come back to their sport after fractures, torn ligaments, disc herniations, tendon ruptures etc, you would not even hesitate. If you already have the ability to walk/stand, then you are way ahead of many and have the potential to be in excellent shape. I really hope you fight back. I know the people here would love to cheer you on
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Old 01-27-21, 09:28 PM  
fanofladyvols
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It sucks if I think about what I have lost.

I can't focus on what I have lost, I have to keep concentrating on the movement I CAN do. And just reading your post it sounds like you're able to do quite a bit! Congratulations!

Please take the time to celebrate and enjoy the progress you have made! Celebrate and charge ahead at whatever speed you can ...if for no other reason but to show the folks still struggling to find ways to move that it CAN be done. Maybe not exactly as before ..but moving again is possible.

Don't give up ..(and definitely take Erica's advice to start by looking for another physical therapist)
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Old 01-27-21, 09:38 PM  
Taiga
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by fanofladyvols View Post
It sucks if I think about what I have lost.

I can't focus on what I have lost, I have to keep concentrating on the movement I CAN do. And just reading your post it sounds like you're able to do quite a bit! Congratulations!

Please take the time to celebrate and enjoy the progress you have made! Celebrate and charge ahead at whatever speed you can ...if for no other reason but to show the folks still struggling to find ways to move that it CAN be done. Maybe not exactly as before ..but moving again is possible.

Don't give up ..(and definitely take Erica's advice to start by looking for another physical therapist)
Love your signature line/ choice of word for 2021:

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Old 01-28-21, 08:45 AM  
Sollamyn
 
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: S. Illinois
By the end of February, it will be 6 months since breaking my ankle. And, yes, I totally understand. I am/have been pretty discouraged lately. It seems like I am not making any progress anymore! My swelling is pretty bad, which makes wearing regular shoes uncomfortable--which makes walking for exercise more difficult, since I'm not wearing walking/exercise shoes. I'm basically wearing high-quality house shoes (rubber-soled clogs). They keep my arches in place and are cushy and all that. But they don't provide the stability and flexibility I need in a walking shoe.

Anyway--yes, your fitness life might change because of this injury. I remember being in my 40s and dealing with a torn meniscus and then an arthritic spine, which meant I could no longer do high impact activities. That was nearly 20 years ago. I was upset, but I learned to make changes to my fitness routine and I also learned to have the perspective of being grateful for what I still have and not to focus on what I may have lost.

It sounds to me like you still have many fitness options. Life won't be the same, but give your current options a chance. You might find some blessings in those that you didn't think were there.

Take care and best wishes for your continued recovery,
Donna
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Old 01-28-21, 10:27 AM  
kat999
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ohio
I feel like you should get a second opinion because I cannot for the life of me figure out why barre would be out of the question when recovering from a broken foot. Seek out a doctor or PT who actually understands what barre is. Do they think it's actual traditional ballet that would have you en pointe or something? My barre classes never do that, and the ballet element is much more about balance and toning. The most we do might be calf raises on the ball of the foot, but I'm sure if you're either doing it at home or in a studio you could modify to avoid that. Barre is such a powerful but gentle workout that I think helps a great deal with general injury prevention and recovery, and I'd hate to see you lose that based on one doctor's advice if they don't really get what it is.
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Old 01-28-21, 12:09 PM  
DD546
 
Join Date: May 2011
Quote:
Originally Posted by fanofladyvols View Post
It sucks if I think about what I have lost.

I can't focus on what I have lost, I have to keep concentrating on the movement I CAN do. And just reading your post it sounds like you're able to do quite a bit! Congratulations!

Please take the time to celebrate and enjoy the progress you have made! Celebrate and charge ahead at whatever speed you can ...if for no other reason but to show the folks still struggling to find ways to move that it CAN be done. Maybe not exactly as before ..but moving again is possible.
This is exactly the way I feel. I've had some health struggles over the past several years that have affected what I'm able to do fitness wise. I'm just grateful that I've been able to recover some of what I've lost and that I can still do the things I love to do.
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Old 01-28-21, 12:55 PM  
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bfit, I'm sorry you are having a frustrating time. Being older, it does take more time to heal. If possible, maybe try to schedule an appointment with a sports physician. Regular doctors don't quite get that some folks over the age of 60 want to be fit and work out.

(I, too, am not sure what would be wrong with modified barre workouts.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by fanofladyvols View Post
It sucks if I think about what I have lost.

I can't focus on what I have lost, I have to keep concentrating on the movement I CAN do. And just reading your post it sounds like you're able to do quite a bit! Congratulations!
Such good advice. I need to think this way every day.
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Old 01-29-21, 11:15 PM  
SueT
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Befit, please donít give up on improving your fitness. I want to share my story, which youíve probably heard bits and pieces of through other posts of mine.

When I was 52 I had lateral meniscus surgery. The surgery went well, but the surgeon told me he had to take out a large section of my meniscus that had broken and kept getting caught in my kneecap (very painful) and that the surgery was necessary because of that but I would have a greater chance of knee arthritis because of the missing meniscus.

He told me to go to physical therapy, where they were having me do weighted leg press and fire walker band side steps, the exercise bike, and unweighted step-ups. This was at my second session! When I told the surgeon this, he told me to tell the physical therapist not to use weights. I asked him if I could do squats and lunges to strengthen my knee, and he asked me why I would want to do that! He implied Iíd just hurt myself again and be back to see him with a swollen knee like his patients who went back to playing basketball. He said walking and the exercise bike were okay.

I never went back to physical therapy and did a lot of research on my own. I rode my exercise bike, but that didnít seem to strengthen my knee enough. I tried floorwork, but even without ankle weights it bothered my knee. Any standing weight work was too much strain on my knee, too, but I intuitively knew I had to safely build up the muscle strength around my knee. Even Leslie walks could bother it!

I tried Callanetics and Classical Stretch, which really didnít work for me because of Mirandaís plies that strained my knee. I finally decided to try Kathy Smithís Project You and do the entire lower body workout without weights. It was hard to do even body weight squats, but I persisted, slowly increasing my range of motion. Kathyís plies were much more manageable than Mirandaís, but they still felt very uncomfortable and I just kept my range of motion small.

Fast forward about a year and a half, and I can now do lower body work with light to medium dumbbells. Iím finally able to do low impact cardio, and Iím very happy to be able to do Jessica Smithís Walk Strong 3 rotation. I feel physically stronger than I have in years, and Iím so happy that I just kept trying to find what worked for me. Iím 59 now, and Iím so grateful that I can keep up with my 4-year-old grandson. I owe a big thank-you to all the members of the VF community who have taught me so much about fitness over the years.

So all this is to say if you give yourself enough time, you will slowly but surely be able to gain back your fitness. If I had listened to my surgeon and didnít have the fitness knowledge and experience I had, I would have been afraid to touch weights ever again. I have to say, though, that he did a very good job on my surgery, so Iím very grateful to him for that. He knew how to perform the surgery, but the recovery and building strength back was another matter.

I hope my long-winded story helped. It took me much longer than I expected to regain my fitness, but I did and I treat my body with much more respect now.

Donít give up! Youíll get there.

SueT
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