On the Road Again

I’m walking in the morning again.

After a many months hiatus brought on by the #BrokenAnkleSaga, I’m once again able to go for walks, albeit modest ones. My morning walks range from .5 to 1.5 miles depending on whether  I’m walking the round-trip 2.6 miles to work. Coupled with baseball practice/games and walking around for work, I’ve found that about 5 miles of total walking per day is my sweet spot. More than that and I’m reaching for the ibuprofen and ice packs at the end of the day.

Walking — especially with hills thrown in — helps increase the flexibility in my ankle and helps me stay limber throughout the day. Sedentary meetings and office work are the enemy; the less I move, the stiffer my ankle feels and the grumpier I become. Getting back to walking has other benefits. I’m making progress on the audiobook version of Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer novel (Book 3 of the Stormlight Archive), though I doubt I’ll finish it before my summer reading list begins (indeed, I think it just made its way on to the list). Walking to and from work also helps my mental state. Aside from listening to a book or podcasts, it gives me a much needed buffer between work and home. That extra 25 minutes of time to not think about work, family, baseball, and everything else is something I’ve greatly missed.

In addition to walking, I’ve got my morning physical therapy routine, which takes 20-25 minutes and is accompanied by an episode of Robotech. I’m currently watching The Robotech Masters (aka Southern Cross), which is the second series that makes up the first and only season of the show. Although I have it on DVD, I’ve been watching the series on Netflix because streaming is easier than fussing with discs. It’s a routine that harkens back to the summer between my eight grade and ninth grade years. I’d get up, deliver a bunch of newspapers on my bike, then hurry home to watch Robotech. It’s a fond memory, and one I’ve sought to recreate in the past when I watched the Macross Saga. It provides that extra bit of inspiration I need in the morning … and distracts me from the pain and soreness associated with my various stretches, lunges, and squats.

Finally, I’m back on the bike. Not my mountain bike — it’s been far too rainy this spring for that — but I have been riding the stationary bike the college’s gym. Cycling does wonders for my ankle by forcing it through all the familiar angles. Nothing loosens up my ankle like a good ride and I find that’s an even better motivator for getting me to the gym than Robotech.

I’m not back to where I was. My ankle’s still sore … but there are moments, sometimes even series of moments, where it’s not sore. I’m not jogging or running yet, and can’t even start on that until July.

No, things aren’t normal … but I think I can see normal from here.

And it looks great.

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The view from my morning walk up the switchbacks of College Hill. Credit: Ken Newquist.

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