Friday, March 11, 2011

Ankle Arthroscopy (The Finale)

This will probably be anticlimactic for most people, but I thought it was cool enough to warrant one last post.

After 9 weeks into the adventure of my ankle Arthroscopy, I had my final follow up visit with my Surgeon on Thursday.

Because of my almost monk like devotion to my physical therapy I have regained a significant amount of range of motion in my big toe and ankle.

One of the other options would be to fuse the entire joint together, for whatever reason anytime I hear the word “fuse” combined with any body part I cringe. (No thanks)

9 weeks is not the end of the road for the procedure either.

The Doc explained that it would take an additional 2 to3 months for full recovery which for me would mean that I could go out and run maybe 5 to 7 miles without issues.

He also gave me his blessing to begin running again, which was what I had been waiting 9 weeks to hear.

His only caveat was that I could run for about….wait for it…..10 whole minutes.

I got home from work, grabbed the dogs and the wife, and went for a half mile jog in the middle of a killer rain storm on the trails at the house.

It was awesome.(I had very little swelling afterwards which the Doctor said was normal).

Probably the coolest part of my final visit was that it turns out my Surgeon is also an avid mountain biker, so he hooked me up with his email and were going to try and schedule a ride.

The fact that the guy who did my surgery understands riding and probably has some level of love for the sport, gave me a sense of kinship throughout the process and speaks volumes in my mind to his character.

It’s pretty wild how things work out…


Monday, March 7, 2011

The evolution of a home gym

During my 2 month recovery from ankle arthroscopy I had ample time to think of many useless ideas.

One idea that has actually started to evolve into a pretty cool reality is my “home gym” project.

When most people think of a home gym they picture elliptical machines and treadmills.

This is not the type of gym I have envisioned.

You see I am not a "gym guy".

 I see exercise as “elemental”.

By elemental I mean that exercising outdoors does something for me that you cannot get from a temperature controlled environment, (which my garage is not).

I’m really into the idea of “functional fitness", and I want the components of the gym to reflect that.

I’m sure it looks spartan to the casual observer with everything that's available for home fitness these days, but it’s always evolving and works.

The concept began with two Thule straps hanging from the rafters of my garage. Why Thule straps you may ask?

The straps are my “DIY” ode to the “TRX” Suspension trainer which retails for $189.00.

The idea kind of took off from there and I have since added;

-A bench (incline/decline)

-A “pull-up/ dip” tower

-Padding for the floor

-Kettle bells

 I have to have my music, so while I was out with the surgery (much to my Doctor’s chagrin); I installed an old home theater system receiver in one of the cabinets and ran the speakers for surround sound. (I plug my Netbook or MP-3 player in at the DVD jack).

I picked up some cabinet handles and screwed them into a log for a variety of exercises like squats, presses and lunges. (Works well because it’s awkward to handle and you can always cut a heavier piece)

Some of the things I’m thinking about in the future include;

-A heavy bag (Not for traditional purposes)

- A 3 inch PVC pipe with water inside sealed at both ends. (These things are a trip to work with)

- Possibly a “boldering” wall down the road.

If you have any cool ideas send them my way.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

“Fast Times” in RVA

So Richmond VA has received the dubious honor of being ranked #3 in the Nation for the number of “Fast Food” restaurants per capita.

According to a report by WTVR 6 news which cited a study conducted by “The Daily Beast” there are 274 fast food chains, in RVA.

The study says that's 134 fast food joints per 100,000 residents.

The news story also mentioned that a Virginia childhood obesity survey found that 60 percent of adults in Virginia are obese or overweight, and that one in three children are struggling with weight and health issues.

The issue is significant enough that a Senator has introduced legislation to expand the existing mandatory P.E. time in Virginia schools.

The Senator (who is also a pediatric neurologist), pointed out that; "For the first time in history, children who are born now will have a shorter life expectancy than those who were born before them."

It doesn’t take a pediatric neurologist to show a connection between the two…

I was under the impression that we were flanked by two “foodie” oriented towns, (Richmond & Charlottesville), both of which seem to have a vibrant local food scene with a lot of independent options.

Am I wrong in my assumption?

Are my eyes so clouded by the fact that my wife creates food that rivals most restaurants that I never saw this coming?

So what is wrong with Richmond or VA for that matter?

Seriously, what’s the deal?

Granted I am a healthy convert, I acknowledge that I “fell of the wagon” for about a decade during my 20’s.

But are we really that lazy of a society that the federal government has to mandate exercise for our kids?

Think about that idea for a minute...

If you can’t control your life then the feds will certainly accommodate you.

Am I missing something here?

Without good health (Both physical & mental) you have nothing, there is no counter argument, no devil’s advocate, no “yeah buts”. It’s what we refer to as a “fact”.

Tell me that I don’t understand.

Tell me “Just wait until you have kids of your own”.

Granted, I don’t have children but should I ever go that route you can rest assured that I won’t be using them as an excuse for my short comings.

To me, the tide rises and falls with healthy living, and not just in what you eat but how you think as well.

Think of it as a full circle, Mind, Body, & Spirit

Oh, and kids should get the chance to be….well, kids.