Before explaining my blossoming obsession with ankle mobility, I want to let anyone who didn’t get here through Facebook that I finally went ahead and made a Facebook page for this blog, so you can follow and get blog updates even if we’re not FB friends. If that interests you, you can find that here.
Since I haven’t been running, I’m constantly on the lookout for ways to make sure my body is totally ready to not get injured again once I do get back into running. I’ve already covered my entire body in 100% more muscle (rounding up), so now I need to address mobility. Based on the willPower and Grace classes I’ve been taking lately, I’m completely convinced that most of my problems start in my ankles.
I’ve always had insanely tight achilles’ tendons, but recently they’ve actually felt fine, and it’s been the front of my ankles that feel super tight. When this started, I immediately decided that all the yoga and willPower/Grace classes and ankle stretching at work that I’ve been doing have somehow made everything tighter. This didn’t feel like a logical explanation, but it’s the only one I had. My instincts told me not to say this out loud to anyone though, because it felt like a dumb conclusion.
Then I had a revelation. My achilles’ are getting looser, to the point that my anterior ankle has become my limiting factor. I need to loosen that up until I reach the max stretching point of my achilles’ again, and probably keep going back and forth. I was really excited when I figured this out, because I simultaneously experienced the joy of feeling less dumb, and of being able to solve my problem. It was a lot like the scene from the 1996 film, Phenomenon starring John Travolta, when he realizes that the rabbits have been eating his vegetables despite the big fence he built, because he trapped them inside. It was just like that. Except hopefully I just figured my problem out because it wasn’t a very difficult problem and I’m already a little bit smart and not because I have an astrocytoma brain tumor. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, follow this link and go to 13:23 to understand.
Now that I’ve figured this all out, I’ll be adding a lot of ankle mobility exercises to my warmups and workouts. Here’s a good site with instructions for you if you’re interested in doing the same. Here’s a before picture of my right ankle (the least flexible one) at max dorsiflexion:
Hopefully I’ll have an after picture in a month or so with vastly improved dorsiflexion. And more cute pictures of Pascal. Until then, good luck with your own ankle stretches, and enjoy Phenomenon, which I’m sure you’ve already started watching in entirety on YouTube.