I think I’ll be ready…

…for summer ultimate frisbee league!  On Saturday, I played ultimate outdoors for the first time since ATR.  I did some standard stretching before playing and had no ATR related issues.  The only things that I noticed were tangential: I was slower, got tired more quickly and couldn’t jump as high as I remembered (although I did have a nice jump for a “D” that drew oohs and aahs from one of the young kids).  Another minor thing was that I played in running shoes instead of cleats, so I slipped a few times that I otherwise wouldn’t have.  Also, on Sunday I had no stiffness or soreness.  Can’t wait for next Sat!

7 Responses to “I think I’ll be ready…”

  1. Interesting: your PT does not want you to run on pavement but you jump and slip…. Are you doing jumping exercises with the PT at least? I guess the strength will come back only with lots of challenge. I have not seen my PT since January, got lazy about my heel lifts, but do all my regular activities.

  2. I think the only question is whether you’ll give “110%” before you’re ready. I forget (and didn’t check): are you doing a bunch of 1-leg heel raises already? If so, my first ortho said “Go for it!” (And if not, “not so much”.)

    I was pushing him and fighting him constantly, but that rule-of-thumb made sense to me, and it still does.

    (I also like the gardening rules-of-thumb that go like “plant the petunias as soon as the maples are in full leaf”!)

  3. 2nd- I have been doing jumping exercises: stabilizing on a piece of equipment, then bouncing on an upside-down balance board - the kind that looks like half of a ball.

    Norm- I’m up to 15+ 1-leg heel raises and am also doing up with both feet, slowly down with ATR leg.

    I just got back from my first “real” bike ride - 13.5 miles to the top of a nearby dam and back - and everything feels fine.

  4. Ulti, if you’re doing 15+ 1-leg heel raises — and you’re doing at least the first half-dozen without massive effort (like grunting and groaning), then not only do I think you’re ready to “go for it”, but my self-labeled “conservative” Ortho surgeon from 8 yrs ago thinks you’re ready, too! Enjoy yourself. If you insist on worrying about an AT, I’d worry about the OTHER one! :-)

    I bicycled a few miles today, and yesterday, mostly getting to my sailing club (and back) to get “my” boat ready for this Friday evening’s race — the first of the season! I was late for the ferry/tender on the way down to the Lake (Ontario), and pushing pretty hard on the way back up, and it all felt great! When I first started cycling, I was weak and out of shape and ankle-AT-nervous, but now it’s just a blast (again)!

    I do concentrate on putting in lots of ankle flexion and calf push, sometimes, when I think about it.

    A few times, I’ve even been surprised at the “easy speed” — the “zoom zoom” feel of the wind in my hair, or the speed rounding a corner, and how LITTLE effort it seems to take. I haven’t had that feeling since before the ATR, and it’s a hoot at 20-ish weeks!

    Tomorrow my PT puts me on the computerized machine that’s going to compare my healing ankle-and-AT’s performance to the other side. My ROM is pretty close to 100%, but I expect the various strength benchmarks to be maybe in the 45%-65% range. We’ll see.

    I am SO much happier recovering strength while biking and walking and running (yes, I’ve been doing a bit of that, too, mostly when I’m in a rush) than I am while pushing machines and doing multiple “sets” of multiple “reps”! So it’s a real blast to have reached that stage. I’m sure that adding sailing and racing back into my life will also be a delightful distraction from the AT-rehab.

  5. Went to PT today, and my therapist said several times that he was happy that I was back to playing Ultimate. I put two cleat questions to him: 1st, cleats during Ultimate and 2nd, cleats to clip in on my road bike. He didn’t like hearing that I’d been slipping last Sat and that he didn’t want me showing up next time w/a ruptured ACL. So, cleats back on this Sat. From the biking standpoint, he made kind of a funny face and wanted to consult w/another PT and told me to stick w/regular pedals until my next session, 2 weeks from now. I was actually hoping for a reverse of this status because I didn’t really mind wearing running shoes while playing Ultimate and I was getting really annoyed biking yesterday. But, I’ve tried very hard to stick w/his program so far, so I’ll continue to follow his suggestions.
    Glad to hear that you’re doing so well, Norm. Having grown up in SE Michigan and spending every other weekend as well as every summer vacation of my teen years on a boat on Lake Huron (kept it in Sarnia), I do miss the lakes being here in Denver. Somehow sailing on a reservoir just doesn’t get me very excited…

  6. Hi Dad

    Slipping puts a lot of sudden-jolt stress on all our ligaments and tendons, especially if we try to recover from the slip. Cleats make sense. Key is to make sure your heel stays on the ground where we plant it. If we slip, and put all our weight onto our toes, that “healed” AT can get overstressed, as well as ACL, etc. We won’t have full strength for awhile, and there will be some scar tissue weakness for a long time. My posterior tibal tendon has a permenant scar lump from surgery 10 years ago.
    Regarding biking cleats, I guess that would depend on the forces and motions necessary to make a quick exit. And the alignment. Toe clips allow some flexibility of movement.

  7. Wearing cleats worked out just fine today - in fact there were several times that I wouldn’t've been able to make catches if I hadn’t been in them. No swelling, no pain - now I just need to get in better aerobic shape!

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