Single Leg Balance Retraining (Sprained Ankle Lessons – Part 2)

After spraining my right ankle in December last year, I spent time retraining myself how to do a Single Leg balance. This was a key part of my recovery.

Thankfully, I had the support of an excellent Virtual Physical Therapist, Joe LaVaccawho helped me in innumerable ways. Not only did he provide me with a protocol of exercises I needed to recover the balance on my right leg, he also gave me a clear idea of the grade of sprain (Grade 2-3) and how long it would take to heal (6-10 weeks).

More essentially, I learned about the mindset of healing that I needed. This perspective allowed me the time, the space, the work, and the support to recover. A whole new level of commitment to my self-care was required.

Still when it came to the balancing exercises, I was frustrated. I did the work but struggled mightily. I was so wobbly and often fell off balance completely. I maintained my discipline but I did NOT feel very patient with myself.

One day it struck me that in my attempts to balance, the failing, wobbling, and falling over were all part of the process of regaining/retraining my ability. I knew this but had forgotten. So I decided that being ‘bad’ at it and lacking success was the process… and I was in it! It wasn’t pretty but I trusted that it would help me in the long term.

I remembered that I don’t need to execute things perfectly. Falling and failing is part of the learning process. And training the body takes time. Paving new pathways for myself isn’t always easy but even my frustration can give me energy to keep going.

My hope is that this reminds you to allow yourself the time, the space, the work, and the support for your journey without having to be perfect.

Now, I’m sometimes delightfully surprised that the connection from my core, through my right hip to my foot, is online and alive. I can balance – feeling all the micro moves that help me to auto-adjust on a single leg. Yay!

This 36-second video below demonstrates me doing the Y Balance Test and Rehab Exercise on both sides. (I added the flex/point at the end of the reach for added fun, challenge, and as a reminder of my dance barre days.) Click on the image below to view.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *