Keep your ankles strong!

No, they aren’t saggy. But they are a little squishy, and they wobble. I have had geezer ankles for a very long time. The first time I sprained my ankle I was about nine years old and a little ninja on the soccer field. In the years following, I got seriously into my ballet training and sprained, strained, over-stretched, over-used and otherwise totally thrashed the tendons in both ankles. Repeatedly. For years. Not on purpose, really… it was just a by-product of what I called fun. And my ankles were not going to slow me down. I got away with it because of my youth, stubbornness, and an over abundant use of anti-inflammatories and ice baths.

By the time I started college, I could predict incoming thunderstorms because the barometric pressure change would mess with the swelling level of scar tissue in my ankles. I was a first year college student with geezer ankles.

I hate doing ankle exercises, and I also hate icing my ankles. So I don’t do this as often as I should. But here is one exercise that is quick and pays off big time. Do it before you get out of bed, or before you go to sleep. Start by laying on your back, knees bent and feet on the floor/mattress. Lift one leg straight above you, knee slightly relaxed. Now, use your toes like a paintbrush and (imagination helps here) paint in the air one letter of the alphabet at a time (upper case, cursive) as BIG as you can. Then, switch and do the other foot.

This sounds easy, but it’s not. Try to breathe, and use slow, smooth movements. Your ankles will thank you.

Christina is an awesome trail runner, climber, and dancer as well
as having a docorate in International Relations and two ridgebacks she runs with.

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