As the season pushes forward, it is easy to get worn down and tired especially with every other thing we have going on in life. It’s been an awesome ride since summer but the road is still going uphill in hopes of National titles and more. Remembering to take care of yourself, not just your body but also your mental state as well, is important in helping you and your team reach new heights.
If you are facing challenges with your body, more specifically pain in your ankles, do not ignore the problems that you may face. Your coaches are here to help and support you but not communicating with us is the most harmful thing you could do. If you are facing pain, your coaches can give you numerous exercises and stretches to help decrease your pain and increase your strength.
Walking around your house and the gym on your tippy toes and heels is one of the simplest ways to work your ankles and help with ankle ailments. Writing your ABC’s with your ankles is also a fun and easy exercise, but keeping your ankles stiff is the wrong plan. Also, do not skip icing and heating those challenge spots. If your ankles and shins are aching, ice them! Do it for 10 minutes and then switch to heat for 10 minutes. Switch from cold to hot will decrease the swelling and pain but also help the muscles heal quicker.
If you are facing challenge spots in your wrists and forearms, this is very common as well. Our wrists and ankles are both spots on our body with less muscle protecting the bones and joints compared to our shoulders or knees for instance. This means we have to take better care of our weaker areas, strengthen them, and get stronger so we do not have the aching anymore. Ask your coaches for specific exercises and stretches to help your wrist pain and flexibility. The more you roll your wrists out and build the muscle around your wrists and forearms, the less pain and impact your wrists and hands will take while tumbling. Do not forget to ice and heat as well like listed above!
I want to leave you will this final thought, “A body in motion stays in motion. A body at rest stays at rest”. If our bodies are aching and sore, that is not a sign or reason to stop being active and cut off the athleticism completely. It is a sign to take better care of your body and to rest a little and get back on the horse. No World Champion ever stopped when they faced a sore ankle before competition. You are all athletes and fighters, let’s keep up the excitement and drive for the rest of the season!
By: Amanda Tunison