Sep 2011

Here's a picture of me doing yoga with a new friend - this gorgeous Ponderosa pine I met at a campsite on the east side of Mt Hood. I was there for a weekend of hiking, my final preparation for leading an outing to the UK during September.

Eugene Vrksana.JPG

As you can imagine, it being the fourth anniversary of my climbing fall, it sure felt good to be up on that previously broken left foot. Trusting to my balance and using the energy of a tree stump to add playfulness to Vrksana (Tree Pose).

Well, actually, as you can see below, I was nervous to begin with - but once I got the base down, then I got more playful. (Yeah, yeah, I switched standing leg too...)

Badger Creek 20111.jpg

Indeed, this whole experience of rehab has deepened my belief in a Pyramid Training approach to our activities. 

    base base
base base base

Most of us need to spend more time building the base of the pyramid 'to support our peak activities - peak being the races, trips, adventures, weekends. This means

* more movement during the week
* at an easier level than our peak activities

In other words, do a lot, start early, but make it easier. Lighter weights, less impact, longer warmups, longer cooldowns and stretches. Make sure that you balance your hardest challenges with enough easier movement. I believe that this will improve kinesthetic learning, reduce injuries, and make the peak activities more fun.

Looking back, this is what worked for me. I was ahead of my surgeon's recommendations at the beginning of my rehab - using visualization, cardio work with a scooter, walking in the pool. But once I got cleared for full weight bearing, I found that the switch, even after all my preparation, was too sudden. Hiking caused a lot of ankle swelling. So I switched mostly to bike riding for a month, keeping to shorter walks. Here, at four months, I was celebrating with my Ponderosa friend that there was no ankle swelling from the long and rough trail the previous day. Apparently I had got myself ready for the peak activity.

Namaste, Eugene

p.s. I am out of the country for September. Hope to see you at the Mazama Lodge Yoga Retreat in October.