The last 10% of my walking-recovery is taking it’s time. I can walk without a crutch – but even when I’m concentrating specifically on staying straight, I’ve got a wobble at the hip. It’s proving difficult to isolate the muscles involved and make them stronger, compared with the obvious muscles in the leg, which responded much more quickly. If I do day-to-day activities without the crutch, although it doesn’t hurt, I hobble more because I’m not concentrating. For that reason, I’m still using a single crutch to prevent a limp/hobble from becoming a habit.
However, at my physio session on the 7th December, my therapist said that I’m ready to start some more dynamic exercises. I tried bounding from leg to leg; it felt great to be moving more like that, and doable. I tried to jog a little, but that wasn’t working out as well. Then some hopping on my right leg, with slight support from the left hand; that felt good too.
I returned to the gym yesterday for the first time since the accident. I was able to use the cycling machine, the cross trainer and work my upper body – get back to doing the things that my leg needs to be doing. It feels good to step up the use of my leg, even if snowboarding isn’t on the list of exercises 😉
I’m hoping that over the next 3 to 4 weeks, I’ll get some good progress from these more dynamic exercises. I’ll continue to use my crutch when not exercising, to keep the limp at bay. Pushing it more, I do get some pain, mostly around the hip, but nothing dramatic. I’m still getting occasional pain and ache on the side and rear of my head, but overall, it’s “so far so good”.
Plan: snowboarding next summer
For the summer months just gone – it was my intention to snowboard more regularly, using both the indoor slope at Castleford and the snowflex slope at Halifax. I wanted to get back on the progression-curve, following a period of stagnation. After 3 or 4 sessions, the plan was cut short by the above cycling accident. However, I am still encouraged by the progress I was making in just a short period of time.
In addition to the snowboarding, I had tried a couple of off-hill training methods:
- a snowboard balance rail
- using a trampoline to practice grabs
The initial target was to get the nose grab working as well as the frontside boardslide. I didn’t get them on lock down, but progress was definitely made, especially considering I’d never previously managed to grab the nose before.
My plan now, is to rekindle this progression next summer, when my leg is fully functional again. Snowboarding here in the UK will be a great introduction to being back on the board… Unlike opting in for a full on snowboarding holiday, I can try a session in the fridge to test the leg. If it’s not quite ready, I haven’t wasted too much.
It’s my intention to use both Castleford and Halifax, indoor snow and snowflex. I’d really like to check out one of our latest snow centres – Hemel Hempstead – to see what their freestyle sessions are like. It’s just a bit far for me to travel. If you’re not in the UK, here’s an example of one of our indoor snow slopes.
As for the shredding itself, I’ve got two tools in mind to help out…
Tool 1: Snowboard Addiction
As a means of both instruction and motivation, I’d been following the trick tips in the Snowboard Addiction freestyle program. That’s where I got the idea to build the balance rail, and also the intermediary steps to learning the nose grab. They also pointed out the concept of counter-rotation, which I’m still shocked is something that I’d overlooked, maybe you have too? That helped with the frontside boardslides as well as a nice variation on the backside 180.
So the SA freestyle program is the first part of my instruction. I’m going to follow their trick tips to progress on rails and boxes, and hopefully step it up to 540s.
Tool 2: Snowboard Jedi Program
Pricing aside, there are some useful mental-training ideas in the program that I’d like to put to use. Given my current inability to snowboard, the aim was to provide two reviews of the Jedi Program, the 1st (above) to cover what’s included and how the program should be used, and the 2nd to provide an opinion of how successful the methods are.
At this stage I think there’s definitely scope to improve my snowboarding using some of visualisation techniques included. It’s new, I’m not expecting miracles, but I will be putting the jedi to use next summer – mental training.