Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

Losing My Independence

Yesterday I left the house alone for the first time since surgery. The realization hit me while I was locking the door with my own keys, which had been sitting on my dresser for months.

What used to be an every day thing for me now felt foreign and slightly frightening. I had been hiding behind other people and relying on them for my basic needs for months. And now I was suddenly back out in the world, fending for myself.

Losing My Independence

More than anything else, the hardest part of my injury has been losing my independence and my ability to move about freely in the world by myself.

I miss grabbing my shoes and heading out for a run on a whim. I miss being able to take care of my boring errands like going to the post office or the library without having to schedule it with someone else or ask to be taken there.

Today it’s coming back.

These days I feed myself, do my half of the housework and cooking, and spend the work day by myself. I started driving this morning, and daily walks are my new reward for hard work.

But I feel like I have to learn how to be in the world again. A couple of weeks ago I took BART into downtown San Francisco for my first real adventure on my own post-surgery. I was shocked by how uncomfortable I was out in public. It certainly doesn’t help that my boot (and previously cast/crutches) draw a lot more attention than I am comfortable with, but my time hidden away in the house has made me feel awkward and unmoored out in public.

I’ve been working from home since January, and my time in my own bubble is clearly taking its toll. Ironically, at a time when most people want to stay home and spend extra time with family, I’m itching to get out and meet new people and be a part of the outside world again.

What I Learned From a Year-long Injury

It’s been a year since I first hurt my ankle. I’m torn between the part of me that wants to wallow in fate or misfortune and the other that’s ready to celebrate.

This has been a year of challenge. A year of learning. A year of pushing my limits and redefining the way I see myself.

Of course I miss running like crazy and I want to be the badass I once was, but I am way more resilient and grateful than that woman was. She didn’t know how hard it was to feed yourself on crutches. She never woke up crying in the middle of the night because her ankle was on fire. She didn’t know what it was like to persevere through a full year of pain and frustration and set backs.

year-long-injury

What I learned from my year-long injury

1. You can sob all you want, but you can’t change reality.

I fell apart as my friend helped me off the court. I couldn’t accept that I was poised to set a PR and instead I was going to be rehabbing a severely injured ankle. Crying and disbelief won’t change anything.

First time back in years. Blew out my ankle. #basketball

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on

2. Ice cream won’t kill you.

I’ve done my best over the past year to severely limit my sugar intake. It’s a known inflammatory food and I need all the help I can get healing. While I stand by my decision, I also don’t regret the times I had ice cream or another sweet treat.

3. You aren’t what you do.

Runner. Yogi. Lifter. Athlete. These are all just parts of me. They don’t define me. And even when I’m not able to do them, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still a part of my identity and a part of what makes me me.

4. Do what you love.

I love to run and push myself and move my body, but even before I discovered my love for sports I fell for books. This year has given me the opportunity to spend more time than ever before reading. Reading has fulfilled me in ways that running or lifting arguably could not.

5. But how is it today?

It’s so easy to get caught up in how I think things should go or should be. But life doesn’t work like that. I had to learn to take my recovery a day at a time and realize that each day was going to be wildly different. Turns out it fits for even more than just an injury. Things look and feel different every day. Some days cooking feels like the worst way to spend my time and others it leaves me feeling warm and content. How is it today?

6. Slow down.

There’s nothing like crutches or a bulky boot to slow you down. But more than physically, I had to try to slow down mentally. As much as I tried, you just can’t look ahead two months and try to project where you will be. Recovery is slow and your body does its own thing. This year forced me to drop my obsessive planning and projecting, or at least try to.

On the move! #sixmonths up on the blog #physicaltherapy #running

A video posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on

Exercising with an Ankle or Foot Injury -year-long injury

7. Keep moving.

An injury (most of the time) isn’t a sentence to the couch. I did my best to move both before and after surgery. I don’t always feel like exercising these days and it’s really difficult for me to make it to the gym since I still can’t drive, but I’m trying my best. A very nice woman around my age who was doing a seriously badass workout came up to me and told me that seeing me workout in a boot was really inspiring to her. She made me realize that it should be inspiring to me too. It forced me to look at what I was doing and the effort I’ve been putting in and appreciate my effort more.

Peroneal Tendon Surgery Recovery -year-long injury

8. Put your feet up.

Don’t forget to relax. Healing takes time and a ton of your body’s energy. Respect that! A week after my surgery I thought I could go to the farmer’s market. I was so wrong. I ended up sitting on a cold concrete bench willing myself to apparate home. Even almost two months later, I still feel like I have to sleep all day after a workout. Indulge in healing. Treat yourself to some elevation and a nice soothing soak.

9. Listen to yourself.

That pain is your body trying to tell you something. The voice in your head that says “this is a bad idea” is probably right (unless it’s just fear talking, then tell it to STFU). I’ve gotten a lot better this year at checking in with how I feel and adjusting accordingly. In the past I’ve been the queen of pushing through pain, which usually ends in a lingering injury. Since I already have one of those, I’m trying to be extra in-tune with what my body needs and what I really want. It’s changed the way I work, spend my time, and exercise.

10. Pain is temporary*.

It’s so hard to remember that it won’t last forever when you’re in the thick of it. The pain spreads like wildfire, lashing at everything in its path. But it will burn out. In a few days or a few weeks, you won’t remember just how bad it was. It will slowly drain away until there’s nothing left.

*I am blessed that this is actually true for me. I don’t know how people handle debilitating pain on a daily basis. Those people deserve our admiration, love, and help.

11. Trust.

This year I learned to trust. To let myself be taken care of. I’ve never had surgery, and while I was ready for this to be all over, I wasn’t thrilled with the idea. I put complete trust in my surgeon and the entire team. I felt safe going under, and while I recovered I forced myself to let go and lean on my friends and family. I also have to trust that I’m going to recover and be back to 100 percent in the future.

Where I am now

Lately I’ve been having weird flashbacks to the first month of my injury. Post surgery it seemed like I was in worse shape than when I first hurt it, but now that I’m really making progress it reminds me of last October. Only this time I actually know what’s going on and what my body responds to best.

After weeks of crutches and cast/boot life, I’m so happy with my progress.

Goodbye Crutches

FINALLY! I was originally told I would be on crutches for three weeks post-surgery. What they really meant was I could not put any weight on my foot for three weeks. After that I would slowly! transition to weight-bearing until I could walk without my crutches. It took me two weeks or so to get down to one crutch and be able to walk the seven steps from the sink to the dining room table without feeling like I was ripping my ankle in half.

Last night I walked two (short) blocks in just the boot and felt pretty good! The way back to the car was less fun and rest of the night was a bit uncomfortable and swollen, but it felt so good to move around in the world without the crutches.

Bye Bye Boot-y (er… sort of)

A couple weeks ago I got the okay from my doctor to start putting weight on my foot without the boot. I started with putting a teeny tiny bit of weight on my foot while brushing my teeth or showering. Progress has been slow, but earlier this week I made it up and down the stairs in Tiny House in just my socks. I’m still stupid proud of myself.

Six Months Eversion Ankle Exercise with Thera-Band

Physical Therapy (Round 2)

I’m back to doing nightly Thera-Band exercises in addition to everything else I’ve been doing. It’s only been a week, and my progress is astounding. Physical therapy gives me the warm and fuzzies. And hope for the future. And really weird marks.

Soothing Nightly Routine

There is something so comforting about a routine, especially a nightly routine. The right routine can set you up for a good night’s rest and an even better next day.

The hours before bed are precious. But it’s all too easy to try to get as much done before the day runs out. The laundry that’s been strewn about all day, the dishes from your after-dinner snack, the pile of work you didn’t get to today.

I’m fully guilty of this. It’s so easy to run around and clean up my messes and randomly decide to organize my closet in the hour before bed. But since my surgery I’ve been more strict with my nightly routine. To be fair, I didn’t consciously stop doing all of the random tasks that used to distract me and keep me from getting in bed in time – I can’t physically do them on crutches. But my limitation gave me the space to create a relaxing nightly routine.

My Soothing Nightly Routine

The hour and a half before bed have turned into my healing and soothing time. I massage my ankle, drink a magnesium supplement, and do a quick sinus rinse. I wash my face and slather myself in aloe vera and jojoba oil. Next I spend 25-30 minutes contrast bathing my ankle. I’ve started adding epsom salts to the bucket of hot water, which makes it feel extra indulgent.

soothing nightly routine

How to Create a Soothing Nightly Routine

The best part of a soothing bedtime routine is that it’s all yours. You can make it into whatever you want. These quick tips will help you make your own soothing nightly routine that you won’t want to skip.

1. Set Aside Time

Nothing is relaxing or calming when you are rushing to fit everything in. Decide when you are going to start your nightly routine, and be strict with yourself about it. You can set an alarm that reminds you to start your bedtime routine if that will help.

I have found that for my pared down nightly routine, 30 minutes is cutting it too close. I like to have a full hour, and if I get done early it means I get to read in bed or do something else relaxing with my extra time.

2. Slow Down

Take a few deep breaths and slow your roll. When we spend all day running from one task to the next, it can be hard to sit still and take things slow. Let your body and your mind transition from your busy day into a calming night. Give yourself space to adjust.

3. No Screens

Trust me, it’s hard for me too. It’s so tempting to scroll through Instagram while I brush my teeth or to watch a video or two while I contrast bath. But between the light from the screens and the nature of online content, we leave ourselves more wound up than when we started. Turn it all off. You’ll sleep better and the time away is refreshing.

4. Relax

My nightly routine used to just consist of getting ready for bed, but since I’ve started sitting in the bathroom for a half hour dipping my foot into buckets, I’ve had time to actually read before bed. I equate reading in bed with luxury. It feels like a soak in a really deep bathtub without the pruning or the water use.

You don’t have to read. You can write, play a game (IRL, no screens), draw, meditate – whatever helps you relax.

5. Play Around

I haven’t been sleeping all that well since my surgery. Between a busy mind and a restless body, I have trouble settling in and falling asleep. My daily routine is a mess and my body doesn’t know what to do without its daily hit of exercise.

To try to help myself get to sleep faster, I’ve been playing with my routine and my timing. I’ve been switching up the time I get in the morning and the time I go to bed to try to trick myself into being tired sooner.

You might not find the perfect nightly routine right away. Being flexible and playing around with what you do and when is a great way to sort it all out. And don’t freak out if your nightly routine stops feeling right for you. Switch things up until it all fits again.

Tips for Exercising with an Ankle Injury

For the first time in years I’m having trouble motivating myself to exercise. I’m not training for anything – all of my energy is focused on recovering and healing. While exercise is definitely an important part of that, my limited abilities are a total downer.

If you don’t mind me borrowing from Beyonce, “I’m not feeling like myself since the baby” ankle injury. My drive is muddled in feeling frustrated and trying to moving forward. My focus is on improving my ankle motion, depriving myself of sugar in the name of healing (AKA eating the best nutrients I can every day), managing inflammation, improving circulation, and trying to figure out how much pain is alright.

I don’t have a ton of mental energy to get creative with my workout. Especially since I can’t actually drive myself to the gym and crutching there may kill me. I have no experience working out at home, and so far I have to be honest, I hate it. Going to the gym is a reset. Even if I don’t feel like exercising, once I’m in the gym that feeling disappears 95 percent of the time.

How to Exercise With an Ankle or Foot Injury

Despite my whining, it’s fully possible to get a great workout without weight-bearing on an injured foot/ankle. Bonus, you’ll heal faster if you do.

Exercising with an ankle injury

1. Change Your Priorities

The last time I was off my ankle, my arms and core were solid. I returned to CrossFit being able to do things that were impossible for me before. Sure, you’ll have to build up your leg strength and balance again, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fine-tune something else. All is not lost.

Target your weaknesses and focus on setting yourself up for a quick, safe return. I’m focusing on hip strength and stability (yes, even without weight-bearing), core strength, and getting rid of imbalances between my arms.

 

2. Embrace a New Focus

I fight change like a boxer. I refuse to let it go, even when it’s clearly going to win anyways. Before I hurt my ankle I was working on running further faster and improving my leg strength. Weeks before surgery, I hit my previous squat PR.

After surgery I’ve had to let go of all of that. You can’t mourn the strength you are losing or the effort that was “wasted.”

Put all of that energy into something new. I’m all in on my recovery.

 

3. Track Your Progress

I write down what I’ve done each day to recover and heal, including how I felt and the quality of my sleep. Your workout journal is a great place for this. My phone is full of (nasty) pictures of my incisions so I can scroll through and remind myself how much as changed and how far I’ve come. (Pro tip: These are also great for freaking out your family and friends. You’re welcome.)

Same goes for my workouts. I write down what I did that day, if anything caused pain, and if anything was too easy/hard.

 

4. Drop the Comparison

You wouldn’t say any of the shit running through your head to someone else with a similar injury. Stop comparing yourself to what you used to be able to do. Yes, it’s disorienting and frustrating. Quit being an ass to yourself (talking to myself here).

An injury is a clean start. Stop looking back at what you used to do and explore what you can do now. I’ve stopped flipping through my workout log to decide on weights. Instead of failing at them and feeling less than, I’m listening to my body and getting a solid workout.

 

5. Plan

This is the most important. Go into your workout, whether at home or in the gym, with a general idea of what you are going to do. Leave room for making adjustments based on how you feel (and the availability of equipment). This will stop you from wasting time once you get going and will make exercising so much easier.

 

Exercises to Do When You Have an Ankle or Foot Injury

This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s what I’ve been working with so far. This list is for people who cannot weight-bear at all. These exercises are perfect if you are in a boot/cast or are on crutches.

  1. Russian Twists: use a plate, medicine ball, or dumbbell to make these more difficult
  2. Bird Dogs: put a balance pad beneath your knees for added difficulty
  3. Fire Hydrants on hands and knees
  4. Hamstring Curls with resistance band or machine. I’ve been doing it like this.
  5. Side Plank 
  6. Plank with injured leg raised out to the side or draped over other foot
  7. 1 Leg Pushup: Hello, core. Or pushups on both knees, increase reps or add weight to your back for a challenge
  8. Pull Ups: Play with grip, embrace the weight of your cast/boot/brace
  9. Dips
  10. Ab Roll Outs: AKA accidental faceplants if you are me.
  11. V-Ups & Boat Pose
  12. Supermans
  13. Kneeling/seated lat pull down with resistance band or cable machine
  14. Kneeling tricep rows on bench or floor
  15. Side Leg Raises
  16. Leg Raises
  17. L-sits & L-hangs
  18. Seated bicep curls or really any seated arm exercise

Cardio:

Exercising with an Ankle or Foot Injury

Ride a stationary bike. No, you probably can’t go to SoulCycle, although by all means ask your doctor. My doctor got me on the bike in my cast for five minutes at no resistance. I’ve slowly built up to 10-15 minutes in my boot, still with no resistance. 100 percent ask before trying this if you are not supposed to be weight-bearing.

Swim. Be sure to have proper support for your injury (tape or brace), no kicking, and don’t push off of the wall with your injured foot/ankle.

Arm cycle. No one wants to do it, but it will definitely get your heart rate up.

Row. Put your injured leg on a skate board and go for it. Personally I feel off-balance when I try this, but see how it feels to you.

 

What have you tried? Are there any other good non-weight bearing exercises?

11 Months + Peroneal Tendon Surgery Recovery

While it’s been 11 months since I first injured my ankle, I’m only three weeks into my peroneal tendon surgery recovery.

After a solid two weeks of rest, I finally felt ready to do my first workout. It felt so so good to move around and get a little sweaty, although I was less excited to be sweating in my cast. I’m still trying to figure out creative things that I can do while sitting or lying down. I’m planning on including a list one of these days so you don’t have to scour the entire internet like I did. For some really hardcore ideas, you can check out Lauren Fisher’s Instagram.

peroneal tendon surgery recovery – Exercise

I got the cast hacked off me and breathed a huge sigh of relief when I finally got to wash my leg and trim my toe nails. (Casts are a worst nightmare for a germaphobe like me.) But I haven’t exercised since I got the cast off on Monday. It took me a solid 24 hours to adjust to life in my boot. The first night was terrible, but we’re starting to understand each other better.

peroneal tendon surgery recovery

I may attempt to flop around on the floor a bit today in the name of stretching and exercise, but since I started partial weight-bearing today and my ankle wasn’t a huge fan, I’m waiting to see how things progress into the afternoon.

Peroneal Tendon Surgery Recovery Lifesavers

1. Friends and family.
I have been blessed to have so much help. You don’t really realize how limiting crutches are until you are trying to get yourself grapes out of the fridge and you have to sit on the floor and eat them right there because you can’t crutch and carry them.

My lovely boyfriend has taken the brunt of it. He makes me a solid three meals a day, does the dishes, retrieves snacks, and doesn’t say anything when I ask for the chocolate… again.

2. Extra pillows.
Fun fact, my whole foot turns purple when I don’t elevate. While it is an interesting hue, I find it best not to experience it.

3. Knee-height stool
I scoot myself around the kitchen with a stool. It means I can ditch the crutches, actually have clean hands, and carry things. Amazing!

4. A great book… or four
Reading has kept me sane. It’s one of my few hobbies that I can still do while recovering.

5. Tasty Tea
And the disgusting turmeric tea I drink to appease the gods of inflammation. But man do I look forward to my warm cup of green tea in the morning. Bonus points if you drink tea every time you ice too (unless it’s a thousand degrees outside like yesterday, and then by all means put some of that ice in your cup).

6. No-poo trend
While I already had the precedent of stretching the time between washes, I feel no shame rocking full on greasy hair these days. Thanks, internet!

7. What laundry?
Not really a lifesaver, but this bonus should not go unnoticed. It turns out not going to the gym and spending most days at home means you produce 1/4 of the laundry you once did. Score! Especially since the aforementioned lovely man has to do it all by himself.

8. Creativity
While I was rarely left to fend for myself the first week and a half, the time came for me to be more self-sufficient. My biggest barrier (other than pain anytime my foot was below my hip for more than two minutes) was my inability to carry things.

I fixed that problem. A little creative problem solving goes a long when fending for yourself in less than optimal conditions.

Progress/Plan

I’m in the boot for six weeks, but my doctor has encouraged me to start testing my range of motion. Full discloser, that has been awful! My total range of motion is less than three degrees at most and it lets me know what it thinks of this plan loudly. Needless to say, I’m not rushing into that.

Ideally in the next week I will ween myself off the crutches (and become a more fully functional human being in the process). While my hands are ready to burn the crutches for what they’ve done to them, my ankle has made it clear that a very slow transition will be necessary.

I start PT (yay, again!) in three weeks. I have legitimate fear about it right now. But three weeks is a lot of time to heal (and toughen up).

In case you missed it:

I thought I could still play basketball
One Month Later
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Eight
Nine
10 months and surgery

One Day in Yellowstone National Park

We spent a whirlwind day in Yellowstone on our trip to Wyoming this summer. While that’s really not a lot of time, especially when you sit down in front of a guidebook or map about Yellowstone and factor in drive time to and from the park, we got to see just about everything we wanted to.

What to see if you only have one day in Yellowstone National Park

Since we were staying just outside of Teton National Park, we entered Yellowstone through Teton via the south entrance. The drive there was gorgeous, and well worth the time in the car.

1. Old Faithful

We somehow missed the signs (there had to be signs… right?) for West Thumb – our intended first stop. Instead we ended up going to see Old Faithful first.

I had heard mixed reviews about the geyser, but I really couldn’t imagine going to Yellowstone and not seeing it.

One Day in Yellowstone National Park – Old Faithful

I felt like a brat – Old Faithful did not live up to my expectations. You only see pictures or short video clips of it shooting into the air with force and stamina. In real life it spent maybe 10 seconds at its full height and the rest of the time half as high if that. It also took forever to get enough steam. There were a lot of false starts and disappointments. It didn’t help that we were parking during an eruption and thus had to wait 90 minutes or so to see it.

2. Area around Old Faithful

While we waited to see the geyser, we walked around the pools and crazy landscape around it.

One Day in Yellowstone National Park – Boiling Thermal Pool

The experience was surreal, and way better than Old Faithful if you ask me.  I’ve never seen a landscape like it. The pools of boiling water were like something out of a dark-magic movie.

One Day in Yellowstone National Park

3. Gibbon Falls

We just happened to pull over because the area looked beautiful and there was a turnout. I’m so glad we didn’t miss these falls. They aren’t the most impressive of the (many) falls in the park, but they were a nice little stretch break and a great view.

One Day in Yellowstone National Park – Gibbon Falls

If you visit, you’ll likely be just as impressed looking at the valley below the falls.

4. Canyon Village Upper and Lower Falls

I was impressed from the lookout at the top. I was even more impressed from halfway down the cliffside.

One Day in Yellowstone National Park – Lower Falls

We took Uncle Tom’s Trail down to the lookout along the canyon. The trail featured many flights of stairs after zig zagging a bit on a regular trail. (We also saw a deer who could not care less that we were all standing there. S/he really held up traffic while lazily eating in the middle of the path.)

The stairs were a bit frightening. I’m not huge on heights, and I particularly didn’t like that you could see straight down into the depth of the canyon below through the metal stairs. They were also wobbly in places or had (small) holes in others. The stairs cling to the side of the canyon in a not so comforting fashion, and they had a tendency to move a bit as people waked on them. Add in the huffing and puffing from climbing stairs at elevation, and I was thankful to get back on solid ground.

Despite the scare, they are 100 percent worth the views at the bottom (and along the way if you aren’t freaking out and staring at the hand rail calculating if it will really save you). Bonus, you get in a good workout before hopping back in the car.

5. Yellowstone Lake

To be fair, we just drove around the edge of it on our way home, but this expansive lake was incredible. It’s the largest high elevation lake in North America. With 141 miles of shoreline, it felt like it went forever. It blew my mind that the lake is frozen for nearly half the year. I can’t imagine what it takes to freeze a lake that’s roughly 20 miles long and 14 miles wide.

I’ve spent my fair share of time around Lake Tahoe, and this lake didn’t stop impressing me. It went on for miles and miles. Stunning.

So much more

There is plenty more to see, but if you only have one day in the Yellowstone National Park, this southern loop will give you a good start. There are plenty of places to pull over along it to see jaw-dropping views and wildlife (between the two parks we saw bison, elk, a wolf, lots of adorable chipmunks, squirrels, unidentified birds, and cute dogs traveling with humans). We got to the park a little before lunch and left around five or so.

One Day Yellowstone National Park

One Day Yellowstone National Park – Chipmunk

After a day of exploring (and what does start to feel like too long in the car), we were spent.

Helpful Tips

There are water bottle filling stations at just about every tourist information station.

The food sold at Old Faithful did not look appealing – I’m very thankful I brought my own lunch.

We stayed with other people in well-populated areas and didn’t have to worry about bears. If you do want to hike around and have a little more space to yourself, it’s a good idea to bring bear spray and take the snacks out of your bag.

10 Months + Peroneal Tendon Surgery Update

Preparing for peroneal tendon surgery and the aftermath has been a weird experience. Never before have I known an injury or setback was coming as clearly as I have with this. I said goodbye to lifting weights (for now) and talked to my foot the night before knowing I wouldn’t see it again for a while (no judgements).

Our vacation has a bittersweet tinge to it. I’m so thankful I got to do so much, but the view from my bed seems a little grayer in comparison.

Surgery

I purposefully scheduled my surgery as soon after my trip as possible so I would have the least amount of time to stress about it. While I had a of couple insanely busy days when we got back, it worked out great.

I had a wonderful team in the O.R. that made me feel comfortable and safe, which let’s be honest is not easy. My surgeon and his team repaired a tear in my peroneal tendon and removed a bone spur from my injury. I still don’t know how long of a tear or even how any of this works, and for now I’m good with that.

My family and the doctor’s fellows have reported that I was hilarious in the recovery room. Thankfully there are no videos or photos to prove it. I vaguely remember repeatedly asking if I had a tendon tear before falling back asleep and promptly forgetting the answer (sorry guys!).

Peroneal Tendon Surgery Update

Recovery (AKA Why I’m Not Made for Crutches)

It’s taken me a bit longer to bounce back than I expected, but overall the whole process has gone much smoother than I feared.

I’m learning to laugh when I lose my balance for the hundredth time instead of crying like a toddler. Stairs are my current nemesis, and I have yet to figure out the best way to carrying things with crutches. I’m still coming to terms with having to ask for everything. I love to do things on my own, and having to ask for someone to fill up my water bottle or make me breakfast has been infuriating.

This will get better. I will get better.

Peroneal Tendon Surgery Recovery

In the grand scheme of things, this really ins’t so bad. I’m in cast for two more weeks and on crutches for a total of three. At this point I’m really looking forward to when I’m in a boot for 4-6 weeks because it means I can take it off! I’m trying to embrace the tightness of the cast and it’s constant presence. But telling yourself something is comforting when your body is sending you signals otherwise is a bit of a challenge. I’ve also started to daydream about my stitches coming out and what it will feel like to wash my leg.

Big dreams.

In case you missed it:

I thought I could still play basketball
One Month Later
Two
Three
Four
Five
Six
Eight
Nine

7 Days in Wyoming

For a girl who loves the ocean, I sure do feel at home in the mountains too.

My family and I spent seven glorious days in Wyoming just a mile outside of Teton National Park. After having a blast in Whistler last summer, we couldn’t resist Teton Village’s hiking, biking, and more. This trip was my last hurrah before surgery. My doctor gave me the green light to hike and bike to the best of my ability before I left, and I definitely pushed those limits. Teton Village Wyoming Hiking Wildflower Trail

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming 11

Hiking in Teton Village

I went all out on vacation. Some people drink or eat like it’s their last chance while on vacation – I hiked my heart out until my ankle couldn’t take it anymore. That said, it held up so much better than expected. All taped up I was able to hike four miles with 2,677 feet of elevation gain. Not too bad for an old, hobbled lady.

My little ducklings on today’s gorgeous hike. #hiking #wyoming #tetons #vacation #travel #mountain

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on

Teton Village Wyoming Hiking Wildflower Trail Teton Village Wyoming Hiking Wildflower Trail Piste

On our first hike we made our way up to the gondola stop and took it all the way down. Man were we happy to sit down, but the fast ride was a bit depressing given how long it took us to get up there.

We had originally intended to hike to the summit, but lunch and hunger got in the way. Instead, we took the tram up to the very top a few days later and hiked back down to where we stopped earlier in the week. The hike down was beautiful, but a bit much for my mom who hates heights and the feeling of walking along a drop off/mountain side. We did all get some good laughs at her attempt to use her hands as blinders to avoid looking down. (Don’t worry, karma paid me back with some wicked ankle pain. Downhill on loose rocks is bad news for me.)

Also, shout out to the bear between towers three and four who had been making appearances (and apparently sniffing the faces of friendly staff members). Super thankful you decided not to come play with us.

Downhill Mountain Biking

My mom desperately wanted to downhill mountain bike. No joke. She was so stoked to try this out, and her excitement was contagious.

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Downhill Mountain Biking 7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Downhill Mountain Biking Beginners 7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Downhill Mountain Biking Ski Lift

I think this was the highlight of the trip. We all suited up and hit the trails. I felt like a princess being toted up in the ski lift so I could ride back down. It felt like cheating to downhill mountain bike without riding the way up too, but oh man was it fantastic. We got in around 12 runs.

I’m proud to announce that no one got hurt. Less proud to say that everyone knew when my mom and I were on the trails. We might have squealed around some of the turns, but we got braver and braver and by the end we were tearing up intermediate trails. (We also laughed so hard once that we had to stop riding until our tears cleared up. I might have started it by narrowly avoiding a wipeout…)

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Downhill Mountain Biking Trails

The two in the helmets are my parents. They claim to not be ashamed to be seen with us, but this picture suggests otherwise…

We returned dirty, exhausted, and giddy. Wicked fun.

Teton National Park

My heart broke a bit standing in front of these majestic mountains, broken. I wanted to hike around and explore them, but instead I was confined to the car and the mile or so I could walk from there. I’d love to come back one day and really backpack around these beauties.

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Teton National Park – Grand Teton 7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Teton National Park – Grand Teton 7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Teton National Park – Grand Teton and Little Teton from REI

I’ve been joking for years about taking Little Teton (above) home. I’ve had the little guy since outdoor ed in 6th grade. From Warped Tour to hiking to kayaking, we’ve been places together. I hope he enjoyed his trip to his namesake.

7 Days in Teton Village Wyoming – Teton National Park – Grand Teton – Jenny Lake

While we spent most of our time in Teton Village, we also got the chance to see Teton National Park and Yellowstone. I’m so glad we were able to see both parks, especially since this year was the National Parks’ centennial and Yellowstone was the first national park. (Stay tuned for more on our day trip to Yellowstone.)

Pictures via my phone and my dad. You can check out more of his stuff at Dean Ferreira Fine Art or Pinterest