Wrists and ankles are funny things, aren’t they? The skinniest parts of our arms and legs, and yet the absolutely most critical to have good function.

My family has skinny ankles and bad wrists. Not my mum, but the rest of us. My dad has the skinniest little ankles ever, made even skinnier from a popped achilles. He’s had surgery on them and one of his wrists, for carpal tunnel. My brother also has bad wrists, but not bad enough for surgery.

About three years ago, I started getting some wrist pain, and figured it’s totally from my laptop. Yes, my laptop. I sit in my chair and I type and I surf and I wreck my wrist. I baby it, I sleep with it in a brace, and I work out.

It was kind of a bit of an eye opener the first time I played squash (before christmas) and my right hand went numb. Like, completely numb. Better strengthen that, I said!

It was a bit of a shock when my ankles started to hurt from playing squash. Better get some squash shoes, I said! Guess what? The pain just moved from one spot to another! Better strengthen that, I said!

Tonight I went to the gym to strengthen my wrists and my ankles. No joke. A whole hour of just wrists and ankles. Sounds like absolute tedium, and it would have been if my trainer and I weren’t chatty.

What does an hour of wrists and ankles look like? It looks like a whole lot of wobble board and shaky legs. Not with two feet, because I’m way too stable for that. One footed wobble boarding. It’s hard to get on, it’s hard to get centred, and staying centred uses every tiny muscle in your ankle that you never knew you had. Holy … mother… of. MAN it hurts. Backwards and forwards and then side to side, 30 seconds at a time. I’m telling you, it sucked.

And then the wrists. Yeah, hard to describe. I had my forearm resting on a bench with my hand hanging off the other side. In that hand I held a dumbbell. With that dumbell I did 15 sets of different types of rotations with my wrist – up and down with the fist facing down, repeated with it facing up, and then from left to right with my fist on its side. Repeat with the other hand.

My wrists are sore. So are my ankles. But maybe, just maybe, when I play squash tomorrow night, I will be in better shape. Maybe, just maybe, I’ll need to use slightly less ice after. It’s worth it, right?

Advertisements