Trampolines are awesome

Dodgeball is awesome

So why not combine them for something truly amazing?


Sprained ankles, that’s why.

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of heading to Skyhigh Sports for an awesome work offsite. I had been to Skyhigh a number of times both for work and for pleasure. I even threw a birthday party for my girlfriend there. This last time though I managed to really injure myself, though not while playing dodgeball.

I was innocently bouncing with a friend on a trampoline. This turned into a bit of the ever dangerous double-bouncing, but we were keeping it tame. Then it happened, I came down just he had jumped. The trampoline was still sunken from his jump. My ankle landed, compensated for the sunken trampoline and then continued to completely roll over itself.

And that was the last time I would walk for almost a week. Two weeks later I still have pain. This is by far the worst sprain I’ve had. I even went to the ER, where I thankfully found out that nothing was broken. In a weird twist of karma, the friend who took me to the hospital got appendicitis three days later and also found herself in a hospital.

Dealing with it

While laying on the ground at Skyhigh clutching a bag of ice to my ankle I knew I’d be out of commission for some time. I knew this wasn’t a sprain I could just walk off. Two days earlier I was achieving new personal bests in overhead press and sumo deadlift, and now I was realizing that I wouldn’t be lifting anything for a couple weeks (and what now looks like a month). Topping it all off was that I had planned to begin my running training that weekend for the Bay to Breakers race in May.

So how did I deal with it?

I knew this was a bad sprain so I had a doctor look at it. I know there’s a temptation to be macho and just deal with it. I’m really glad I had someone look at it. He did a 30 second test and knew that I needed an x-ray. Thankfully, the x-ray showed no breakage.

The other trick with any sprain is RICE – Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate. Stay off the ankle as much as possible. Ice it 20 minutes at a time. Compress using an ACE bandage, and elevate the ankle above your heart when possible. All of these can help reduce swelling and improve the healing process.

I’m also a big proponent of using your sprained ankle. After a day or two (or more depending on your sprain) I’ve seen improvements in sprained ankle by walking. Walking helps with circulation and provides vital nutrients to improve recovery. You should expect some pain during this, but it shouldn’t be agonizing. If it is, stay off it for another day at least. Overdoing it will not help your ankle heal.

Not being able to exercise for the last two weeks had me concerned about my weight. While I’m certainly losing some muscle mass, I’ve managed to avoid weight gain by keeping to my slow carb diet. In fact, I’m closer to my goal of 200 pounds than ever. The other benefits of exercise are sorely missed though. I’m finding my energy level to be lower than usual and I’m having trouble focusing for long periods of time. Two areas that I know exercise helps with.

The lesson in all this is to be safe on the trampolines. Despite the injury, I hope to play trampoline dodgeball again soon.