2017 – What an amazing year of hiking!

2017 was an amazing year for hiking. I will admit 2016 was a stellar year too, but this year I really pushed the envelope since I wanted to push past the 500 mile mark in a year. I’m sure I stressed this before to you all, but hiking is an amazing form of rehab for your QTR. You just have to take it slow and steady. Hiking is an amazing stress release and a wonderful way to get some exercise and see some beautiful scenery in your area.

Pyramid Peak Trail

However, hiking in the beginning will always be a difficult undertaking for someone who suffered either one or a bilateral QTR. Climbing/walking down the mountain is extremely tough on our leg(s). However, it is also a great way to strengthen our tendon(s) while having an amazing time checking out the beautiful scenery around us. When I suffered by bilateral tear in 2013 I knew I had to get going on my rehab since I had a international trip to Peru planned later in the year. I made it a top priority to get my legs conditioned, strengthened and ready for my upcoming trip to Peru.

​Lares Valley Trek – Cusco, Peru 2013

Hiking in Peru didn’t prove to be as challenging as I expected. My legs felt very strong. My injury sites also didn’t give me major challenges. I experienced what I described above already, meaning the issue with walking down the mountain. I made sure to pack two knee wraps and I used my hiking poles religiously. So all in all the Peru trip was a great success without problems. Machu Picchu was an amazing experience. Our group also got to experience Lake Titicaca, Lima, Cusco and the Colca Canyon to see the giant Condors flying above and all around us. I highly recommend this trip to anyone.

​Hidden Lake Lookout

Ok I digressed… so to get back on track… I started getting back to hiking slowly just hiking flat level areas and kept a leg brace on my left leg for the first few weeks which succumbed the full tear. My daily hikes with my dogs strengthened my legs quickly, but the big problem was always walking down hill. I always felt the weakness and uneasiness of my tendons. Like my legs were going to give out and buckle. A very common feeling among us fellow quadders. So I always hiked with my trekking poles coming down the hill or mountain. This helped out tremendously and over time I felt my tendons getting stronger and going down hill started to become easier.

​Hidden Lake Lookout

​Vesper Peak

Camp Muir – Mount Rainier

About the author: Steven Gartner

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