Reboot 44: ‘New Ankle, Who Dis?’

You may not know me… but if you’ve heard our podcast, there’s a good chance you’d recognize my voice.

My name is Travis Ford, and I’m the producer of the Endurance Town USA podcast. I own Rock Harbor Marketing, a digital marketing firm, and am normally the behind-the-scenes guy who manages social media and marketing production for big events like RaceSLO‘s annual SLO Marathon and SLO Ultra Games (pictured “doing my thing” below). I’m a huge fan of endurance sports, and have participated in half a dozen ultra races & marathons, even though I’ve never raced a step.

When I was 19, living off a diet of Top Ramen, soda & cheep beer, I was being stupid with my friends at a neighborhood park one night when my invincible teenage brilliance took over. I jumped from a swing and landed flat on a concrete side-walk, completely shattering my ankle. The Dr. said it was likely my extremely poor diet lacking in nutrition which attributed to my ankle’s demise, but I think a certain level of awesome swing jumping had a part in it too. My Mom always told me

If you’re going to do something, do it right the first time or don’t bother doing it at all.


That stunt rewarded me with 2 plates, 9 screws, and 6 months of rehab.

3 Years later, just after I met the girl of my dreams (spoiler, the one I’m still married to today), I was on my way to a job running lights for a small community theatre. I don’t really remember a whole lot from that night, but the story goes a very (VERY) inebriated man in a big-ass pickup truck traveling towards me turned left in front of my car as I was rolling along at 45MPH. I mention the “big-ass pickup truck” because my little Nissan Sentra was pulverized (check it out below). I think he had a dent in his bumper. More doctors, more fractures, more rehab, and the rest is history. Since I was in my early 20’s I’ve lived with heinous arthritis and the inability to walk more than 3-4 miles without debilitating pain. (Silver Lining: I could tell my family when it was going to rain)

Determined to find a solution, I was introduced to Doctor Harrison in Solvang, who scheduled me for a surgery in late March. You guessed it. Surgery was postponed due to a little virus decimating Santa Barbara and the rest of the world. I finally got my chance on May 6th, 2020. That day marked the beginning of a new me.

Ankle fused. Achilles tenon stretched. Bone grafted from my heel. After months of Netflix, hours of XBox games, and my INCREDIBLY supportive and loving family (pictured here at my 43rd bday celebration) doing SOOO much for me, I learned today that I can officially start taking steps. 

My question for you… want to do this with me?

I said that I have participated in a half a dozen races, but I’ve never raced a step. Now you know why. I’m not a coach (like my talented friends also on this blog & podcast), but I am out of shape, a bit overweight, middle-aged, (aka Dad bod) and on day ONE of rebooting my life (hence ‘Reboot 44’). So let’s do it together!!! Whether you’re recovering from and old injury or just need a reason to finally use those sneakers & gym equipment collecting dust in the corner, let’s be each other’s support. I need a community of people to keep me motivated, maybe we can be that for each other?!

I set-up a Strava account if you want to join-up and we can cheer each other on (FIND IT HERE) as we slowly move our bodies further and further down the road. Warning, In 3 weeks when I begin walking without crutches I’m going to start with really… REALLY… small distances. I’ll post updates here on ETUSA as progress continues with my mobility and I experience a whole new world of fun adventures.

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