“Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into.” ~Wendell Berry
When I was realizing that Kangaroo the Dog was turning 3 months old this past week, I thought, “Hey, didn’t I have my last hip surgery around this time last year?”
Turns out the very next day was my one year anniversary so I headed up into the mountains to celebrate by finally running my friend El’s patented Humpty Hump run stringing together two peaks behind the University of Utah – VanCott and Mt. Wire – for a total of 10 miles and over 3,600 feet of gain.
My last three winters have been consumed by hip surgeries, crutching, and nearly endless rehabilitation that I almost don’t know what to do with myself now that the evenings are getting darker and the snow is beginning to fall. Heck I just did squats, lunges, and crabwalks around my living room listening to audiobooks just for old times’ sake.
By 1-year post-FAI surgrey recovery I have…
- *Returned to running, skiing, climbing, cycling, and yoga with no restrictions or hip pain whatsoever
- *Spent more time this summer running in the mountains than any year ever before
- *Completed the supposed most difficult 50K trail race in the country – The Rut 50K
- *Ran several short trail races and took 3rd place in the inaugural Burn 10K road run
- *Did a few backpacking trips including 40 miles through Utah’s Grand Gulch
Although I am excited for winter and my seemingly mobile future, it is almost like I have gotten into a comfortable routine with surgeries and rehab that I, GASP, don’t know what to do with myself right now. I feel restless and a little uncertain.
Maybe I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop (although I don’t really have any shoes left) or maybe it is a little hard to accept that all this hip drama is behind me or perhaps this is just my first bond with the new life I am going into as Mr. Berry suggests above. All I know it has been one long haul.
The Long Haul…
- FAI Surgery #1 – December 9, 2011: Left hip femoroplasty, acetabuloplasty, labral repair, and iliopsoas tendon release.
- Capsular Repair – January 17, 2013: Left hip capsular repair (tightening of iliofemoral ligament) along with some cartilage debridement and scar tissue removal.
- FAI Surgery #2 – November 14, 2013: Right hip femoroplasty and capsular repair (tightening of iliofemoral ligament).
For so long I defined myself as “bad hip” girl so it is a little bit of a switch to define myself as something else. They call crutches a crutch for a reason – “anything that serves as a temporary and often inappropriate support, supplement, or substitute; prop.” And I would say my winters of crutching were a totally inappropriate substitute for the life I’ve wanted to live!
Without crutches, I have no excuse for not being awesome. There is really no limit to what I can do right now. I am making BIG plans for 2015 and heading into some previously uncharted territory which is equally exciting as it is frightening – like all good change usually is!