If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country. ~Author Unknown
I am starting to lose track of what week of recovery I am in, which is a good thing meaning I am more concerned with living than obsessing and catastrophizing every little hip tweak, pop, or twinge.
My physical therapist gave me the green light on classic Nordic skiing, which has been a godsend on so many levels.
For my first time out on skis post-op, I headed out on the flattest terrain I could find in Utah for 30 glorious minutes and was thrilled with how great and easy it felt. I made myself stop after a half hour even though I felt great and wanted to keep going. My low back started spazzing shortly after finishing, but I wasn’t too worried since my back is likely compensating for tight hip flexors.
The following weekend I drove to Dillon, Colorado to join my family for their annual ski vacation. The ~7 hour drive took well over 10 hours because the roads were horribly snowy, slippery, yuck. I only stopped twice which was just plain stupid since sitting is the absolute worst thing for this hip. I paid the next day with a screaming bad low back and hip flexor flare-up, which was soothed with frequent hot tubbing and plenty of high altitude beer.
I had a lovely week of sleeping in and then heading to the gym for some cycling and physical therapy followed by hot tub and eucalyptus-infused steam room with cross-country skiing in the afternoon and good eats and fun in the evening. I could definitely get used to this kind of lifestyle.
At the end of 12 weeks from my last FAI surgery, I have very little pain, but my hip flexor is still tight and I still feel pretty weak in the glutes. I am not entirely happy with how stiff and uncomfortable my low back gets with sitting, but I am hoping this resolves over time.
My gait is pretty darned near normal and I am happy to be heading into the “return to normal activity” segment of my FAI surgery recovery plan. I have started going to Spin classes and am up to 20 minutes or so on the elliptical. I can walk a half hour without any discomfort and do at least an hour of glute/hip/core strengthening and stretching a day.