[Author’s Note: Last month, I wrote about my hip-resurfacing surgery that took place on September 21st. Today’s column is the first in a series of follow-up columns on my road to recovery.]
It’s been just over a month since my left leg hip-resurfacing surgery. By all accounts, the procedure was successful and the implants have begun to become part of my body. After a week on crutches and a week with I cane, I became fully weight bearing two weeks post-op and today I can walk around my school campus with just a very slight limp and at a pace that allows me to keep up with most of the kids.
Rehabilitation from this particular surgery requires a reasonably conservative approach to reintroducing activity combined with an assertive approach to flexibility, balance, and strength. The challenge, for me, is that until my six-week check-up on November 5th, I cannot do any cardio exercise of any kind and am limited to stretching, light weight work, and walking. I will say, in that context, that I am savoring my daily two-mile walks as well as my regular trips to the gym and trust me when I tell you that this has allowed me to put into perspective how much I simply love running!
Most amazingly, even now, just 30 days after surgery, I am thrilled with how much my range of motion and general flexibility has improved as a result of the surgery. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea how damaged my old hip was and how dangerously hard I was pushing it just to continue running. Now that I am coming out on the other side, I am constantly reminded of the importance of two things I always preach to my fellow ultrarunners: patience and persistence.
Finally, perhaps the best unintended consequence of these past few months has been the renewed joy with which I have been able to embrace my coaching practice. Currently I am working with four runners of differing experience and abilities who are pursuing different goals and doing so with different approaches. From my new perspective as a recovering runner, it gives me tremendous satisfaction to share some of my experience with others and, in the process, learn a fair amount myself.
There is a saying in education that the most successful teachers are always learning, even in the latter parts of their careers when they have could easily just cash it in. Learning is just what they do! Working with my current group of athletes, I dare say I have learned as much if not more than they have. And, along the way, we’re having a really great time, too!
I will follow up with a two-month update in November.
AJW’s Beer of the Week
In my humble opinion, the three best states for beer in the U.S. are Oregon, Colorado, and Vermont. And recently, Vermont has really raised it’s game. Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Warren, Vermont makes a wide variety of hoppy beers but the best one I recently sampled is their Hopcelot IPA which has a fruity blend of hops and barley that literally pops in your mouth. Totally worth a try the next time you find yourself in the northland.
Call for Comments (from Meghan)
- When was the last time you were in the midst of an injury recovery, where you were starting to feel improvement but you knew you needed to keep resting? How did you keep your mind calm so your body could continue to recover?
- Hip-surgery ‘survivors,’ what advice can you give AJW about this point in his recovery?