Returning to Fitness and shedding the fatness!
So right around the 5 month mark I was killing it! Swimming was improving rapidly, I was upping my minutes on the treadmill, hitting my rehab, and generally progressing nicely. Then I did what I always do and ignored my own limits. With my back feeling great from my last steroid injection, and the warm weather lasting well into November, I decided to run in my neighborhood on the pavement, which was the one thing my hip doctor, my PT, my back doctor, and my own brain told me to stop doing. I have a great neighborhood for running though, and it is just so convenient! Plus I had been feeling great on the treadmill. Well 3 5Ks on the pavement plus a couple of 18-hole rounds of golf and I was heading back to the operating room for another transferal epidural steroid injection, which was two weeks ago. Also, my hip flared up badly, SO NO MORE RUNNING ON PAVEMENT (except on race day). Treadmill, trails, and tracks for me from now on. Let's get to the update!
Permission to (butter)Fly!
Well I had a computer mishap that delayed last week's update, and since I was seeing the doctor soon I just pushed it off to today. So, today I had my first follow up appointment with my surgeon. After a near 45 minute wait followed by a three minute chat with the Doctor, my immediate prospects for returning to athletics have been given a huge boost! Over the last two weeks, my rehab sessions have been becoming more and more like a workout, complete with dripping sweat and me having to wipe down machines and tables (ALWAYS WIPE DOWN WHATEVER YOU SWEAT ON AT THE GYM). My brief foray into dieting was obliterated over a couple of beautiful weather weekends, and a general lack of self-control. I eat when I’m bored or frustrated, and I’m bored and frustrated all the time because I can’t exercise. Despite my best efforts, this has been my cycle for pretty much ever, and even though I’m testing the limits of my wardrobe, I’m tired of beating myself up over it. Let’s get to the good stuff!
Wow, what a difference a week makes! I am frankly shocked at the progress I've made in just two weeks, and that's not to toot my own horn, but rather toot the horn of my surgeon, Dr. Peter Maiers at Methodist Sports Indianapolis, and his team, including my physical therapists Jimmy, Melissa, and Brad. They have all done a great job and I felt less pain and discomfort after this operation than just about all of the rest. As I've already established in previous posts, I am/have been injured a lot. This was my 7th surgery. One thing I've learned is that you need to follow the instructions from your doctors and PTs about as literal as possible. If they tell you to take it easy, sit your butt down in a chair and take it easy! The boredom and the lack of activity sucks, but if I'm bored out of my mind for two weeks (I was) and that gets me back sooner, or even on schedule, than that's what I'm doing. Pushing yourself after a major injury will undoubtedly lead to a repeat injury, or your body will adapt to your current limitations by overcompensating somewhere else, which can and probably will result in another injury. CASE IN POINT: I had a foot/ankle surgery in 2011, and I moved across the country about a month afterwords, didn't follow up with the surgeon or do any PT due to relocation, changed jobs that required me to be on my feet all day way before I should have been, and just grinded it out for a year. Without question, this is what pushed my hips, glutes, hamstrings, and quads out of whack, and eventually shredded my hip. So here's where I'm at:
It's been one full week since I had my hip surgery, and I am pleased to say that I'm feeling much better than anticipated. Here are the good things so far:
Here are the things that suck so far:
So what's next? I see the Doctor for the first time tomorrow and am excited to hear what he has to say, and then I hopefully begin physical therapy in earnest with the real stuff. I am off work for the remainder of the week and hope to return Monday, which will be nice to get back into a routine. I won't be able to drive though, and I'm still not sure about the sitting situation, so it's not ideal, but I need to get back so we'll see what I can manage.
Lots more observations to come. Thanks for reading! If you're out there and you're injured, stay positive, focus on the things you can focus on, and know that you'll get it back!
Don't forget that you can get 15% off all purchases at Love The Pain with the code IDIPHON.
Last night I was finally able to sleep for a solid 5 straight hours, popped my pills, and fell right back asleep for another 2 hours. This was quite the relief after not sleeping for more than one or two hours at a time for two-and-a-half days. I am also happy to report that despite many false alarms, I was finally able to complete yesterday's number one goal (read the post to find out). I was really expecting to have struggled more than I did yesterday but was actually quite comfortable, mostly thanks to the efforts of my support crew....my wife Logan and dog Murphy. My planned day of binge watching Netflix was interrupted quite nicely by some live sporting events, and Logan set up the Euro Cup 2016 on one screen and the US Open on the other, and even grilled me up one amazing steak! I am truly blessed to have such an amazing partner to spend my time with. If you're having a major health issue that limits you like this one, it's just so valuable and important to have someone around to help you, and I am truly thankful! I also have to give credit to the Chief Morale Officer, Murphy, for staying by my side day and night and letting me rub his head!
Physical Therapy Started today, and it was nice to get out of this recliner and move around a bit. Today's session was fairly basic and low intensity, but with being less than 72 hours post-op, things were pretty tight and tender. The main point today was just to focus on some very easy mobility exercises to keep things loose. In fact, most of what I did today is a lot of what you should be doing anyway in triathlon, running, cycling, etc. and reminded me of a great book that I've been reading. Power, Speed, Endurance has a great section on mobility (especially of the hips) that everyone should be doing. If you're having hip problems or want to prevent them, I'd recommend picking up that book. It was beneficial to me, especially to learn the "Pose Method" of running. This isn't a book review, but it's a solid book for any multisport athlete, or someone with mobility issues. After therapy, I was sore. I didn't do much other than squeeze my butt cheeks and straighten my leg a bunch, so it wasn't a significantly difficult session, but it was enough! Fortunately, I got to spend the last 15 minutes with probably the best thing I've ever worn: the Game Ready Cold Therapy Compression System. OH.MY.GOD! I imagine this is what it's like to be a pro athlete. I wanted to stay wrapped up in it forever. So cold, so tight, so much relief! If you're going through some serious PT, I hope you're doing it at a place with these things, they are so worth it. If not, I guess you'll just have to spend the $5,000 and buy one on Amazon right here LOL. Take a look at this website, gameready.com. Show it to your PT if necessary so they get one. I'm pretty excited now to spend my last 15 minutes of each session recovering with this wrapped around my hip! My doctor sent me home with something similar to that, which I'm wearing 24-7, but it's nowhere near that good, although it's still pretty nice (aside from having to be plugged in all the time).
Goals for day 3 through the weekend:
Mobility exercises 3x/day, start to reduce pain meds, and move around more throughout the day.
Also finish Bloodline season 2 and watch as much US Open and international soccer as possible. Thanks for reading, follow on instagram @kingofthelake and keep checking back for more. I'll be posting a great lifting program over the weekend.
Today is the day...finally, after almost two full years of having some sort of hip pain! This will be surgery number 7 for me, and while I am a little bit anxious, it's sort of like riding a bike. Today, they try to put Humpty Dumpty back together, tomorrow, the comeback begins! If you read my last post, you'll know that this is not my first comeback from a season ending injury. Hopefully it will be my last! Rehab starts almost immediately and I plan on keeping the blog updated frequently with progress reports, PT notes, and just my general thoughts on this injury. In case you're new to the blog, I have an "obliterated" labrum in my right hip that now has a whole lot of cysts in it, plus I have hip impingement that has ground down most of my cartilage. My understanding is that they are going to reconstruct my labrum using some cadaver tissue.
Now I am no stranger to rehab, and it is quite painful and exhausting. Luckily for me, I thrive in this sort of situation, and it actually really motivates me. Plus, I was really starting to see some major improvement in my training, and I'm anxious to get back to it after not being able to do much for the last 6 months. That is also why I'm thrilled to announce that I am now an ambassador for Love The Pain. Again, if you've read my last post (read it here), you'd know that I truly do love the pain. Ask some of my former wrestling drill partners and they will back up my claim for sure! The simple fact is that my personal philosophy for training, fitness, and competition perfectly aligns with theirs, and I am really, really pumped about being able to represent a great company.
"Love The Pain is not just a brand, its a lifestyle. For those who like to give it their all in exchange for a few seconds of extreme satisfaction. A feeling that cannot be explained in words. A feeling one must experience for oneself in order to fully grasp the power that comes with it. The concept is as simple as don't quit. Embrace the down as much as the up. Whether you are an amateur or pro we invite you to join the movement and Love The Pain."
There's a lot of pain to come for me in the immediate future, and I'm embracing it and the challenge of returning to triathlon. I welcome you to join my on my adventure and the come-back!
Thanks for reading, I'm off to the hospital and hoping for the surgeon to #beawesometoday!