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!
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!
another season gone before it starts. the road back is long, but i've been there before.
Let's start with the following list of athletic seasons lost to injury:
6th Grade Football - Broken Hand
7th Grade Football - Broken Hand
9th Grade Wrestling - Broken Ankle (still won)
10th Grade Wrestling - Viral Bronchitis
11th Grade Football - Shoulder surgery
11th Grade Wrestling - Shoulder Surgery
Freshman Football - Dislocated shoulder, fractured shoulder blade, career over.
Freshman and Sophomore Wrestling - Shoulder surgery to repair football injury
Junior Wrestling - Concussion, seven stitches in my face (still won)
Senior Wrestling - Dislocated both shoulders, torn labrum (did not win...or finish)
2011 - 2014 - Catastrophic ankle/foot injury
2014 Triathlon - herniated disc
2015 Triathlon - Rhabdo, heart attack, hip bursitis
2016 Triathlon - L & R hip labrum tear (or more accurately described as being "obliterated"), hip bursitis, gluteal tendinitis.
As you can see I've put together a pretty strong and robust career for several medical facilities across the nation. SO, while as extremely disappointing as this one is (and it is devastating), I'm not exactly a stranger to dealing with injuries. Luckily, this time I'm not on a timeline and there isn't a small window of opportunity for me to accomplish my goals and dreams. I'm not going Pro anytime soon, and this is a sport that I can do for a very long time, assuming I can still physically still do it...Considering my history, though, that may be a big assumption.
so why the hell do i do it?
The last time I finished an athletic season without an injury was in 1997. Since then, literally every year I have competed in an athletic sport has ended with an injury. Triathlon has been no different. 2014 - herniated disc, hip pain. 2015 - severe hip and butt pain, rhabdomyolysis (rhabdo as it's colloquially known), and a friggin' heart attack. I had the same goals for 2016 that I had for 2016: don't get injured, break an hour in a Sprint, and win the 2016 Clydesdale National Sprint Championship. Well folks, it's looks like the streak is still alive.
In 2014 I completed my first triathlon and achieved something that I really thought I'd never do. My earliest triathlon memory was sometime way back in the 90s when I was in ridiculously good shape. I'm pretty sure I had stopped swimming and was really getting into wrestling at the time, and I just remember my Mom saying to me "You should really do a triathlon." I remember saying something profound, like "Ok." I had never ridden a bike for exercise before, and I pretty much only ran to stay in shape or cut weight, so basically no interest in 2 out of three sports, which is not the ideal state of mind. I still remember my first training session: I went out and rode a bike (a road bike I won in 1984 that I still actually have) 10 miles and then went for a run. I'll never forget that feeling in my legs. I told my Mom, "nevermind," and that was the last time I thought about triathlon until I signed up for one around 3am on a random night shift in December of 2014. I really have to credit my cousin Pat, who does a couple of races each year, and he brought it up the weekend before at a family gathering. He bet me that I wouldn't do one, and something in me clicked.