Thursday, February 16, 2012

Just a little old lady...

So Tuesday night, bootcamp was pretty awesome.  Tom kicked our butts as usual, and I was feeling really good.  Then pretty much at the end of class, I felt a little tweak in my right hamstring/butt/hip doing squats and my hip started burning a little.  Injury is always a bummer, but this also happens to be my "bad" hip, so when I feel something in my bad hip, I get more than bummed - I get very nervous.

Before I started doing bootcamp last April, the last time I worked out on a regular basis was in 2006 (the year I got married).  I was going to the gym 2-3 times per week before work to try to get in shape for my October wedding, and I was also walking everyday at lunch.  I continued going the gym and walking at lunch even after the wedding, and some time in Nov/Dec (I forget exactly when now) I was doing cardio and felt a little twinge in my right hip, but didn't think anything of it.  I finished my workout, and felt totally normal.  During lunch that day, my hip started hurting so much I had to stop walking, and within 3 days the pain was so bad that I couldn't walk at all.  Long story condensed a little, after visits to more than several doctors, more wrong diagnoses than I can remember, pain meds that I hated (and stopped taking), hours and hours of PT, bouts of being unable to walk, walking with a cane for a long time, pregnancy, and subsequently caring for a newborn - FINALLY I got the correct diagnosis of labral tear with femoroacetabular impingement (FAI).  It only took 2 years...  Funny enough, the longest pain-free time I had during all that time was when I was pregnant.  The doctor who ended up correctly diagnosing me, explained that everything loosens up and stretches out during pregnancy, so that's probably why - I even got to stop walking with the cane (grateful for that!)  Although, if anyone was able to rock a cane and rock it well at Foxwoods for Jill's bachelorette party, it was THIS girl!

So in December 2008, I had arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear in my labrum and shave off the bump causing the FAI in my right hip joint.  Immediately following the surgery, my husband took a week off work to take care of our 7-month old (and me), but the week after that he had to take us to my in-laws house to stay for a week because he had to go to Sweden for a week for work.  The night before he flew home we had The Great Ice Storm of '08 and lost power for 10 days.  I was on crutches, we had a 7mo baby, I was supposed to be going to PT (but couldn't - I don't think even my PT's office had power), and we had nowhere to live because we had no we were nomads for the next week and a half (after already not being home for the previous week).  Needless to say, that was one of the most difficult and unpleasant times of my whole life.  As a result of the storm, I was very delayed on starting my PT, and I really don't think that did me ANY favors with my recovery.  I had to be on crutches for 6 weeks, and I don't think I ended up getting any PT scheduled until after I was already off the crutches.

Even after PT ended, I kept living an essentially sedentary lifestyle because

  • after 2 years of being injured, being sedentary was in my "comfort zone," 
  • it was "easy" to be sedentary because I was exhausted ALL the time having a baby who would NOT sleep through the night, and 
  • despite the fact that I wasn't "injured" anymore, physical activity was still quite uncomfortable and even painful still - probably from not getting my PT done when I was supposed to.  (Built up scar tissue?)  Oh and ps- the hub's grandmother fell from a bus and BROKE her hip during this same time, and she recovered better than I did!  (and probably complained a lot less too...She's kind of a rock star).

I was lazy, unhappy, and pretty disgusted with myself.  But - I ended up getting pregnant again (with Little) that August (2009), so that put a damper on any significant plans of getting back in shape.  I did join the Y though, and attempted putting Big in the babysitting room more than a few times, so I could walk on the treadmill, but he would freak out and scream and cry and have his pathetic little face pressed up against the glass door smearing snot everywhere, and they have a 10min limit on that, so I had to keep coming to get him and I finally just gave up on that.  I thought Big had been a big baby (9lb 10oz), but then Little was born at 11lb 2oz.  (It's kind of funny to call him "Little").  I really was quite ridiculous looking as a pregnant lady.  Anyway, you just don't "recover" from that...the belly will NEVER be the same.  But after a bout of post partum depression and just generally feeling awful about myself, I started going back to the Y and getting serious about working out again.

 One of my first days back at the Y, I met Tom, the Health and Wellness Director, and we started talking about my fitness goals and stuff.  He told me he was attempting to put together a bootcamp class as long as he could find enough people for it (there's a 4 person minimum or they cancel classes).  Well, he found enough participants, and I have now consistently been going to bootcamp 2x/week since last April, and it has had such a positive effect on my life.  I'm a much happier person, I have more energy, I feel stronger and healthier, and it's just been great!  In Sept/Oct my friend Sharon (who was my PT after my surgery and then became a friend) started teaching Pilates on Monday mornings at the Y (and then in January she also started teaching it Wed. evenings, which I've been going to also).  So since the fall,  I've added in Pilates and love it.

Then came the goal of running the marathon in October, and subsequently the half marathon in May, and despite the fact that I've made no secret of despising running - I've gotten SO excited about running both of those races and they've become such a huge part of my life (with training schedules set to last practically the entire year).  And I've even noticed some significant changes in my strength and overall appearance, especially since I added regular running into my routine.  I feel toned, I can see some muscle definition, and I just feel like I'm getting in shape.  Now I'm doing bootcamp 2x/week, Pilates at least 1x/week, and running 3-4x/week and I couldn't be happier.  It's amazing what regular exercise can do for your body AND your mood/attitude.  So now I feel like I NEED it, and the thought that an injury - and possibly getting the SAME injury as before - royally freaks me out because not only does it pose the risk of not achieving my goals of running the half and full marathons, but it also represents the possibility of no longer being able to live the active lifestyle I've come to love and having to return to the land of despair, self-pity, and self-loathing...NOT someplace I ever want to be again!!

Therefore, I'm taking a few days off to rest and recover, and seriously crossing my fingers that all I did was strain/pull a muscle and I'll be back to normal in a little bit.  I've been icing on a regular basis and taking a regimen of Advil for inflammation and pain.  When it comes to injuring my "bad" hip, I have to take it very seriously.  I just CAN'T go back THERE...  Ugh, I do have "old lady" loves - a wee obsession with Murder She Wrote, Matlock, Perry Mason, Masterpiece Mystery on PBS, chamomile tea at night before bed, cross-stitching, comfortable, unattractive braziers (much to the hub's dismay), one-piece skirted swimsuits, all things Angela Lansbury...but I do NOT love my old lady hip...

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