We are rounding out the always exciting “marathon season,” where crazy people all over this great country of ours volunteer to put their bodies through the brutality of running farther than the human body was ever meant to go. As a former “marathoner” and arguably, an ongoing crazy person, I can attest that the sacrifice is great, but the reward is even greater.
The memories of running make me look back at 2016 and think of it as the year that will go down as “the forgotten year” for me.
In January, I had a major hip repair, and in two weeks, I go in for a total hip replacement on the same hip.
Surgery changes you, and totally replacing a part of your body changes you even more. Although I’m excited about having the procedure done, and especially looking forward to returning to a life without agonizing limps, the reality of aging continues to present itself.
For instance, the surgeon told me I, pretty much, will be able to do anything you want “except running. We wouldn’t recommend that, as it will wear down the joint prematurely.”
I asked, “What about basketball?” He responded, “Oh yeah, I wouldn’t do that either.”
“Maybe not so much.”
So at the ripe old age of 47, I’m now forced to make lifestyle choices due to physical limitations that I didn’t expect to make for many years to come.
Although I never considered myself a “runner” (an odd phenomenon that running clubs grapple with when trying to get people to join — if you’re running, you are, by definition, a “runner”), the idea that “I CAN’T run” seems rudely invasive. A part of me has contemplated: Why not simply ignore the doctor, and do whatever I want afterward, and just get another hip whenever the next one breaks from my self-inflicted overuse?
But then I come back to my senses and realize that, just as I tell my patients, I will have to exercise smarter if I want to remain healthy.
The timetable for my recovery is to be back in the office sometime around late January or early February. In any event, next year, 2017, we will all look back on 2016 and hope that we’re all a year wiser. We will definitely be a year older, and we will just have to be as prepared as possible to face the challenges the lie ahead.
Good luck and don’t forget to remember your blessings this Thanksgiving.