I ran my first half marathon. Then I registered for my first full marathon in 2014.
There was a lot of hockey. Paul Mart! Kuni! Nealer! (Yeah, I don’t know how this happened either.)
Clockwise from top left:
1) I found out that I have a bum right hip, but hooray for chiropractors.
2) My furkids are adorable.
3) Ryan and I attempted to see the Perseids Meteor Shower and got to make this lovely planisphere with a bunch of elderly people.
4) My MacBook Pro was on its last leg, so … UPGRADE.
5) No photo, but I am thankful for heartburn and colonoscopies … and being cancer free.
Ryan and I ran Color Me Rad in Pittsburgh. My blue beard is courtesy of Ryan, of course.
That’s the sound my right hip has been making for months now. I stand up from a seated position: pop. I sit down with my knees slightly apart: pop. I finish a run and stretch: pop.
My body has been snapping, crackling, and popping for as long as I can remember. I’m the girl who has had arthritic knees since she was a teenager. So when this new popping started, I didn’t think anything of it. I figured that it just came with the territory (being thirty and having a history of arthritic joints), and that it was just another thing added to my list of things to live with.
Fast forward to after the Flying Pig Half Marathon (post forthcoming). I ran a few weeks later and something felt off. My gait wasn’t the same, and there was just something not quite right with my right hip. It didn’t quite hurt, but it didn’t really feel good either. I let it go for a few more weeks, thinking that it was just due to over training, exhaustion, and whatever else comes with running your first half marathon.
Then the waking up in pain in the middle of the night started. I’m a side sleeper, and when I can’t sleep on my right side, I am NOT a happy camper. Last week, having thought back, trying to remember the last time I slept through the night without waking up in pain, I realized that I haven’t slept through the night since May. Two months of not sleeping through the night is not cool, and something needed to be done. I called a chiropractor and set up my very first appointment.
The assessment was very thorough and informative. They asked a lot of questions, took several X-rays, and evaluated my range of motion. As we went through everything, I was starting to realize how weak and limited my right hip and leg are. (I had noticed that my right foot/leg kind of shuffle when I run, but I didn’t think much of it at the time.) I went back today for a follow up after the doctor had time to review my X-rays, and she went through them with me, showing me the bone-on-bone contact that my right hip is making in the joint and showing me how off balance my hips are (my right hip sits much higher and more forward than my left).
So I wasn’t being a big baby about my pain. It’s a real thing with a real cause!
Then the doctor said something that I wasn’t really prepared to hear: “We need to treat this now to avoid a hip replacement. You don’t want a hip replacement. You’re a runner. You don’t want one. They’re painful, and they only last for about ten years before you’ll need another one.” No, I don’t want a hip replacement. I had tears in my eyes when she said this (and as I write this) because this was the first time I had ever considered the possibility of my not being able to run. Right now I have the choice to run or not to run. I have a choice.
Right now I’m struggling with running. Part of it is because of the pain I endure after the run, part of it is because of the weather (storms or heat – I can’t win), and part of it is because I’m struggling with some issues about my training process (post forthcoming). Realizing that running is my choice really put things into perspective for me. Of course, I’m not allowed to run for at least two weeks. Doctor’s orders. And what do I want to do? Run.
If I don’t treat this now, in the future running might not be a choice for me to make. My doctor walked me through a treatment plan and explained how it will add more “space” around the joint so that the pressure will be taken off of the joint and I will be able to run pain free. It’s a pretty intensive plan: treatment three times a week for four weeks, then two times a week for four weeks, then either once a month or once every six weeks. All I have to say is that I am thankful to have insurance that covers this treatment, that I found a doctor that I like, that my doctor is confident that this can be treated through therapy instead of surgery.
Often we forget that most of the time we have the option to make choices, but sometimes we don’t have options and the decision is made for us. Universe, thanks for the reminder.
Sometimes I forget that I am a (nearly) thirty-year-old adult. I forget that while I make all the decisions about my own life, that the decisions are truly my own to make.
I tend to make major life decisions based upon what negative feedback I think am going to get. I worry that the decisions I make are going to be “wrong.” I worry that I am still a 12-year-old kid that is going to be scolded or grounded. It doesn’t matter if the decision is personal or professional. It doesn’t matter if I have my best interests in mind. For every major decision, I weigh it against what people close to me will say or think. I weigh it against how it will affect their opinion of me.
Before the holidays, I worked with Tara from A Life Changing Journey to gain some perspective on making big changes in my life. Going into the whole life coaching thing was new for me. I wasn’t sure what I was going to get out of it, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to be willing to discuss. We talked about a lot of things, but the big thing I got out of our sessions together was that I am the one in charge of my life. I am driving.
For as independent and together as I try to be, there are certain aspects of my life where I let other people’s opinions and feelings rule my decisions. For example, I want a tattoo. I know I want a tattoo. I’m certain of the content and the placement, yet I am hesitating. The hesitation is not because I’m afraid of the actual process of getting the tattoo. Sure, the permanence is a little scary, but the procedure is not. (I had a thyroid biopsy. I can do anything.) What keeps getting into my head is that I’m going to disappoint someone. Someone close to me may not like tattoos, and they may think that my having one in such a visible location is wrong, stupid, etc.
Why does it matter?
This is how a lot of my decisions are made. I worry about how my decisions about things I want to do are going to affect other people’s opinions of me. I’m not worried about superficial things, like if the clothes I’m wearing are in style or if I’m up-to-date on pop culture, but I worry about the very personal, important decisions about my life.
This needs to stop.
What I choose to do with my life is my choice. I am in the driver’s seat. I am driving.