I am sure Chris Cornell did not have someone recovering from hip resurfacing surgery in mind when he wrote those lyrics, but that is how I feel. I am beat up. My left leg looks like it was used as a piñata. The bruising wraps around from my lower back to my knee – the shade is deep purple. But I am getting back on my feet. I started slow in the hospital, walking from my bed to the doorway of my room and back. Today I walked around the block. My goal is daily improvements.
Growing up, I was active in lots of sports: basketball, skiing, running, rugby and field hockey. In university I played ultimate frisbee for the McGill University Team and for the Montreal traveling team. But after university, my body stopped cooperating and ever since, I have been jumping from sport to sport to avoid injury and pain.
After training for the New York City Marathon, my ankles swelled to the size of grapefruits. I rolled my ankles numerous times playing basketball, so they were finally crying “uncle”. I stopped running and switched to karate. Then I discovered I had osteoarthritis. I love the martial arts, but after six years of training, I had bone spurs and torn cartilage in my left hip. So, I switched to cycling. Although the pain in my left hip gradually got worse, I found relief on the bike. But even pedal stokes require your legs and hips to have normal range of motion and I was losing mine.
Last year, in a last ditch effort to convince myself that my hip pain was due to lack of flexibility and muscle weakness, I tried CrossFit. CrossFit is hard and humbling. I enjoyed the workouts at CrossFit Sweat Shop and Nabil was a great coach, but I couldn’t perform basic movements. I haven’t been able to run for a couple of years, but when I couldn’t do a burpee without serious pain in my hip, I knew something was wrong. That’s when I stopped my quest for the next sport and began my search for a surgeon.
Yesterday I walked around the block with my son. He kept five paces ahead just to show me who was boss. I may not be able to keep up with a 4-year-old but the best part about hitting bottom is that you get to start over. I chose hip resurfacing surgery so I could stop playing musical sports and get back to the activities I love. I’m back to basics but I’m on the road to full recovery. I believe I’ll do all the sports I want to do. I may not compete in another karate tournament, but as Chris Cornell said, “I’m going to break my rusty cage. And run!”