Musical Sports

“You wired me awake and hit me with a hand of broken nails.”

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!”

6 responses to “Musical Sports

  1. a very moving account of your “fighting” years, a strong lesson in character building where “mind over matter” plays such a big part. I’m impressed.

  2. you may just have to keep this blog going after you’re all healed up. you’re doing a good job of leaving us with wanting more! xo

  3. Feel for you man. I remember the widespread purple bruising after my ACL, I’m sure it was less for me than what you have. Was such a strange thing to look at on one’s own body. But you’re right. Nowhere to go but up.

  4. It’s great to hear that you’re up and about so soon! You’ll be back in the mix in no time. Great blog to keep us updated!

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