This long road to recovery…

…is apparently going to be a longer road than I thought. I like to think in the past 3 months that I have been very positive (with some cynicism thrown in there) about my hip and all that entailed and I like to think that I have been even more positive since my surgery 5 weeks ago. It seems today, however, that I reached my breaking point. I cried…hard. I broke down.

Back tracking to the week following my surgery and I remember my biggest concern was if I was going to be able to maintain the positive attitude and outlook I had about this whole ordeal when I got back to work. For 9 weeks, the impending surgery was all I could think about and I catered my life around that surgery. I changed the way I thought about everything…whether it was food, wine, friends, family, boyfriends, sleeping, reading, HAPPINESS…you name it, my outlook probably changed and it changed for the better. I developed a strength within that I never thought possible. Then when the surgery happened I began to think, what now? For months, my life had centered around this surgery and now it is done, it is finally over with, so what now? What is my next focus and how can I maintain my bubbly, optimistic, positive self with my usual humor in making fun of myself and making light of a less than ideal situation? But what if I lose my spice for life? What if I go back to being Negatron?

My first day back at work was January 15th (8 days after my surgery) and it was a Wednesday which meant I had a 5:30 am client. She asked me Tuesday night if I was up for training that next morning and my response, “Hell yeah. May as well jump right back in!” I did 8 sessions that day and have since hit the ground running. I have never been busier than I am now and it makes me so happy that even on crutches I can work towards helping people get and/or stay happy and healthy.  I decided that I had no choice but to be positive about all of this as it is all quite comical in a way. I am a personal trainer on crutches that mind you, have Dora The Explorer stickers all over them…yes I am 27. I realized that there was not only no time for negativity and feeling sorry for myself but there was no desire for it. I need and want to be enthusiastic for my clients.

I was talking to a friend the other day about how I was trying so hard last week to complain about my situation (probably because that’s what Negatron would have done and for some reason I was starting to feel a bit irritable that day) but I could not, for the life of me, be negative. The words were coming out of my mouth but there was no merit behind it. I could not make myself even remotely stand behind the idea that my situation really sucked as bad as I was trying to make it seem in the moment I was attempting to complain about it (yes I have done some complaining but it is more just mocking myself). And then it hit me, I was not going to lose my spice for life. Hell I HADN’T lost my spice for life. I’ve been more smiley and laughing more since my surgery than I ever have been. I have legitimately been full blown happy. All the things I had worried about in the few days post surgery never even came to fruition. I have not asked,”What now?” since those few days post surgery 5 weeks ago.

And then another thing hit me. When I decided to make a conscious effort to be more positive in my life many months ago, it was exactly that…an effort. I had gotten so used to saying negative things and thinking in such a manner that it exuded a negative aura, and that in order to be happy, I really honestly had to work at it. I had to retrain my brain how to think so that the thoughts that inhabited my mind and therefore  my world, were positive. But now, it is no longer an effort. Being happy comes naturally now. Those negative thoughts no longer run free in my mind. It was a great feeling to have; to finally know I had control over my negativity.

But then today happened. This week is the busiest week I have ever had at Equinox. I had 9 training hours Monday, 7 hours yesterday and 10 hours today. If all goes as planned I will have 10 hours tomorrow and 9 hours Friday. Needless to say, my hip hurts…a lot. I tweaked it this weekend while I was cleaning which set me back a bit and put me back on two crutches all weekend (I had previously been cleared to use 1 as much as possible). Good news is that my PT said there was no damage to the labrum and that I had just really pissed off my hip. So I am back on two crutches for most of the day (I honestly don’t know why I thought I would be 100% off of them at 3 weeks…silly me). My legs are starting to (in my opinion) look like giant redwoods…yes GIANT redwoods. My abs are dwindling away and I have not broken a sweat since a week before my surgery which means about 6 weeks and for anyone who loves to sweat everyday, I hope you can understand how I feel. I am sleeping like absolute crap and am back to night eating which frustrates me beyond belief.

And to top it off and the reason I cried after my 10th session today was because my hip went into total spasm. Total, painful spasm which put me to tears. That was all it took after all this time. I had reached my breaking point. The hip pain I felt after that 10 training hours just killed my optimism. In that moment and throughout the next hour, I felt defeated. Hip, you win. I’m still on crutches 5 weeks out and after talking to my PT about when I might be off of them, all she could say was, “Because you are on your feet all day, your recovery is going to be a bit slower.” A bit? Great. So all at once, everything hit me. Negatron came back. I cried and cried. My frustration hit its peak. I honestly don’t even have the right words to describe how I felt, so I’ll just leave it at that and get on to the most important part of this all…

After I was done crying and feeling sorry for myself and feeling like I will never heal, I suddenly felt myself again. Even though I am in a high amount of discomfort as I write this post with my Cryo Cuff on (no pain killers unfortunately), I feel quite happy again and it’s not a forced happy. It is the genuine happy I normally feel because I am exactly that, HAPPY. I am not the brief moment of negativity that snowballed into a breakdown this evening. And I realized something tonight that was reinforced by my therapist and by some amazing friends. It is OK to break down. And I am going to quote one of my best friends here..

“Kara, love. You’re allowed to cry! You’re allowed to be frustrated and upset and ask for help and support. None of which I’ve seen you do really. Give yourself PERMISSION to be okay with being upset and frustrated. Cry. Bitch and moan. And then after that, give yourself permission to relax around it all. Ask for help, bake more [as if I haven’t eaten enough cookies the last 5 weeks], enjoy the non exercise 🙂 seriously. In the big picture this is just one small snapshot of your life.”

I don’t want to be negative about my situation because life can always be worse and in reality, I know I will heal and I know that my situation isn’t really THAT bad. I laugh about it when I can and I have Dora to hang out with all the time. The more I can laugh about my situation, the easier it becomes. But when I get overtired and the reality sets in that I can’t do the things I so desperately want to do, I realize that this does kind of really suck. It’s like cabin fever, except an extra long period of cabin fever. I’m 5 weeks out…it feels like an eternity and all I want to do is run and squat and jump…you know, FUN stuff…instead of pedaling at level 6 for 30 minutes on the upright bike, you know, the one with the huge, comfy seat and instead of my hip bridges on my stability ball. But then I realize, I actually am very thankful I can even do those things because at least its something.

There was one thing this whole thing has taught me. Patience. And after tonight, there is one more thing this whole thing has taught me. It is OK to get upset and to think that yes, this does kind of suck. In realizing this though, I also realize that I cannot let that overcome me, I cannot let that rule every day of my life. Negativity is not a part of me anymore. I enjoy happy and I know everyone else does to. So I take my momentary breakdown and I appreciate it and accept it for what it was…a release of emotions I had been holding in for a long time without even realizing it.

So as I set my alarm for 4:30 am, I think this…when all is said and done – hip surgery, redwood thighs, Michelin Man abs, chocolate chip cookie saddle bags and bingo arms – I love where I am at in my life and I do (and this takes some convincing) love my body. Love and appreciation of self means you can love and appreciate others and with Single’s Awareness Day approaching (Valentine’s Day), there’s no better time than now to be able to do that. ❤


I sure do LOVE to dance!


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