Hips Don’t Lie

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Are we still allowed to say Happy New Year three weeks in to one? Well, I don’t care, so…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I used to be very self conscious about the perceived time limit on giving cheerful New Year greetings, thinking that people would think me a bit daft, wishing happiness for a New Year that was already four days old, I mean my GOD it’s like basically February four days in. Then I realized that it has always taken me at least three weeks, if not all of January to feel fully in the embrace of the new calendar. It is also not denial because without endings, how do we get a beginning filled with all that hopey-changey stuff that feels so exciting and energizing? It is more that I, without a doubt, physically and mentally REQUIRE several weeks to transition from the chaos of December into the mellows of January, and I am thrilled that I know this about myself. Also a gifted astrologer told me as much.

For the past three weeks, after I had two weeks off in which I was able to relax and think thoughts that lasted for more than .087 seconds before being interrupted by another unrelated one, I have been slightly lazy and slightly methodical and slightly daydreamy and mostly just very, very, VERY gentle with myself. My preferred pace leans toward  going very, very, VERY hard, almost past the point of exhaustion, because I always want to do everything always. Now I know there is this thing called balance.

According to the gifted astrologer, this part of my personality will not change. This is the way I am made and how I am productive and content. HOWEVER, I can learn how to slow things down prior to burnout, or in the case of January, ramp up slowly. As with most things in my life, there is a connection to running. Want to get stronger? Slowly add miles and strength training. Plateauing? Get some rest. It’s all so obvious.

Except, when it’s not.

I have not been running regularly since April 2013. Almost a WHOLE YEAR. I have been trying to recover from runner’s knee in both knees, but it has not been going well. (It also seemed far too tedious to write about so I have not, which in hindsight was probably not smart.) There are several very boring but also valid tertiary reasons why this is so, but a primary reason has now surfaced: bone spurs have been found in my right hip socket. Sad trombone.

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Or… is it a happy bell?!

The good news is that now I know why I cannot move my right leg around in the hip joint, why I can’t sit cross-legged anymore, and why my lower back and knees have been in nagging, run-stopping, nonstop pain for almost a whole year. I went too hard for too long without any balance, so just as expected, my body crashed. Oddly, having this information gives me relief and relief is not far from happy.

So now what? Now that I have eased into January, is it time to crank it up to 11 and make 2014 the Year of Successful Hip Surgery and a 2:00 Half Marathon in the Fall??

Probably not at 11. But a 7 I think I can do. First surgeon appointment is this Thursday.

Stay tuned and for the love of bacon, don’t skip stretching!!

Seeing Chances

I broke up with Summer 2013 a few weeks back. No really, don’t be sad, we were never going to make it work Summer 2013 and me, even though I tried. For all my desire to laze about with attractive folks in the long days’ heat near a body of water, drink in my hand, smelling of Coppertone and coconut, mostly what happened was this:  I was somewhat homebound, with a hurt body, rigid bank account, and all those folks? Well they were on well-deserved vaycays while Summer 2013 showed up at my place excelling only at relentless if mild disappointment, not even a booty call to boot. I knew it would never work between us pretty early on, like about on July 4th weekend, when there was one nice day at the fair… followed by four in row of cable television and shitty baseball. Summer kept trying, wait, no, Summer kept saying, “well I dunno, whadda you wanna do?” which is SO not a turn on for any season, even fickle and high-maintenance Spring.

I did manage to break free from this unexpected inertia enough to get myself to the orthopedic surgeon on July 30, so I could finally get a diagnosis on the pain that has been plaguing my knees and stalling my running to a stop for these eight months. Shocking no one, I have the very common ailment called patellofemoral pain syndrome, or Runner’s Knee. No structural damage, no arthritis, no stress fractures, (NO, RUNNING IS NOT BAD FOR ME SO SPARE THAT COMMENTARY PLEASE), nope it’s caused by not stretching the quads properly and is fixed by stretching the quads properly. And taking some Aleve, which I love. To prove that Summer 2013 is really just a big fat loser, it also timed the arrival of a gnarly low-back muscle spasm soon after doing my third day of quad stretches, on the morning I was taking a day off to go spend the weekend with some attractive friend-folks. I was tons o’fun gimping around the party those two days!

I have taken most of this in stride, or in my case, sit, and I noticed I was just kind of numbing out, but because I am so boring when it comes to binges, I use chips, Papalote salsa and staying home as my drug of choice. There was a glimmer of hope when one day, FINALLY, I wept out some big fat tears, wrote a bunch (6 pages) of never-see-the-light-of-day/possible insanity in my journal, talked to a BFF and was happy to just FEEL SOME FEELINGS. And then… Summer 2013 tried to get back together with me that bastard. We went to Outside Lands and it was fantastic, and then… bleargh all over again with the BLAHHHHS.

Last Sunday, while doing a lengthy list of car-based errands, I decided it was over forever between me and Summer 2013. Like all good break-ups, it was the unexpected yet cosmically absolute timing of a song coming on the radio that gave me all the clarity and strength I ever needed to get on with my life and leave Summer 2013 behind me. I could not bring myself to post the video of this song, because its sheer weird-silliness will distract you from the brilliance at its soul, and you might not smile and cry like I did and then go home and book four days away next week in Tahoe.

Enjoy. And BRING IT, FALL 2013!!!