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50%

Posted Aug 07 2010 12:00am
We are told when we are young, from our teachers, parents, and coaches, that 50% is less than average. 50% is weak. It is cowardly. 50% is not even worth it. 50% is failure.

This is the mindset I combat every day as I am recovering from two hip surgeries. I'm an athlete, a competitor, and doing anything less than 110% is against my nature. I want to push myself and give my all, but I keep learning how impossible that is right now. It's the one lesson I never seem to learn.

It's been a rocky road the past couple of weeks, which is why I've distanced myself from blogging. Things changed so drastically day to day, that I didn't even know what to write about or how to explain what I was feeling. The biggest piece of information is not even relevant anymore, but I'll mention it anyway. Way back ago, I tested positive for an autoimmune disorder- Seronegative Spondyloarthopathies. But, the deal was people test positive for SS and don't actually have the disease. I went to a couple of doctors- I had a bad experience at a few specialists and was trying to get answers. Finally, after three long weeks of dozens of x-rays, blood work, being poked and prodded, told I was going on treatment for a year and looking up the possibly crippling side effects of the disease, my dad got tested as well. We found out my family just carries the gene, but we do not in fact have the disease. By the end of it all, I was exhausted and it was just another thing I didn't have to cross off the list.

So where am I now? I am focusing on hip rehab, mainly my right hip, but my left has still not recovered fully. I still have around a month left before I can start light running, and four more months until I should be completely healed, and possibly ten more months until I see some results. Let the waiting game begin. I still have some tears in my pelvis that I could have surgery for, but we are waiting until my hips have recovered a bit more before diving into anything else. I also still have vaginal pain I need to work on after my hips are a bit more stabilized. I was very happy with the results of the injections, so I'm sure I'll start them up back again. Finally, my sitting pain is still horrible. I'm hoping once my hip is healed I will see some relief, but if not, it's back to searching why I have all of this pain.

A few weeks ago I was in New York City to see my hip specialist and a play at night. The wonderful transportation system that is NJ Transit ended up breaking down and running behind for over two hours, so I missed my appointment. I was furious. Now with ticket prices going up, it's $30 to get into the city, not to mention $6+ parking at the train station. Not to mention the amount of time out of my day was wasted. At least I had the play that night, but I stupidly walked 60+ blocks once in the city. I thought it would be good exercise for my hip. Wrong. I was hurting badly for days after. That's the point where I finally realized what I should have a long time ago. I am not invincible. Pushing myself the way my mind and body were used to is impossible. The more steps I take my body forward, the more steps my recovery is taking backwards.

The past two times at physical therapy, I have been a changed person. I originally set the elliptical to 30 minutes, which I would usually follow with a 20 minute bike ride. I stepped off the elliptical at 15 minutes and called it a day for cardio. I felt horrible, but I knew it was the right thing. I'm beyond aggravated that I am out of shape. I don't fit into a lot of my pants anymore, I can't go dancing, no rock climbing, no runner's high after a difficult workout, no adrenalin. I feel weak and powerless. But, after the past two sessions, my body is not in as much pain.

As much as we are told that 50% is failing and as much as we cringe when we say 50%, it's not always true. 50% is not half-speed; 50% is halfway there. 50% is safe. It is smart. Any maybe, just maybe, slowing yourself down to 50% is a display of true strength.

I'm gearing up in a few days for my first day of work and my next adventure. I still don't know where I'm going to be placed for work- the possibilities are Portland, ME, Concord, NH, Boston, Providence, Hartford, Trenton, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Wilmington, Baltimore, D.C., Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Portland, OR. It's going to be a fast and abrupt move, but I am anxious and excited. This is my chance for a new, clean slate. If I am moving way, I'm going to need recommendations for doctors in these new areas. Please let me know if you have any suggestions. Also, the True Life episode was officially pushed back to allow for adequate promotion time, but you will be the first to know once I find out the new air date. Thanks again for all the emails- I'm running out right now, but will be back tonight to answer some more. Keep fighting.
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