The Three Ways Hip Surgery Has Changed My Approach to Fitness

A detailed account of how my fitness goals evolved post-hip surgery at age 27.

The Three Ways Hip Surgery Has Changed My Approach to Fitness
Photo by Bruno Nascimento / Unsplash

I promised a post about my workouts lately and how they differ now that I’ve had hip surgery. I’ve learned a lot about my body since it first started acting up in March 2014. Up until then, I’d had my fair share of sports injuries, but nothing compared to what I went through with my hip.

I’ve been pretty active since I started my blog in 2009, and I’ve tried a lot of workouts: spinning, body pump, yoga, pilates, road biking, running, and CrossFit. So I was beside myself when the right side of my body just stopped working all of a sudden. What made it worse was that the doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me for so long. Working out is my outlet, my stress relief. I’ve always struggled with anxiety, and not being able to work out and not knowing how to fix it was extremely challenging for me.

By the time my doctor realized I needed hip surgery, it had been seven months, and I could barely walk, let alone work out. I was furious at my body. I felt betrayed by it and as though I was being punished. I thought it was unfair that I was stuck in my predicament despite the fact that I tried to do all the right things to take care of my body. Even though these weren’t rational thoughts, it’s how I felt, and I couldn’t control it.

Physical therapy after surgery was very humbling. Three times a week for three months, I learned how to use my lower body again. I felt my hip get stronger with every session. I felt almost back to normal. I celebrated tiny accomplishments like I’d completed a marathon. Fitness goals for me then were SO different from what they were before I injured my hip. All I wanted was to feel normal again, like my body wasn’t working against me.

So, a year out from surgery, the way I think about workouts is very different. My main goals now are to avoid hurting my hip again (and other injuries) and to feel strong enough to do everyday things, like bending down to pick up a box or walking for even half a mile.

There are three important ways in which I work toward these goals, and I want to share them with you because I feel like they’re helpful even if you haven’t had hip surgery.

As with all of my posts that speak in detail about my various diagnoses and medications, I must state that these experiences are my own and yours might be completely different. I’m not a doctor and I strongly advise that you seek the help of a medical professional if you have concerns about your physical or mental wellbeing. Please see my disclaimer for more information about what I share on this site.