Friday, July 20, 2012

Fit By Forty

I suppose I have to say (or write) a goal out loud in order to feel like it's real. So here it is. I have a birthday coming up in October and I'll be 40. Fabulous 40. And by then, I WILL be fit (ish). I may not be in the best shape of my life, but I will have reached a major mile marker, and will be ready to pick things up a notch in regard to activity level.

Since I was a kid, an active, athletic, and energetic life was important to me. I grew up on a trampoline, and competed in gymnastics throughout high school--then coached it for 12 years after that. I have run quite a few marathons and half marathons. I love to hike, walk, and bike. My 71 year old mother is still running half marathons, I guess you could say it's in my blood. 

However, training for and running downhill races for 10 years destroyed my hip. The osteoarthritis had done extensive damage, the labrum was torn, the cartilage was shot, the ligaments were torn, and the cup had deep grooves in it where the ball had been grinding bone-on-bone. For years, I didn't know what was wrong. I figured running had taken a cumulative effect, and kept thinking if I just took time off, it would heal itself. Months went by. Years went by. I was too stiff and sore to do much at all - but I couldn't give running up completely, so would run an event here and there without training. When friends invited me to run another Ragnar Relay, I knew I had to figure out what was wrong, before I could commit. So then I learned about the condition I had, and would be living with for the rest of my life. 

A few months later, I had a new hip. Now it has been almost four months with it and four months of recovery and extremely limited exercising after several years of activity levels decreasing slow but sure. Don't get me wrong, I am very strong. I was home from the hospital in two days, walking without crutches before the first week was up, and was driving by four weeks. By 6 weeks I was walking around my favorite reservoir - 4 miles. My recovery has been nothing short of miraculous in my opinion. It had to be... no time to be sitting around. 

Anyway, I have three months to lose the pounds accumulated as a result of a less active lifestyle, and am glad to be feeling strong enough to get back into mild workouts. I CAN do this. In three months I'll be almost seven months past surgery and should have permission from my surgeon to then begin a more vigorous exercise program. What a fabulous birthday - a new start, new energy, new strength. 

My longer-term goal is to keep up the strength and cardiovascular training through December, in order to be strong enough to begin something new in January. Thinking about Crossfit... does anyone have experience with this? I've heard really great things, but wonder if this is a little unrealistic for me. Docs say swimming, biking, and the eliptical are also good options.  Until then, I'm eating right and keeping active. My Body Bugg will be attached to my arm wherever I go, and I'll remember I'm on my way back to what makes me happy--energy in life, places to go, and people to celebrate health with. I welcome any thoughts or suggestions on goal-oriented workout programs. 

Happy and healthy wishes for all!


  1. I think you are amazing in so many ways- mothering, getting through trials, and health, motivation, believing in your self,setting goals and accomplishing them, just to name a few. I will be no help as I turn 40 in 8 days and will not be at my best or anywhere near it. So, good for you! What ever you do, you will be successful and if not to the level at what you had hoped for, it will be what you are capable of. I don't see you as the person who settles for less than giving their best.

  2. Have you ever done I love their app for net-ting my calories after cardio and strength.

  3. Kathy,
    Saying goals out loud helps us be accountable. Way to go!
    I have heard of Crossfit, but never tried it. Do you have Amy Arneson McComber as a friend on Facebook? She is pretty active with things like that. You could pick her brain about that. Also, Paige Walker Morrill has some ideas. I am inspired by these two women because of their steadfastness, resolution and ability to share their story without it coming across as bragging (more inspiring).
    Best wishes, let me know how it's going.

  4. Jessica - are you doing it here in CT?
    Becky - Happy 40 to YOU!!
    Tami - I've never done it, but will check it out... thanks for the tip!
    Tali - Amy and Paige ARE fantastic examples. Love following them in their efforts :) and hope I can do as well.