“It” came on gradually. Wait—maybe it came on suddenly. I suppose it was really a combination of both, but when I noticed “it,” I got really worried. The pain was on the “outside” of my hips, the top of both my outer thighs, about six inches down from my waist. It started in November.
Dull. Nagging. I sometimes felt it when I slept on my side—until I no longer slept because it woke me up.
What was this new intruder into my existence? “I don’t need this aggravation,” I thought.
Hips to be square
I began to torment myself about what it was and why it was. Let’s see: I’ve been running since I was 17. I ride bicycles, do yoga, do the elliptical machine and weights at the gym. I used to ride horses and ski, and in summation, I’ve used my hips and legs a lot. I’m a human and I move.
My choices for physical activity represent my freedom, my ability to blow off steam. I know they’ve helped me maintain emotional balance. Maybe they’ve helped my body in other positive ways, like maintaining weight and lowering my blood pressure.
I’ve taken my running shoes on so many journeys to places near and far—pop them on, head out the door, and meet people and pets that “flavor” a city or town much more than can be experienced riding in a car.
“You’re pounding your joints, and you’re going to be in a wheelchair someday,” my mom and some other people who are close to me have taken care to warn me.
“Wow,” I thought. “Maybe this is ‘it.’ Could my high-impact activity days be over,” I wondered? Then I became totally incensed. “After all, I’m not that old. (Am I?) Taking away my activities would be like taking a big piece of me. I won’t stand for it—unless I have to—and if I have to, I am going to be mad as heck, depressed and deprived.”
Six x-rays later and an expensive consultation under my belt, I know that my hips look pristine, I have no osteoporosis and I must have just strained the muscles running down my outer thighs. Yoga? There was that one intense class that left me so stiff I couldn’t arise from a chair a few hours later. That session must have been the culprit.
I’m going to live. And run, and bike, and maybe even ski or ride again someday. How ridiculous to imagine the worst. How silly to write the wrong script.
I’m going to try not to do that again anytime soon.
For now, anyway.