Tag Archives: exercise for hip pain


I’ve come a long way, baby….

August 19, 2014: I met with Dr. Stoll, the hip specialist who originally diagnosed me with hip dysplasia and recommendation for PAO surgery in March of 2013.  After viewing my x-rays, he had a big grin on his face and he proudly announced, “You are fully healed.  You are cleared for all activities.” What great news at 19 weeks post-op!  We discussed my first love, road biking; it turns out we have the same road bike, so we talked a lot about training, routes, etc.   I was so happy that I can have my active lifestyle back! I wanted to hug and kiss that man.  Instead, I gave him a warm handshake with both hands and simply said, “Thank you. I will see you next year after my second PAO.”

In the meantime, I have been fierce with all activities, though being smart in progressing in distance and intensity: much bike riding, hiking, swimming, lifting weights, plyometrics, pilates reformer, and walking to my heart’s content.  All pain free, though I did have to ice today after my bike ride, my hip flexor tendon (sartorious tendon) was pissed off.  But the good news all is fine this evening.  Icing, I think, should be a regular routine of any athlete.

My friend has a nest of sparrows at his house,  They are metaphorical for me (and cute!) so I took a picture:


Baby Swallows
Baby Swallows getting ready to fly for the first time.

I think of my surgery as a sort of rebirth: Like a baby swallow, I had (re-)learn how to walk, move, and “fly”: all with new anatomical alignment that allows me to be pain free.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise”

-The Beatles, “Blackbird”


Water Warrior

After complaining to a friend about how pretty much every type of workout hurts my hips, said friend suggested, “Maybe you should try the Water Warrior class, its harder than you think, especially Richard’s class.”

I think I snorted when I replied, “Yeah, right.”  In my head, I was thinking, “Is this what its come to? Water aerobics? I used to do Master’s Swim class for crying out loud!”  I assumed a bunch of seniors just bounced around in the water gabbing away.

“I talked to Richard after class last week about you and your hip issues, you should really come next time,” my friend pressed on.

Not wanting to admit that I am the perfect candidate for water aerobics, I did everything I could for the past month to avoid it: I had metal-smithing class in Denver on Mondays, perfect! Damn, that ended December 16.  Holidays! Another perfect excuse.  Just when I thought I was out of excuses, going skiing (for me only the blue runs) was a possibility yesterday, until I discovered it was -27 at the resort with 30-40 mph winds. No, thank you.  Time to face the inevitable: Richard’s Water Warrior Workout.

I ran into friends in the locker room who were all geared up to go to spin class, and I longed to be walking up the stairs with them to pedal my heart and soul away. Instead, I walked to the pool, very self-conscious of my body in a swimsuit, trying not to slip on the wet tile.

After short introductions, before I knew it I was water jogging as fast as I could, doing 50+ crunches in the water (its hard!), and doing 10 sets of 20 second intervals of various high intensity exercises:

“OK! NOW! CLAM DIGGER! GO! DIG DIG DIG!” Richard barks. “IF YOU’RE TALKING YOU AREN’T WORKING HARD ENOUGH!” He certainly wasn’t directing that last statement to me, I was huffing and puffing away.

“Holy shit! This guy is a ramrod!” I think as I am clam digging, stepping alternating legs and alternating scooping my arms up as fast as I could. Good thing my body was under water, because it would have looked really funny otherwise.

I am starting to get winded by the 8th 20-second interval of the clam digger. “I LOVE THIS GUY!” He taught like a basketball coach yet checked on me occasionally to see how I was doing and if any modifications were needed (note: for those with hip dysplasia, no external rotation of the hips, limit abduction, no breast stroke kick).  We progress through water jogging with a water belt, all the different intervals,  flutter kick on the wall for 10×20 sec. as fast as one could, crunches, and then the styrofoam dumbbells for various traditional strength moves such as chest fly, rows, upright row, bicep curl and tricep kickbacks.

The hour ended, and I realized that was the hardest I exercised since I was diagnosed last March with hip dysplasia. I realize each person responds to different teaching styles but Richard’s strong coaching style combined with attentiveness on form and modifications was perfect for me. I will be back next Monday!