Have you ever gone to a race and cried at the start, or the finish? Maybe you’ve trained for months or a year to race your first triathlon, or first ironman. Everything you’ve worked for, building up to that day. It can be overwhelming. Race day is a culmination of so much hard work, dedication and sacrifice. 

But what if you’re not racing and you still cry. Then, I’d say you might be more like me. Who shows up to cheer for her friends and athletes racing at local sprint triathlon (Musselman) with tears welling up. That’s me. Yes, I’m a bit emotional but last week when I arrived on Saturday to cheer for everyone, I was overcome with emotion. 

You see, I signed up for the 70.3 on Sunday. It was to be a comeback year. A comeback after a long recovery post hamstring surgery, a comeback after having two boys, a comeback to a sport I loved and doing what I love-racing hard. But, ever since having the boys, I’ve had this pain in my hip that won’t go away. I went to chiros for dry needling, I went to PTs for strengthening, I lifted, I stretched, I foam rolled, etc. Nothing helped. The pain was intense and finally after 2 years I said, this is enough. There is something more wrong than just tight hips or weak glutes. Because gosh darn it, I was strong in my glutes and I stretched my hips routinely. 

So, I found a sports orthopedist who would agree to an MRI. Thankfully my ortho didn’t make me do more rehab, he just said sure, let’s get an MRI. And after that MRI, the diagnosis that I feel should have been more clear to everyone, a torn labrum in my hip. I was a bit surprised that no one had said anything for years. That this might be the case. And when I got an appointment with Dr. Giordano, the best hip surgeon in our area, said this was a very common injury for female athletes. Especially hypermobile female athletes, which I am. That coupled with being pregnant and nursing (due to the relaxin hormone relaxing my tendons and ligaments even more) for the previous 3-4 years, most likely made my hip tear. 

So last weekend, on a beautiful day, I arrived at what should have been my comeback race. But instead, I felt blessed to be supporting friends and athletes, and a bit overcome with the emotions of the past few months. I’m now 4 months post op from labral hip repair and shaving of the femoral head. I’m slowly getting back to swimming, cycling and just gradually doing some jogging. I’m still in a bit of discomfort from the surgery, but my PT is a triathlete and he believes I am on the right path back to our sport. 

My emotions were ones of sadness, a sense of loss, a bit of fear, a bit of self pity and an even greater sense of drive to return to the sport. If you’ve had surgery and come back, if you’ve been sick and come back, if you’ve been pregnant and come back, you know those feelings. Let’s focus on doing what we can to get back to what we love.

Here’s a pic from the swim finish where I was volunteering at Musselman 70.3

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