It’s been a long road to recovery, but I will be back.
by Antonio Vega on November 18, 2011
This has been a very difficult period for me as I have been unable to run until recently. Obviously, I haven’t been able to race at all for more than a year and needless to say, have really missed the pure joy of competing against the best runners in the country.
During my downtime, I had to find other ways to push myself to satisfy my competitive instincts. The first two weeks after my hip surgery were brutal since I couldn’t do much, other than use a stationary hand cycle and watch television.
But competitive guy that I am, I began timing how long it would take me to hobble on crutches a half mile to my local fitness center. As I got stronger and more confident on my crutches, I timed how long it took to get to the fitness center and I quickly got faster and faster.
One cold, rainy day, I did my normal routine of working out on the hand cycle and doing my physical therapy exercises, followed by a hard sprint home on my crutches. I was on record pace to get home when the one stop light on my route home turned yellow. Since my watch keeps ticking even if I get stopped at the light, I decided to push my luck and try to make the light.
I was so focused on getting across the intersection that I wasn’t paying attention to the curb. I misjudged it and, in the rainy weather, slipped and fell right in front of four cars waiting for the light to turn.
Fortunately, some good Samaritans stopped their cars and helped me up. Other than being covered in mud and having a badly bruised ego, I was OK. But after that humbling incident, I decided that unofficial world record for crutching a half-mile would stay at 7 minutes and 48 seconds. If only I hadn’t gone down, my record would’ve fallen.
That was four weeks ago and I am no longer on crutches. I am happy to report that I am currently six weeks out from surgery, and everyday my hip continues to feel better and better.
This week my doctor gave me the green light to start some very light running. My first run was—believe it or not—only 10 minutes long. Two weeks ago, I couldn’t do that. Right now, I am on the road back. It’s been a long road to recovery, but I will be back.
I have no doubt about that.