Finding my New Body

By the time I was 35, I’d had 4 knee surgeries and 1 hip surgery, all due to arthritis, and I was staring a hip replacement in the face. The prospect of another surgery didn’t bother me – it was what it meant to my identity that was so hard for me to cope with. Old people get their hips replaced. People whose bodies are breaking down get their hips replaced. Not women in their mid-thirties who do their best to take care of themselves physically and mentally. It just wasn’t fair. And every time I’d go in for an appointment, doctors and nurses would all express surprise at how young I was, which only made things worse. I began thinking of myself as broken, and that took it’s toll on both my body and my mind. I kept thinking of myself as the soul of a runner trapped in the body of a geriatric. I couldn’t imagine what my life would be like post-surgery. But the great thing about the replacement (that it turned out I desperately needed) was that it gave me a lot of my life back that I hadn’t known I’d be missing. I walked without pain. And after years of being encouraged by one girlfriend to try Pilates, I finally did. And I found an incredibly kind instructor who helped me take my body back. Being able to channel my energy into something that was good for me and strengthened my new body was empowering, and my instructor played a huge role in that. She took the time to meet me where I was, listen to what I wanted and shared what she thought I needed. Together, we got me back up and running (figuratively) and my thinking shifted from broken to bionic. – C, 36

Help her take good care of herself.