10 years

My first hip surgery was 3,652 days ago, which, coincidentally, is probably the number of doubts I had before going under the knife. My decision to have PAOs – and the decade that's followed – have been worth every question and every fear.

My hips have been troopers, standing loyally by as I test them at the gym, on the trail, around the city and everywhere in between. If I push too hard, my left hip will let me know, but generally, I have very little pain. I haven't seen a hip doctor in years.

I still have a numb patch about the size of a business card on each thigh. A few times a year, I will get that burning, itching nerve pain that irritates me to no end. When overworked, my left hip starts burning near my back, sciatic-style. The scars are still there, of course, but they rarely catch my eye.  All of this seems like a small price to pay for a ticket for admission into this life of mine. Plus, I have 13 screws inside my body that make me feel like a bad-ass. I'm glad they're still with me.

Ten years. It makes the time I spent preparing for and recovering from surgeries seem so small. While the worry and stress were entirely well-founded, they were just a tiny part of my transformation. In fact, I've made at least 3,652 new happy memories since being on the other side.

Hiking in Wyoming
It's all downhill from here.

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