One strength that I have that could be considered a double edge sword is that I'm a goal setter. For the most part, I work towards my goals with the input of others who know my capability and that of my hips. I am a rule follower as well. Tell me that I can't do something and I will ignore. Tell me I should not and I will listen.
But my last big hike was in February. It ended up being 9 miles with an incline that caused me to beg for a helicopter to appear out of nowhere. I did not break any rules at that point since I was "told" the hike was fairly easy and about 5-6 miles. The goal was to take a bath in the mountains in a real life bathtub. Figuratively speaking. The bathtub was not connected to any plumbing and was in the middle of the great outdoors. My goal for that bath was to cleanse me of my worry for my upcoming surgery. To wash me with reassurance that I would be back soon enough.
While this hike crushed me physically, I crushed it from a mental outlook kind of perspective. I did it even though I had to slide down on my butt in a few places. I put one foot in front of the other and pushed on. I breathed and I focused. I remember that day with a sense of achievement through exhaustion.
My friend, Michael, who was the one who told me it was only five or six miles just sent me a tantalizing photo of this bathtub today. And, of course, I turned green with envy. But I know that now is not the time for my hips to try this hike. I recall the incline being challenging and I don't want to mess anything up. I am dealing with some glitches in my opposite hip now, but my goal is about 8 to 10 weeks from now. So, for this purpose, I will use my skill of goal setting to work through my current plan. I will take baby steps towards this goal even though I'm totally done with my hips. I don't want to listen to them anymore. I just want to ignore them and put on my carefree face and go hiking. I want to direct a few four letter words at them. I don't want to be a rule follower. I want to enjoy my life without a focus on these damn hips.
But I will listen (for now) and remain hopeful.