“Community is where humility and glory touch.”
I’m so excited to share the story of a new friend who is part of the global hip community. She and I have a few things in common. We both should have been named Pollyanna. We both have a parent that had a brain tumor. We both love fitness. We both have two kids. Between the both of us, a baker’s dozen of hip surgeries have dominated our lives for too many years. It seems that she and I also have the same outlook on hope through hurting hips! We have continued to remain optimistic while having hobbling hips that hurt!
So, here we go. I met Jessica through Instagram and I love having her pop up on my feed with always a beautiful message about the strength in each of us. She consistently conveys a message that there is a hidden gem called strength that we can find within ourselves. Sometimes it just needs a bit of dusting off or maybe a little polish, but with hard work, we all have the ability to find our strength.
One of the first things that I asked Jessica was how she remained so hopeful. Her response was immediate and very clear. She learned it from her mom. Her mom inspired her to always think positive. She grew up to believe that everything changes – from bad to good and, sometimes, even from good to bad. Jessica knew that life was not perfect, and it was normal to not always be happy. She also had a very strong belief in having a gratitude practice which has impacted her hip journey to this day. She believes in positivity. She believes in thinking about what she really should focus on in relationship to gratitude. All of this perfectly scented positivity has set her stage for success through six hip surgeries with her last one being a hip replacement.
Jessica has always felt different with her hips dating back to being a ballerina as a three year old. She realized that even though she was overly flexible, she seemed to have more difficulty sitting compared to the other little girls in her ballet class. She always felt that others just moved differently from her.
She was also a speedster on a bike until she fell at the age of 10 which caused a pubic symphysis injury. Jessica’s pain was horrible during her first pregnancy and through her second one. In 2004, her hip pain caused her to seek treatment after she was doing box step jumps in a boot camp style exercise class. Compensation on the one hip caused her other hip’s labrum to tear as well. She had bilateral scopes at the same time and recovered fairly uneventfully; but she had been told that she would most likely need hip replacements within 10 years.
About nine years later, she started having bilateral hip pain again and went to another surgeon. She had her first labral reconstruction and immediately knew something was wrong. She knew the pain was not normal, but her doctor seemed to imply that she was a drama queen. She went on to have her second hip reconstructed about nine weeks later. The second hip healed easily, but her first hip remained incredibly painful. She finally sought out a second opinion and an MRI revealed that she had a complete rupture of her hip capsule which led to hip surgery number 5.
It was ultimately determined that her pain had been from a 5 cm shard of bone that had been left in her hip from the previous surgeon. Can you say, “OUCH”? It had caused so much damage that she did ultimately get a hip replacement in 2019.
Jessica has had some pretty big challenges, but she said that the biggest challenge has centered around expectations and where she thought she should be as compared to where she was. That sounds like me too! She found it incredibly challenging to be patient with herself through the healing journey. Ditto.
But when talking with Jessica about this, she also said that she was most proud of not allowing her challenges to stop her progress. She is proud of her current fitness levels and she loves supporting others in their fitness journeys. In fact, she has begun a certification program in personal training through the NASM and is looking forward to being a science based Corrective Exercise Specialist.
Jessica has formulated this recipe of success to encourage herself and to set an example for others. She believes that maintaining hope means truly knowing that everything will pass. She strongly affirms that attitude will set the tone for the day. She hears her mom telling her, “a winner never quits and a quitter never wins.” Fight on through the hip pain, through the discouragement and find your inner voice that will let you know that you will end up on the other side of your hip issues at some point! Find your community of hope.