Last December I had hip surgery on my right hip to repair what they said at the time, was a slightly torn hip labrum. After three years of trying to figure out the problem and then fighting for surgery, I went under the knife on December 14, 2018.
I remember very little coming out of the surgery except what the doctor had told us. He said that the tear was much worse than they thought, and it was actually completely torn off the bone and hanging. In order to repair the labrum, they had to fracture my hip. None of that resonated or even seemed to matter until he said, “You most likely will never run again…”. Those words stung.
I was shocked because prior to the surgery he said there was a good 75-80 percent chance of full recovery, so I eagerly went into the surgery hoping to bounce right back. Although I was deflated, I wasn’t defeated. If this had happened about 10 years ago or even 5, I would have easily fallen prey to a pity-party, but God has chipped away at many areas in my life and has helped be to see His glory in everything. I have learned to be thankful in every circumstance and season and to walk with my eyes looking up in a spirit of hope and victory rather than focusing on my circumstance(s).
I immediately began the excruciating process of rehab, which was later taken over by my husband. I admit, I am not the best patient. Okay, I am a horrible patient. I don’t listen, I’m stubborn, and I tend to think I know more than I really do– my husband carried the burden of those wonderful qualities of mine, and he did it perfectly.
There were and still are so many nights when I have to wake him up to roll me over because of the pain in my hip that radiates through my leg and won’t allow me to turn on my own. He does it, and never complains, just does.
Originally the doctors said I had a 4-month recovery, however, after surgery, it became 6-8 months of recovery. Prior to surgery, I said I would run a 5k by my birthday, but now, everything had changed because I didn’t know if I would ever run again.
But I did. After three months, I began to run again, and yes, I paid a dear price for it. I remember getting to the mile mark and feeling so accomplished and exited; nothing would stop me! Then, I made two miles, then three miles, and then setback, discouragement, and too much pain.
I spent my life running and competing. I had gone from running 40-50 miles a week to maybe 5; admittedly, I was embarrassed. Kenny ran the Blue Bonnet half marathon and we went to support him. I wanted so much to be out there running with him but knew I couldn’t; that was really difficult. My range of motion was at 10% and the throbbing pain in my hip joint would not allow for me to run much at all but as discouraged as I was, there was this overwhelming joy that was growing.
In September 2016 before the doctors diagnosed my condition. I wrote in my journal, actually it was a request asking God if He was going to take running from me to replace it with something big, something great, something I can cling to and be excited about, and He did. He was always working in this temporary desert season and what I have learned is God is always, always working whether it is a season of prosperity and abundance or a season of struggle, pain and uncertainty. God never stops being faithful, we may stop being faithful, but He never does.
It is easy to be thankful when life is going in the direction we want, and it is easy to be thankful and praise God when answered prayers are coming our way. But all too often when life deals us an unexpected hand, that moment of praise and thankfulness becomes a distant and fading memory as we cry out, “where are you God.” He’s right there.
God was chipping away at areas of my life that didn’t fit or belong. Pride was being shattered, and any residue of selfishness was dissipating. I had always had a love and passion for Jesus, and for people, but I had also allowed myself to get in the way of responding wholeheartedly, humbly, and completely. So, through the season of chipping away, breaking me down, building me up, and removing scales from my eyes, my love for Jesus was growing in ways that it never had, and my love for people was growing just as fast. I developed a deeper passion for the lives of people and my focus was turned to the urgency of salvation for all.
Obviously, this isn’t just about running. The past 5-years were years of uncertainty, change, silence, confusion, hurt, disappointment and hope. It started with running, but ended with my heart, my mind, and my focus being redirected to living life through a Kingdom lens. Everything we went through that led us here, McKinney, Texas has been worth the journey.
I continued pushing myself and kept running. I hit 5-miles while on vacation and decided to do a 10k race for my birthday and today, I finished my first race since last September. I ran a 10k and every mile I ran was victory to my soul.
My son Kevin, after winning the 5k race, met me at mile 5 to run me to the finish line. My boys are runners, amazing runners! They weren’t always that way though. For years I would wake them up on a Saturday and drag them to races. They would reluctantly put their bibs on and do what they were there to do. After I ran, I would always come back and run with them to the finish line. I’d encourage them, push them, run with them, sing to them, and guide them to victory. Funny, every word of mine that was spoke to my boys was coming back to me through my son. He rant me in and I finished strong.
My running journey is simple, not all that amazing because there are far more people who have come back and are still coming back, from greater obstacles life. I look at my friend Roman Reed, now he is inspirational! Just read his story sometime! I think of Katherine Wolf (Hope Heals) and her journey and know this is nothing in comparison! But for me, today is significant, a stone of remembrance of a bigger journey. For me, this marks the end of one season, and the beginning of a new season where I will no longer allow myself to get in the way of God and His work in my life.
No, there was no PR for me today, but I did get first in my age division an added bonus. My boys, of course, killed it! Kenny took 1st overall in the 10k and Kevin took 1st overall in the 5k. My sprinter boy Kyle took 2nd to his brother Kevin in the 5k. All I can say is, look out Texas, the Alcosiba boys are here!
Running looks very different these days, but then so does my life. That is because my perspective on everything has changed. I am trying with all I have to live through an eternal and Kingdom lens. That lens doesn’t allow for grumbling, whining, or being angry and I don’t have time for those hindrances. This vapor of life is passing, and I am more determined to continue fighting the good fight and running my race until He takes me home.