The first thing I did this morning was grab my crutches and limp towards my bedroom window. You see, we had a nasty, wet, windy, cold storm last night. Since it is now November, these type of storms usually mean snow for the hills. Sure enough, as soon as I opened my blinds I was rewarded with a beautiful view of 4 to 6 inches of pure white in Boise Idaho’s foothills! Winter is near, it is finally time to ski again.
Tradition shows that at this point in time I would quickly change, grab my laptop, and head for Starbucks for a pumpkin spiced latte and research time on the latest equipment (I bought new boots last year). This year is different though. On October 23rd I had my right hip totally replaced which means I’m doing nothing quickly right now. In fact, I’m only aloud to put up to 50 pounds of pressure on my right leg (that’s roughly enough pressure to crush a small pebble rock). Walking upstairs to my bedroom is the only extreme activity I’m doing for awhile it looks like.
Simply put, that is wrong of me to accept that limitation. I have a firm belief that my surgery was an opportunity for a better quality of life and not a step backwards for my health. Sure, I now have 2 new hips before 40. In my head that just means I’m an overachiever versus having something wrong with me. I also have hardware in my neck and left shoulder but that’s yesterday’s news.
Today I can still be a compassionate friend to whomever might need it. Today, I still have the opportunity to put on sweats and my ASICs, grab my Nikon D3200 Camera, and go outside and take some pictures of this cold autumn day. Today, I can still advocate for my fellow arthritis suffers and friends who need a cure. Today, I can still lay on my comfortable couch and watch my beloved Denver Bronco’s beat the Patriots. Today, I can still help my newly formed climbing team plan for an incredible future adventure. Today, I can still help conferences like Stanford University Medx explore new opportunities in developing patient centered care. Today I can still… despite recently having joint replacement surgery.
For me, “Just Do It” means what can I do today considering my particular circumstance. Mass media has taught us that this means jumping off the highest cliff, running some epic trail, winning the NYC Marathon, or doing whatever sport looks great on a 30 second tv ad with insanely attractive models. I strongly believe though this was not Nike’s intention at all for “Just Do It”. “Just Do It” is for every individual to define for themselves, not something mass media should be defining for anyone. The great thing about “Just Do It” is that it can be redefined daily, weekly, yearly, or even hourly depending on what my day or attention span brings me. Just Do It isn’t necessarily about sports, it’s about whatever life opportunity is in front of you at that particular moment I think.
Now, my arthritis issues are slowly and progressively getting worse it seems. However, to worry about that is a waste of good imagination. My imagination is focused on becoming a better skier, a better advocate, a better friend, a better person. If someone wants to associate me with my disease that is fine by me. That in no way will stop my pursuit of becoming a better skier, advocate, friend, person-my health is more than welcome to join me in these pursuits. With that said my crutches and I are going to go take a shower then see what life is offering up today.