You may know her for her can-do attitude, warm personality or spunky pink hair but what you may not know is what her back squat would never give away..
Our very own Coach Heather has been PRing with a major hip injury for the past 8 months that she only recently had surgery to repair! Never one to let a bump in the road slow her down, our resident Squat Expert continued to CrossFit and even compete in The Open right up to the day of her operation on March 10th of this year. True to her never quit attitude, she was recently spotted knocking out 100 pistols on one leg as she still has limited mobility and clearance to bear weight at the sight of her operation.
We took this opportunity to chat with her about everything from what her plans are for staying fit during her recovery to her best advice on staying positive when the going gets tough.
Keep reading for an inside peek at the recovery process for one of CFCs strongest:
So Heather, what exactly needed fixing?
I had a large tear in the left labrum of my hip. The labrum is tissue that lines the inside of your hip socket, providing stability and cushioning. Many people don’t know this but I was actually born with hip dysplasia, because of this, every time I went into a squat the head of my femur would hit my hip bone, and that is were my labral tear happened. The surgeons attached the labrum back onto the hip socket with anchors. In addition they had to remove bone from my femur in two different spots as well as repair a loose hip capsule by suturing all my cartilage together to make it tighter. Having the capsule repaired added about 3 more months onto my recovery. It ended up being way more extensive than I was prepared for, which was disheartening.
Have you made any dietary changes while recovering from your injury?
I’ll be the first to admit my diet after surgery was not stellar. People were bringing me yummy (read: Delicious, appreciated, and not necessarily “clean”) food, and we ate out often because I was unable to stand in the kitchen and cook a meal. I am getting around much better now and I am cleaning my diet back up and doing meal prep again which has been great!
How do you stay positive while sidelined with an injury?
The first 2.5 weeks were really tough! I couldn’t work, all I could do was lay around. It was so discouraging to feel so lazy. I felt helpless at home and the gym because I was used to coaching and working out 5 days a week and then suddenly I couldn’t work out or work at ALL. My spirit was down and I found myself wondering if I would ever be able to squat again, because you KNOW that is my thing! With time and support I knew that this too shall pass, and I WILL recover. I just have to be positive and especially patient. Every week is better than the last as I am able to re-train and strengthen my hip!
Do you have your sights on any special goals once you’re back to 100%?
First and foremost I want to be where I was before surgery as far as my weight totals go. A girl’s gotta lift you know!? Hip surgery has a very long recovery time, I am looking at 9 months to a year for full recovery. I am hoping to jump in May 2nd with Troop 010 of Worlds Best Bootcamp to regain my agility and athleticism. (provided I’m cleared by my surgeon, fingers crossed!) I also intend to focus on using my entire body when I lift. I tend to be quad dominant and I am learning to use my whole posterior chain. If there is a silver lining to my operation it is that I am 100% confident I will come back a better, more well rounded athlete when I make my comeback!
I can honestly say I agree 110% with that last statement and we couldn’t be more excited to have a front row seat for the inspiring comeback of one of our own!
Thank you Heather for your time and from your friends and colleagues at CFC ~ We are all wishing you a healthy and speedy recovery and we will be waiting to hear about your first post-operation Squat PR!