I am going to give you the rundown of being 4 months out of surgery and 5 months because let’s face it, I am awful at staying current on my blog posts!
Let’s do a quick recap: at 3 months I just started getting back on whitewater. Nothing crazy and I stayed in my gnarvana.
By 4 months, I started to step it up and run the more well-known harder section of the Chattooga – section 4. I took the gnarvana out and was pretty nervous. I had yet to roll and if I slightly tagged a rock on my left side (surgery side) it would hurt.
My first run down section 4 went fairly well with one unexpected flip. While I was still able to roll, my hip didn’t like it. I flipped in a big wave ferry that I love and have never flipped there before. I thought it was a bit strange so I attempted another similar move to quickly realize that I was weak when I was doing a ferry that required me to keep my left edge up. I now understand just how much our hips are actually in play while we kayak. I guess you don’t fully understand this until you no longer have that same function in the lower extremities.
I took the gnarvana out one more time on section 4 before I grabbed my small JK antix. While I was nervous to run a smaller boat out there, my nerves were set to ease almost immediately when I realized how much more in control I felt due to the hip strength still not being where it needed to be.
Up until the 5-month mark, I only ran the Chattooga and I was only doing it one day a week. If that. Mobility and strength were still a thing at this stage of the game. I was increasing my hiking mileage with weight and I even got back on my road bike.
I teach an all-female weightlifting class and I was able to do almost all the same stuff as them, just needed to go lightweight. I even started doing plyometric work without pain!
Right around the 5-month mark, my spring break hit and I finally got the chance to head over to the Cheoah River. I still took my antix and it was a rainy, cold day. We had extra flow with the rain, giving us around 1,200-1,300 cfs. Cheoah already feels pushy to most southeastern boaters so this did have me slightly more nervous.
Working on that head game, I kept positive self-talk and had a blast out there. I was far more tired by the end with my lower back and my hip talking to me but no residual pain the next day.
So, with all that being said, I think you get the point that I am progressing back to myself in a kayak and I am getting stronger and more agile every day. I am still limited and have a while yet before I think I can go pain-free and hit some harder whitewater but I am incredibly grateful to be as far along as I am. I have a heavy focus on stretching to get that full ROM back and continue to workout with my weight lifting class to gain as much strength back as possible.
Until next time yakers…