Outdoor Diary: Surgery and Getting Outside Anyway

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Humans Outside Episode 55 Surgery and Getting Outside Anyway

Major hip surgery is a great reason to hang out on the couch for a few days and not go outside … unless, that is, you’re working on a more than three year 20 minutes-per-day outdoor streak. Amy didn’t let hip surgery get her down. Hear how she continued to get outside and what she needs from you on this week’s episode of the Humans Outside Outdoor Diary.

Some of the good stuff:

[:36] Amy’s outdoor reaction to her surgery news
[1:10] Update since surgery
[1:34] The real work post-surgery
[2:00] How Amy is getting outside post-surgery
[3:23] This week’s outdoor hero
[4:15] Amy’s ask for help (from you!)

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Follow us on Instagram and share your outdoor life with the hashtag #humansoutside365.

Here’s an edited transcript of this installment of Amy’s Outdoor Diary on The Humans Outside Podcast. Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.


When they told me I needed surgery to repair my labrum in my left hip, my very first thought was: we better do it soon as I can still sit outside if needed while the weather is nice.

No one has ever accused me of forgetting a goal, and that was certainly not the case this time. The surgeon warned me that this surgery would leave me crutches-reliant for at least several weeks, followed by months of rehab to really be able to do anything. That’s some hard stuff to hear for someone who likes to do all of the things. But if getting to run and hike and ski without pain again is my priority — and it is — than this surgery is necessary.

So I did it. My surgery was the morning of Sept. 10. I woke-up early, got in my outdoor time with a vigorous walk in the woods and then headed off for my 6 a.m. surgery call time. Seven hours later I was home, feeling super drugged, unable to feel my completely numb leg and with a repaired labrum and some new to me cartilage on the ball of my femur.

Now the real work begins –a combination of patiently working to heal, which so far often means being OK with not being out doing all of the things, paired with creativity on how, exactly, I am going to get outside while in this particular situation.

The first few days that looked like a lot of porch sitting. I was really blessed to have some warm, sunny fall days on hand and able to simply enjoy my porch. Over the last week-plus I’ve gone on a few crutch walks, which are, whew, exhausting, a field trip with my running wife Rachel to a kombucha brewery for a drink, and, most recently, a drive into Hatcher Pass for a first snow of the season and fall colors view. We’ve had several evening bonfire times and enjoyed the permission to be outside in stillness.

But the key to getting outside in the winter is to find something you can DO. That’s because simply sitting outside on your deck in the freezing temps really isn’t really a viable option.

That’s I know I’m going to have to get even more creative, or be OK with a lot of short, hard crutch-walks. And once my stitches are out I’ll be able to use my hot tub again, which you better believe I’ve been missing.

I admit that part of my couch-based recovery has included some serious online shopping. Wait until you see what I found for us to buy, you guys — it’s going to take our outdoor adventures to the next level and I’m so, so stoked about it. I also found a really cheap spin bike to buy from a neighbor, an important recovery aid but something that’s really difficult to score here in Alaska.

On my face every single time it’s sunny are still my Goodr sunglasses. I now own way too many of these sunglasses to count — and I love them. At $25 each they are just cheap enough to obsessively collect, and hold up great. They’re also my go-to gift for any outdoor minded friend, because of the price point and how flat out fun they are. My favorite pair is this awesome bright pink color, and of course they are polarized. And because I can’t resist them, and maybe a little bit to tempt the sun to come back and blind me as often as it likes, Goodr is my outdoor hero for this week. I know we featured them in Season 1, but I just love them.

By the way, all of this low key time has given me tons of time to think about this podcast and ways to make it awesome and come up with super cool stuff and guests for you. If you’ve got a suggestion, tho, I’d love to hear it — you can find me at [email protected] . And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you can score a free outdoor habit tracker, and to follow us on Instagram at humansoutside so you can see all the various ways I’m trying to not hurt myself as I heal from having some go bananas on my left hip joint.

I might be on crutches when we meet, but until next time — Ill we’ll see you out there.

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