Early Saturday morning (before the not-so-super-Saturday race that is my kids’ sports schedule), I sat at home with my 3 Little Birds while my wonderful-and-pretty-incredible husband and the rest of my neighborhood – the entire city, it felt like – ran in the city’s big race. 20,000 people. And I was not one of them.

“Don’t Use Your Full Range of Motion.” A quote from the Orthopedic Surgeon this week. – I’m not new to his office. Because I’m knocking on 40’s door and some of the “mores” I’ve chosen to place in my life in recent years have not been welcomed with love by my body. After a long painful battle at the height of my run training, my (now) dear orthopedist discovered that I had a labral tear in my right hip in early 2010. I had surgery on it and bounced back pretty quickly. At the time of the injury I know some people wanted to tell me (and some may actually have), “See, all that running is bad for your body.”  While I’m not an avid runner – I don’t crave it – I decided that the good that this particular “more” did for my mind (not to mention my high cholesterol), far out-weighed the wear-and-tear (literally) it put on my body.  So, 6 months post hip surgery I ran (some would argue that I jogged) my first half marathon.

My avid running friends said the injury must have been caused by yoga. And my fellow yoga fanatics blamed it on the running.

Turns out that neither is to blame; I just have a pre-disposition for those kinds of injuries. After a recent bout with recurring hip pain I fearfully (“please don’t tell me I need surgery again, Doc?!?!”) went back to my Orthopedic Surgeon. So far, no surgery needed. My recent problems are most likely due to (1) Lower back issues – I’ve been in a lot of car wrecks that wreaked havoc on my back.  And (2) A structural abnormality in my joints that makes them loose and therefore cause one bone to rub against the hip-joint and labrum. Apparently your hip isn’t supposed to be able to have a 90 degree range of motion. But really.. after 3 child births with no epidural + breastfeeding, there’s really nothing normal about a woman’s body, is there?

The “easy” – no surgery required – fix? Don’t use my full range of motion. When I am in my peaceful place at the end of Yo-God, resting in happy baby pose I’m now supposed to stop myself before I find my full stretch and hold it there? Well, that defeats the purpose. I love the rest and stretch part of yoga. It’s why I do the work part. Just like, the only reason I eat dinner is to get the dessert afterwards.

The “don’t use your full range of motion” directions caused me pause. And they may be harder to implement than the surgery was to take. — While I guess it’s better than surgery, it may not be easier. I didn’t have to do much of anything with the surgery. I got to lie around and have my wonderful-and-pretty-incredible husband and my 3 Little Birds wait on me hand and foot. — Anyway, these directions he gave me go against my normal way of thinking. I’m of the mindset that the main goal in life is give your best effort at all times. We see and hear it everywhere (and my kids do, too. From ME!) Do your BEST! Go the extra mile. Give it your all. Make the most of it. Never give up. Don’t waste your talents and gifts. Go the distance. Just do it. ™ Leave nothing on the table.

Don’t Hold Back. That’s where my brain goes. So what’s wrong with this crazy man that’s telling me “Don’t use your full range of motion!”?! He must be nuts. Did I really let him cut me open and mess around with needles and a scalpel in my hip?

But on second thought, maybe he’s on to something.

Maybe there’s triumph in holding yourself back, too.

Maybe the athletes who save something in the beginning of their race really do have more left at the end.

Maybe having a filter on my mouth prevents me from blowing up when I’m angry.. enough to cool down and share my frustrations in a more productive way later. *

Maybe refraining from volunteering my opinions about the way other people choose to live their lives (unless asked) makes them feel better about themselves. (And that’s never a bad thing.)

And maybe not using my “full range of motion” in motherhood (= not giving my entire being over to my motherhood) will leave something for me, when I reach the finish line.

* I have to admit that I’m better at this with other people than I am with my kids. But I’m working on it with them and getting better.