What is hip?

I first felt something maybe eight years ago, in my mid-50s. Years of playing basketball, often on outdoor hard courts, or even harder indoor ones where the wood is laid right up over concrete, might have had something to do with it. A right-handed player lifts most often off of his left foot and, indeed, it is the left hip that’s being replaced.

Like most folks, the surgery got put off as long as possible, though everyone questioned seems to say that they were sorry they didn’t have it sooner. But I gauged the discomfort over the years, watching it slowly increase, until this year it became inevitable…

Now you know how you watch some things in your body and when you finally agree with yourself to see the doctor and set it up, the symptoms seem to subside? Well, forget it. As soon as the surgery was scheduled, the sumbitch started hurting like crazy. I must have let my guard down. And of course you wonder, what would you have done before medical science could perform such miracles? Shut up and suffer, probably…And of course you understand how privileged we are to be able to have such things in our midst, when many in the world have no access to joint replacement, or even to fresh water.

John Hoyt told me that his son, a Ph.D. biochemist, has said that the first person who will live to be 500 years old is alive today. My immediate reaction was, great, you get 60 years of being young and 440 of being old…but imagine how many cool new parts you’d get…

And so this issue contains a sort of compendium of many of the things I want to do when my full ambulatory state is restored — work out, bowl, maybe golf a little, even just shoot around on a hoop court, a little Yoga…and maybe you’ll be informed and inspired also to improve your overall fitness, and keep those parts from getting too worn out.

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