Hi BCSF Family!
Catherine (Cat), BootCampSF co-owner, here. We’ve likely emailed in the past, chatted on the phone or maybe I’ve even taught you a thing or two about kettlebells? I hope so! Well, I am currently on the couch with some chipmunk-esque cheeks because on Thursday May 8th I underwent a double jaw surgery and I wanted to share some insights with you.
I wanted to tell you all about this transformative life experience of mine because as I’ve waxed philosophical in the days leading up to surgery and as I’ve been recovering, I’ve had lot of time think about how this process has had striking similarities to the struggles we all go through with fitness and overcoming all the hurdles that get in our way. Seem like a stretch? Well, admittedly, since fitness is my life’s work, the parallels do come easier for me. But stick with me and maybe you’ll be surprised too!
You see, I’ve known that I needed this surgery for years. Since I was in my late teens, actually, but I put it off for so many reasons. Because it sounded painful. Because it’s expensive. Because who wants braces as an adult? And I’d thought that the only reasons to have the surgery were aesthetic: to be prettier, to fix my crooked jaw and look more “normal”. To be honest I thought that was shallow and I was better than that! I was a progressive San Francisco lady. But as the years wore on it became apparent to me that there were other reasons to do it: I had increasing pain in my left joint; my teeth were wearing unevenly; clicking and slipping of my jaw was just getting worse and worse. I had trouble eating sushi — I had reached a tipping point, because a life without sushi is no life at all, am I right?!
And call me crazy, but I know that most of us have gone through this with fitness and with weight loss. We know we need to start. And maybe sometimes we are angered by the shallow aesthetic-driven fitness culture that exists. And you? You are better than that. We live in open-minded San Francisco, right? But just as my jaw surgery was for far more serious reasons than the aesthetic, we hope that you know that there are more reasons to exercise than looking better for bikini season. For the health of your body and mind. For the health of your soul.
It’s always hard to start a new routine and we know it won’t be easy. The road to jaw surgery and the recovery is similar. It has been an emotional journey and the past week the physical aspects have been tough. Feeling weak enough waking up from the anesthesia to need help walking to the bathroom is not a feeling I am used to. But I know that I, too, have been down this road before. Workouts are not always comfortable. When I first started attending BCSF after college, I thought I’d need a wheelchair after experiencing the soreness of a lifetime! We’ve all been through it. We know that running is hard, that burpees are awful and that sometimes squats feel impossible.
But, getting over that hump is what it’s all about, right?
It’s that feeling you get a few months are starting your workout routine that everything seems…easier. Or maybe, just, not easier, but not impossible. I was looking for that moment in my recovery process and it’s been happening every day. I am just six days post-op and my swelling has receded amazingly well. I’m not taking any more painkillers. I am walking my dog, I am getting back to my BCSF admin work.
(Day after surgery on left, today on right! I can even smile a little bit!)
You see, here is the part where I feel fitness is not a metaphor and simply a direct player. My recovery is going swiftly. Despite having a particularly complicated jaw surgery (5 hours under the knife!) I seem to be hitting recovery benchmarks days and weeks ahead of many of the hundreds of people I have connected with online that also have had similar procedures. I can’t help but see a connection between my commitment to fitness and healthy nutrition in my everyday life as playing a major role in an easier recovery process. I am certainly no doctor, but it’s clear that I am ahead of the game for which I am very grateful!
This proces isn’t something I could have done alone. I have an amazing community of people helping me. My orthodontic team, Dr. Good and Sears, have been amazing (Dr. Sears has done many sessions of BCSF!). And while I was in the hospital my pup, Stella, was at Didgeridog – her favorite place in the world besides the dog park. My sister helped me throughout my hospital journey and the first few days at home (there is nothing better than your big sister rubbing eye cream on your face the morning after jaw surgery!). And my brother, Keith (BCSF founder!) left his adorable kids for a few days to stay with me and make sure I was fortified with enough smoothies.
Friends and BootCampers have and will be swinging by with smoothies and soups. Neighbors have come by to take Stella to the park. And knowing that our amazing team of trainers would take care of you guys and put you through your workouts was such a relief. Of course, I owe a special shout-out to Trainer Katy who continues to support my admin work and will be taking our phone calls for weeks to come as I am wearing a splint and am unable to speak clearly.
The thing is, is you don’t need to go your fitness-journey alone, either. Whether it’s BCSF you lean on (and you should!), your friends, spouses/partners, or co-workers, you absolutely need SOMEONE in your corner. Because change is scary. Being uncomfortable sucks. And being able to lean on someone when the going gets tough can often be the tipping point to success. Because to be honest, without my best friend, Lindsey, giving me the push last year to finally get that surgical consult I would have kept putting it off. Her simple words of advice ring true for so many things: “What’s the worst that could happen?”
I’m glad I didn’t have to go through surgery alone. And please don’t force yourself to go through your fitness journey alone, either, just because you think you “should” or because you’re “independent”. We are definitely greater together.
Thanks for reading and I cannot say enough thanks for having you be a part of our BCSF community. I am truly lucky to have the best members a company could ever ask for. My life is so much richer for having you all in it. Thanks for being a part of the ride!
See you outside,