On Hip Surgery and Personal Data

Friends and family may know that I had hip surgery at the beginning of the month. It was relatively minor surgery, 1.5 hours of arthroscopic poking around. I've healed up pretty quickly, and I'm off crutches after three weeks. But during that time I did a lot of thinking about how I ended up needing the surgery for my Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) and torn labrum, and the defaults of the fitness trackers I've been experimenting with as part of my quantified self research. The Atlantic put out a call for stories about technologies of addition and subtraction, so I wrote up my cyborg hip experience:

I have a record of all the ways I wore away at my soft tissue, in those 18 hours and 32 minutes of yoga I did in the month leading up to my wedding, in those averaged 8-minute-mile jogs that started out with characteristically inconsistent 7:31-minute first mile splits. I see those record-breaking days wandering Paris and Venice. I see where I tried and failed to train for a half-marathon. I see where I injured myself, stopped running, and started physical therapy. These moments are marked by step counts and workouts, but the narrative that explains the numbers is overlayed like a personal journal.
— Stepping Down: Rethinking the Fitness Tracker

Read more.

I also wanted to share that I'm really grateful to friends and family who helped me out during my recovery visiting and sending flowers and love. Especially Nick, for waiting on me hand and foot while I was laid up for the first week on the couch, even while furiously writing his dissertation. And also to Dr. David, my own personal physical therapist brother who first looked at my hip years ago and walked me through every step of the process. He even adjusted my crutches so they finally felt right. I'm pretty lucky to have both of these wonderful people watching out for me.