I ran today for approximately fifteen seconds.  For most people, this is no great feat; but today  it made me feel like a million bucks, and I nearly cried tears of joy.  Let me explain.

My twenty-four years of healthy life took a 180 in July of 2014.  After a few gym sessions I started having groin pain and figured I pulled a muscle.  Unlike my past aches and pains, this one didn't heal.  Chiropractic care, physical therapy, and acupuncture didn't help, and an x-ray was inconclusive.  I was no longer able to run, a recent habit in which I had come to find great joy.  Even walking was starting to become a nuisance.

Nearly two years after the pain began, I finally sought help from orthopedic specialists.  In the first appointment, the surgeon agreed to order me a cortisone shot so that I would be able to enjoy my five-week hiking holiday in Peru.  We agreed that I would have an MRI and CT scan done upon my return.  Why would I plan this trip when I could barely walk, you ask?  I blame wanderlust!   Thankfully, the cortisone took away my pain 100% and allowed me to fully enjoy hiking long and arduous trails throughout Peru.  I walked miles on end with a full backpack, enjoying every second of being pain-free. I was fully unprepared for the news I would receive after returning to the States.

The first few steps of our El Misti hike in Peru. We attempted to hike to the top of the volcano but had to turn back near the snow because my hip started to hurt.  I still can't believe we even made it that far!
Upon returning home, I had the scans and made an appointment to review them with the surgeon.  I sat down in the cold, white room next to my mother, who has been my greatest cheerleader throughout all of life.  The appointment was short and sweet.  The results concluded that I had a rare joint disease called PVNS, which affects 1.8 in a million people.  It is incurable and involves benign tumors that invade the joint space and erode the bone.  The most common treatment is surgery, a dismal option considering that the disease will likely come back with a vengeance in just a few months. After a few days of obsessive Googling and far too many “why me” sob sessions, I decided that this disease would not define me.

Fast forward to today, February 13th, 2017, and I must say I haven't exactly kept that promise. It is difficult not to allow something to define you when it’s painfully jabbing you in the groin with every step you take.  I have spent countless hours reading health blogs, watching YouTube videos, and sorting through  Facebook support groups.  I have made diet and lifestyle changes that make me feel better about my overall health, but I am still in pain. It’s safe to say that this disease has been defining me.

BUT!!!!!  Something miraculous happened in the last week or so: my pain is receding! I don’t want to jump for joy too quickly and break a hip, but I have a good feeling about this. No longer consumed by the need to obsess over my health, I feel that I may move forward with my life.  I still have a lot to figure out and am due for another hip scan in four months.  In the last week I have gained the courage to revisit an old friend, Travel.  For as long as I can remember, travel has been my passion. My calling.  It makes me feel alive.  I am determined to make it a lifestyle and start traveling long-term.

I live for moments like these. I'm so ready to get back out there!
“Don’t ask what the world needs.  Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

What makes you come alive?  What are some of your passions?  Have you been held back by health issues?  Comment below - hearing from you would make me soooo happy!

Happy Trails,





  1. TOOCH! I knew the very surface of what was going on with you – hip pain. A vague memory that you were struggling with that in college. I will say that everyone is on their own journey and for some reason, some of us have extra obstacles to tackle. I’d like to say they build our character, make us more wise, give us more appreciation. But yes, they suck. I’ve had my own battles. as you may or may not know with my own health. Thus I found chiropractic and nutrition and all other holistic healing methods to help me detox and heal and rebuild and strengthen and EMOTIONALLY shed some SHIT. I just felt compelled to connect with you after reading your post. I really think its a powerful thing to get together young people like us that have struggled for some reason that doesn’t seem fair to our age or how healthy we think we are or how much people think we have it together. Love you tooch! You’ll get back out there. If you need any healing advice, I’ve got a plethora of things that I’ve tried. Love this blog, keep it up! (Launching one of mine soon too! 🙂 )

    1. Hi Jessica! I really appreciate you reaching out. It means a lot! I have learned a ton and made so many positive changes in my life since my diagnosis. I eat super healthy now I love it! I’m all about the holistic side of things for sure, which is why I haven’t had surgery yet. I didn’t know about your health battles but I’m sorry to hear that! I can’t tell you how many people, doctors and surgeons included, who have told me that I’m too young to be going through this. It’s a bummer but definitely character building like you said. I truly respect the field you’ve entered and wish you the best! I have a fantastic chiropractor in St. Louis who is a true blessing to my life. Keep up the awesome work girlie, you’re a badass!

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