Endurance Athlete Back in Action After Hip Surgery

matt-aaronsonBy Matt Aaronson

I had never been physically active prior to 2010. In fact, at one point I weighed more than 200 pounds. But with three kids at home, I needed to make some serious changes in my lifestyle and get healthy for myself and my family. 

So I started to run for fitness. I was fortunate and began losing a lot of weight. And as I lost weight, I became a faster runner. I signed up for some races and noticed that I was commonly in the top 10 or even in the top three. I got into triathlons to try something different and realized my results were excellent. I even qualified for the World Championships in 2011, in my first half Ironman.

I ran my first marathon in 2013 in under three hours, during which I qualified for the Boston Marathon. However, while I was training for the Boston Marathon my hip started really bothering me. I thought I would be fine if I just ran a little bit less. Initially for my training I was up to 60 miles a week. But once I injured my hip, I went back down to less than 30 miles a week, even in the mid-20s per week. But the pain still got worse and worse.

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Surgeon By Day, Artist By Evening

By day, Bernard Bach, MD, serves as director of sports medicine at Rush University Medical Center and Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush.

In the evening and on weekends, he heads to his workshop in his Chicago-area home or to an Oak Park glassblowing studio to create handmade art, including jellyfish sculptures, Persian wall platters and vases.

“I believe people should do whatever makes them happy,” Bach says. “I love medicine because I interact with people and use my hands to treat them and make a difference in their lives. I love art because I use my hands to create something for my own satisfaction.”

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