I judged a skating test session yesterday, which is significant in many ways. It required a 5-hour car trip (I did not drive, although I did drive to and from my ride's house, about 10 miles total, with no problems). It required me to crutch around an ice rink, which is not exactly even footing. And, it required me to sit in the cold in an uncomfortable chair for 2 hours. Ironically the skating took place in Tacoma, which is where I had my PAO surgery just 5 and a half weeks ago. Those 5 and a half weeks feel like a lifetime!
I was a little nervous about this expedition, but I know that finding judges, especially dance judges, who aren't on vacation or at a competition and are willing to travel to Tacoma in mid-August is not an easy task. Of course I agreed to do it for the free food. (Just kidding, although the chocolate dipped strawberries were wonderful.)
Everything went just fine. I was a bit tired when I got home, and a tiny bit sore, but all in all I'm none the worse for wear. This was a good trial run since I have a lot of judging gigs coming up: a local test session August 30; refereeing a competition in Utah in mid-September (which will include my first plane ride post PAO); and judging Southwest Pacific Regionals, Pacific Coast Sectionals, and Junior Nationals (in October, November and December respectively, and all requiring plane travel).
I am now confident that my hip can handle all of this travel and judging, and I hope to do most of it without crutches or cane. Then at the end of the qualifying competition season it will be time for PAO number two (right now I am thinking early February, after Nationals). I hope to be recovered enough from that to judge Adult Nationals in April.