The purpose of this study was to obtain knowledge about patients’ experience of fast track colonic surgery. Applying Van Manen’s phenomenological- hermeneutical approach, the present study is based on 6 in-depth interviews. The analysis led to one dominating theme: Introduction to a programme and living up to this programme, and four subthemes: mobilizing willpower, balancing on the brink of one’s capacity, lack of influence, and the need for attention. Although patients wanted to contribute actively to their restitution by living up to the demands of the regimen, they felt pushed to – or beyond – the limits of their willpower and stamina. Patients experienced both an asymmetry between their degrees of responsibility and their degrees of influence, and a power related asymmetry in relation to the professional staff. Therefore, the study recommends an increased degree of ethical reflections within the practise of fast track surgery.