About twenty-five years ago,  I was nine miles into a twenty mile training run along the Santa Ana River trail.   I was on the dirt road that runs parallel to the asphalt bike trail, just reaching that runner’s high that comes after an hour of running.  It was a beautiful spring day and I was minding my own business, getting ready for the L.A. Marathon.   As an older gentleman sped by on an obviously expensive racing bike … in full cycling togs … he shouted, Hey!   That will ruin your knees, you know.   I probably flipped him off.   I thought of the old guy Tuesday morning when I woke with pain on my right knee cap.  It wasn’t too bad walking or going upstairs but coming downstairs was a real hobble.   If you’ve lived in a two story house, have you noticed how often the things you want and you aren’t on the same floor?  Well, it happens more as you age.  Today, my knee is feeling a little better.   At sixty-seven, knee pains come and go.  Maybe the old guy was right.

In my forties, I never really believed my body would wear out.  I didn’t think I’d ever have those aches and pains that my Mom and Dad complained about.  I took better care of myself than they did.   I exercised.  I was a marathoner, for Pete’s sake.   But I have them, and not just in my knees.  If I had known then what I know now, I’d probably have still been a runner.  I got a lot of pleasure from my running and especially from doing marathons.   My doctors have told me I have a very strong heart as a result of my working out.   I suppose a strong heart is worth a few sore knees.  I don’t know.  There’s no undoing the past anyway.

So, what’s the point of this post?  I like to think it’s not a complaint but just one of those Reflections I promise in this blog’s subtitle … you know, from an Older Perspective.  If I could speak to that arrogant forty-something runner on the trail those many years ago, I’d tell him not to flip off the old guy on the bike.  I’d say, At least consider that he might be right.  If you’re going to run, accept that you may have bad knees later.  Maybe that’s what his post is about … acceptance.  I wish I’d learned acceptance … the ability to go with the flow of life … sooner.  It would have made me a happier forty-year old.   If I hadn’t learned acceptance by now, though, I suspect I’d be a bitter old soul instead of an occasional curmudgeon.

If you’ve still got Younger Eyes, it’s never to soon to start.

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4 Comments on “Knees”

  1. Younger eyes… but an older body. Sigh… Runners have always impressed me. I know most think that anyone can do it if they commit. But they are adorably wrong. 🙂 (Funny, I posted about exercise today, too.)

  2. territerri Says:

    So how exactly does one learn acceptance? I’m not very good at it.

    I know, I know… it’s different for everyone, and from reading all that you’ve written, I do know there are a variety of things you’ve done and continue to do to maintain that sense of acceptance. I need to find what does it for me.

  3. Jeni Hill Ertmer Says:

    I confess to chuckling a bit -okay, a good bit -while reading this. Not that I was laughing and making fun of your predicament but rather laughing because I’m in the same boat as you are and I sure can’t blame running for my knee problems. (Same knee as yours too, btw.) I can however blame -maybe -all the years I worked on my feet, running back and forth from the dining room to the kitchen and back to the coolers and then dining room and around the dining room, etc., etc. You get the picture. Wear and tear does eventually take its toll on us -some of us earlier than others. Frankly, aches and pains though I do have -some days in abundance too -I’ll put up with them for the simple pleasure in telling folks who ask how I’m doing, that well, I’m still able to be up and walking and I’m above ground -which beats the alternative.
    I do walk the dog -not near far enough each time we go out to make much of a dent in the weight I need to lose -but at least we walk usually from 1 to 2 miles a day. Usually, but not always every day because I refuse to go out and try to walk in him really, really cold rains! I have my limitations there ya know!

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