Older Knees

wp-1474397828463.jpg Many years ago (shortly after that nasty asteroid put an end to the dinosaurs, I believe), I was running on the Santa Ana River trail, approaching the halfway point of my long Saturday run, about an hour out from my starting point, Yorba Regional Park.  I was minding my own business and in that relaxed place often  described as a runner’s high.   From the bike path, which travels along side the dirt trail I was running on, a passing bicyclist shouted, That will ruin your knees!  I have no idea what motivates people like that.  Perhaps he had ruined his own knees running and wanted to spread the word.   Perhaps he was just a horse’s ass.  I’d like to think I ignored him but I was in my arrogant forties, so it is likely I shouted a response, somewhere between, Mind your own business and Go (have a certain sex act with) yourself.  Of course, even then, I knew there was some truth in what he had shouted … I’d already had arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus and was running with orthotic inserts in my shoes to correct  a leg length discrepancy that was giving me … hello … sore knees.  But I loved running.

I am no longer a runner, but for the last 9 months I have been a consistent walker, putting in 25-30 miles a week, mostly in the park.  I have lost some weight and while I regret to report there appears to be no walker’s high, I do find the walks make the rest of my day better.   However, in the past few weeks I’ve been … hello again … having some pain on the inside of my left knee.  From walking, for Pete’s sake.  Perhaps the horse’s ass was right. Or, perhaps, Older Eyes just has Older Knees. Perhaps I should drag out my antique Panasonic 12-speed and stick to cycling, which, by the way, gave me ongoing prostate issues.   Maybe what I should have shouted back to the horse’s ass was, Hey, that will ruin your prostate!

Actually, I am doing what I did in my running days when I had leg or foot issues … I am consulting The Runner’s Repair Manual by podiatrist Murray F. tmp_10257-index756688664Weisenfeld.  This great little book covers aches and pains from the waist down, describing how running mechanics can cause the problems, as well as how to treat the injury and prevent it from happening again.   I am remembering that when I first had orthotics made, my podiatrist (who was an ultra-marathoner) said my leg length discrepancy of 1/2 inch had started to bother me because I was running over 25 miles a week.   25 miles.  Hmmm.  So, I’m trying a pair of over the counter orthotics and using a heel pad to correct for the leg length when I walk. I’m icing my knee after walking.  A trip to the podiatrist is not out of the question.

At seventy-two, something always aches, hurts or creaks.   I am willing to slow down, be careful and even give up certain activities.  But not without a fight.  I am a firm believer in my friend Barry’s motto:  Just Keep Moving.  So if you pass a bald man with a white goatee in the park who is limping a little as he walks, just say Hi.  Dispense with any warning about ruining his knees.   He’s a nice old guy but his Inner Curmudgeon will probably over-react.

Late breaking news: I walked three miles last night with my make shift orthotics with no pain.  Older Eyes knees could be on the mend.

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2 Comments on “Older Knees”

  1. Barry Says:

    Glad you may be on to a treatment. Just keep moving. Gotta go for my walk.

  2. SandySays1 Says:

    Very good post. At 75 I’ve replaced a knee and a hip and still have had to buy stock in Aspercreme. Like the book reference. Love the Just keep Moving advice.

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