“This is where the middle of your calf should be,” the doctor said, drawing a line on the x-ray.
The line he drew did not run down the middle of my calf. It ran along the side of my calf. My kneecaps, it turns out, are not quite where they should be.
Why are my knee caps elsewhere, you ask? No one really knows for sure. My best guess is a fall I took when I was about 3—a three-foot fall onto concrete. But whatever the cause of my misplaced kneecaps, I started having knee pain when I was a freshman in high school, prompting my visit to the orthopedic surgeon.
The x-rays showed that my kneecaps are farther out to the sides than they should be, causing the bottom part of my leg to be misaligned with the top. It’s not incredibly dramatic. You wouldn’t look at my legs and go “what the heck happened?” But it’s significant enough to mean that I should never run.
This discovery came after a similar one in middle school. My feet were hurting constantly and when I went to the doctor, he found out that my legs were uneven lengths. My feet were trying hard to compensate for that. (I’m painting quite a picture here, aren’t I? Thankfully, my legs evened out eventually.)
Add those issues to the back problems I had later, and I often find myself grateful to walk. Sure, I could fixate on what I’m not allowed to do—run or really any exercise that’s tough on my joints. I could get bummed by my occasional knee pain or back pain. But I’m just happy that I can walk. And I’m darn good at it too. Even in heels.
I’m grateful that I’ve started focusing more and more on my health. I’m getting healthier by the day. I’m grateful that I have the time to work out a few times a week and that I have the self-control to eat what’s good for me.
As rough as a bad day can be, I still get to walk away at the end of it. And walk I do, bum knees and all. For that, I am grateful.
What are you grateful for this week?