Some time back, G2 asked me what superpower I would choose if I could have one. I didn’t have an answer back then but I know now what my answer would be – super healing, like Wolverine. I’ve been plagued by so many knee problems lately that I really wish I had that ability.
I was watching G1 complete his daily workout with Joe The Body Coach and he was doing a move called “Spiderman lunges”. As I watched how swiftly and smoothly he switched between legs, I realised that I couldn’t remember the last time I was able to do that without feeling like my knees were going to buckle.
Then I saw G2 bounce onto his knees without batting an eye, but I felt mine cry out from the imagined pain. I wanted to warn him not to take his knees for granted and to please take care of them! How reckless the young are with their body parts! And now I’m talking like an old person. How did I get old and not notice it? My head still thinks my body can do anything. My body begs to differ.
Yesterday, I had to clean under the kitchen stove. I couldn’t decide whether to squat or to kneel. I didn’t know which was the lesser of two evils because both poses are deadly to my knees. Eventually, I elected to kneel because I wasn’t sure I could get back up again if I squatted. How ironic is it that the Asian can no longer do the Asian squat? Even as I tried to kneel, it was like my knees were made of glass and I might shatter them if I wasn’t careful.
The changes were so insidious that I never noticed them creeping in until it became normal for my knees to trouble me when I take the stairs. Of course there are things I can do to mitigate the discomfort/weakness – stretching, pilates, yoga, foam rolling, massage gun, and muscle manipulation, to name a few. But gone are the days when I could abuse my body and get away without having to pay the price. Or perhaps I am paying for it now.
We talk about aging gracefully but how much are we really able to control? The body deteriorates with age – no one can escape that. Perhaps I should even be grateful that it’s just my knees (knock on wood). The goal is not to halt but to slow the decline. And that means being disciplined with my recovery activities. No matter how tedious, time-consuming, and boring they may be, it definitely beats disability.