The room was getting uncomfortably warm but the fan switch was 10’ away. After months of hobbling with a torn meniscus, I was programmed to see those 10’ as a huge obstacle, reconsidering if the journey would be worth the reward. Then epiphany: I can do it! With my new partial knee, 10’ requires no thought and minimal effort.
It was only a year ago that I marveled how easily I was moving. Although I lacked strength in my right hip to ride my bike, I felt strong walking and doing daily tasks, enjoying yoga and exercise classes. How easy it is to take good health for granted. The torn meniscus, arthritis, and hairline fracture stopped me in my tracks, isolating me even more as we entered the COVID-19 quarantine.
Aging is such a personal experience. I have met 90-year-olds who could pass easily for 70 and 60-year-olds who look like 90. Sometimes life style impacts the process, but often genes and poor health hold sway. The radiology techs I worked with always assured me (patronizingly) that I did not look nearly as old as the patient of my age. It was startling to learn that the old woman in front of me was two years younger than I. Scary.
I am truly thankful to arrive at this age with a few serious health events but no chronic problems. The events are fodder for good stories and make me aware of the body’s vulnerability so that I do not judge others in poor health. My lifestyle is relatively healthy but not fanatic. Interestingly, it was while exercising that I tore the meniscus. Should have stayed home that day.
Thus I got up, traversed 10’ and turn on the fan and returned to my chair. Giving thanks the entire 5 seconds.