I hurt my knee early last winter. It was the beginning of the end.
Last year I was a full-time landscaper and played squash twice a week all last year. I felt strong, stronger than I’d felt in years, if not ever. And so I treated my body as if I were still in my mid-twenties, and mostly, it was okay.
But then late November, during a hard-fought game of squash, my left knee tweaked slightly and it hasn’t been the same since.
At first I raged.
“No way”, I thought. I’m still young, and there ain’t no way…
See, I’ve spent most of my life pushing my body hard. Rarely did I give it much thought. I had a very hard time enjoying a leisurely bike ride. I’d always have to ride as hard as I could, and if I were ever passed by somebody else, I felt lazy. (I remember going on a ride with a lovely young lady years ago where I was forced to just slow down, and it might have been the most enjoyable ride I’d ever had.)
I pretty much approached every physical challenge with maximum physical force, always at full-throttle, and with my entire body. I was never really able to enjoy a slow, controlled descent on skis, but instead was only really happy if I was skiing on the edge…the edge of complete physical annihilation. I guess I’d been fairly lucky over the years never to have seriously injured myself. Beyond a few (serious) ankle sprains and a broken nose, I lived pain-free most of my life.
Instead of raging further though, I’ve taken the opportunity to force myself to slow down.
Instead of running from task to task, or pounding through the task at hand as fast and hard as possible, forcing myself to exert maximum effort, I now (try and) approach anything I do with patience and a new genteel attitude.
It helps that I am living on a farm that is just slowly beginning to take shape. The pace suits me. There is no rushing, no deadlines, nothing that needs to be done…NOW!
This seems to be the right place to continue life at a different pace, a more humane pace; a more Human pace.