Discovery Week

It is Week Six of the Terminal Knee Watch. I tried to run on the knee over the weekend. I was not successful. I discovered that although my knee will tolerate walking a 5k in under an hour, it will not tolerate any running at all.  Yet.  But that’s not all I discovered.

I discovered that walking selfies are virtually indistinguishable from running selfies. Check the green flower (stands for Courage). Looks no different from the eleventy-thousand post-run photos of the same variety, right?

I discovered that some of those disappearing running friendships have not disappeared. Running buddies are still up for a six-hour pub tour without me running a single step. The status of my knee was irrelevant as long my hugs, laugh, and thirst were intact.

I discovered that it is still fun and creatively stimulating to take Instagram-style photos without the Instagram platform and without an Instagram audience.  This is part of intellectual wellness; learning to play with photography simply for the experience rather than to prove/validate that I have a life. In moodier moments I called these window-gazing shots “Life Passes Me By” while I rested the knee. Now I’m calling them “Scenes From the Slow Lane.”

I discovered the season’s first roses welcoming me home from walking, not running, for the past seven days. Buds finally turned into blooms. Every day I walked up the driveway to find them a little closer to full flower. The roses didn’t care that I was walking in rather than running. No one cared that I was walking except me. Life is just as beautiful as ever.

I discovered that walking slowed me down enough to appreciate details I might have missed on the run. The flaking paint on the water tower whispers a gentle but timely directive. The underside of the tiny museum I’ve passed a zillion times never got noticed because I was always looking down or straight ahead. Brilliant red berries appeared on a bush which typically blocks my path; usually an irritant while running but now a delight while walking.

I didn’t really need anyone to tell me that there is more to life than running. I just needed to see for myself how much more there is.

— Mercy

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