Over on The Risky Kids last week my partner in crime, Lisa, wrote a great post about how being a risky mom doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll have risky kids (and vice versa). I loved it because it’s so true. Contrary to what people might think about me based on how my kids love to conquer the world head on, I am so not a daredevil. My initial instinct is always to prefer sitting over standing, walking over running. In a world of bulls, I am Ferdinand. I would really just like to sit here and smell the flowers.
Something about having knee surgery changed me, though. It’s a very small change, but it’s there nonetheless. I happily gave up running – not because I can’t run anymore, mostly because I was always looking for an excuse to quit. And while I still prefer to sit and smell the flowers, I was most certainly not ready to be put out to pasture at 37 years old.
I did my rehab dutifully, not wanting to spend the rest of my life in pain or unable to hang with my kids. It was a long slow process, but now, when people ask me about my knee, I’m almost surprised. 99% of the time I’ve forgotten that it was ever a problem. I notice it first thing in the morning … it’s the only time I feel the need to take the stairs one step at a time. I feel it when it rains … the only time I feel like I might be 37 going on 67. But other than that? I don’t notice it at all.
I don’t notice it when I work the truck shift at The Container Store. Where in my past life I would’ve been too timid for this kind of work, now it’s a thrill. I push carts loaded with hundreds of pounds of product out to the floor. I unload box after box. I yell “Pallet jack coming in!!!” and then proceed to sprint out of the truck with a pallet heavy with boxes. I’m ecstatic because my knee can do this.
I didn’t notice it when Mike and I spent nearly 2 hours in a treetop obstacle course, flying on zip lines during a date at Go Ape! Where in my past life I would’ve passed on this kind of fun in case I looked like a fool, now it’s a thrill. I marveled at how just six months earlier, a climb up the stairs took so much effort and concentration I had decide how much I really wanted to go upstairs. And there I was, climbing rope ladders up trees just for fun. I’m ecstatic, can you tell?
I didn’t notice it when I stood on a paddleboard for an hour taking in a beautiful late summer afternoon. Where in my past life I would never have taken it upon myself to get a paddleboard lesson, now it’s thrill. It was something I always wanted to try, but couldn’t get up the courage to just do it. And there I was, paddling like a pro, never biting it once. I’m ecstatic because not only can my knee do this, but I can do this.
My family will always be riskier than me. But it’s nice to know that even as you age you can change even just a little. It’s nice to know that having a scar doesn’t mean all the fun is over. And it’s nice to know that just sitting there and smelling the flowers is always an option.