R.L. SAUNDERS

writer attempting real life in the middle of everybody else's vacation

A few running thoughts

on May 14, 2013

I’ve always felt that I look ridiculous when I run. Like a duck. A running duck. So I didn’t do it very often (also because it’s hard). Then just as I got to the stage in my life where I don’t give a flying duck about what I look like while running, my knees got pretty bad.

Double knee surgery made things way better, but I’d waited too long and it was uglier in there than the surgeon figured. That means I’m not technically supposed to do much high impact stuff, like tap dancing and running.

I tap danced anyway, though, because I don’t like being told what to do. (Except by editors who want my book. I do whatever they say.) And I loved it a lot, even though it hurt like a sombitch.

Unfortunately, my tap teacher was one of those Broadway star types so he moved back to NYC and left me here to rot in Key West. Which meant there was only one act of defiance left. Running.

I’m not stupid. I know I can’t just up and run like a normal-kneed person. But for the past week I’ve been trying this toe-ball-heel jogging thing. Ballerina running, I guess. I’m sure I look extra super ridiculous as the neighborhood ballerina duck jogger lady, but I’ve had very little pain.  And while I probably don’t even go a mile, it feels good to do something I’m not supposed to be able to do.

Neighborhood ballerina duck jogger lady sighting

Neighborhood ballerina duck jogger lady sighting

I hope it’s not a fluke and that I really found a way to run without further wrecking my knees. I also hope these dumb little runs, as short and silly as they sound, will be enough weight-bearing exercise to help prevent other osteobadthings later in life.

But even if it turns out that I’m doing something bad for me knees, what do I need to save them for? I don’t need the guys shoving my carcass into the inferno thing at the crematorium to be like, “Wow, did you see the knees on that one?” “Yeah, bro, bet she had wicked good cartilage for an old lady.”

No thanks. I want to use my knees all up before I die. Besides, how far can we really be from some kind of synthetic cartilage or something?

Weird how I started longing to do something I was never even remotely interested in when my knees were good. I guess that’s how we are. Don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone. Stupid humans.

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10 responses to “A few running thoughts

  1. mcgeejp says:

    You are going to have super calf muscles! (And potentially be followed by a traveling troupe of ballerinas). And there’s always bionics, right? Seriously though, good for you. You’re getting out there, exercising (which I need to do) and not letting your bad knees completely debilitate you. Knees. Pfft….who needs knees?

    • R.L. Saunders says:

      Thanks, Joe! Yeah, just a little (very little) something to get moving for a few minutes during the day because I’m developing Writer’s Ass.

      I am feeling it all the way up the back of my legs, for sure. If something starts to go really wrong, I’ll quit and experiment with other ways to move about the planet.

  2. Rick Boettger says:

    You are right about new cartilege being invented. My entire medial meniscus was thrown away in 1974. Six years ago I went to the VA to start the process of getting my inevitable knee replacement. Okay, I had to get hyaluronic acid shots first. MIRACULOUS CURE! I had to actually teach myself to run again. At your age, I had decided to “use my knee up.” Turns out, hooray for technology, I am the one-in-ten for whom simple injections recreated a cartilege substitute.

    Keep the new running style anyway, to brighten up the days of us guys who view you.

  3. Marie says:

    Who cares what you look like! Keep running I say 🙂

  4. Erik Larson says:

    Good luck. My daughter has real knee problems, and she’s talking about playing soccer again which makes me nervous.

    • R.L. Saunders says:

      Thanks, Erik.

      Hopefully knee/joint advancements are on the way to benefit your daughter and her generation!

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