Begin Again To Begin

I’ve taken a very necessary six months away from blogging, tweeting, flickring, commenting, posting, Facebook. Really all social media and online contact outside of the barebones correspondence of email.

What I’ve been doing hasn’t been all that important for the world, but it’s been very important for me, and ‘even though you’re the most important thing in the world to you, I’m important too’ might just be a powerful phrase to inscribe on the back of your eyelids. If you’re into that kinda thing…

But every day. Each day still starts and ends the same. With a question: What one thing can I do today, this week, this month, this year, that will do the most good for me, for the people around me, and for the world?

Once you answer that question, there’s nothing to do but thrust the brunt of your force into it.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”
Ecclesiastes 9:10

Because all else is idling. And don’t get me wrong – I do love to idle. A sun-splashed table on a June afternoon, good company, good conversation, a little Oregon pinot, a lot of good food. Heaven! But idling isn’t a means. It’s simply an end. And a necessary one.

Idling is fine. For a little while. But idling wastes gas, it kills the whales, it cranks out ennui.

The light goes green, you stomp the gas. It’s time to go to work.

Flat Footedness, Patellar Tendonitis And Me

I’ve had patellar Tendonitis since I was 20. I went on a long hike. Fifteen, maybe twenty miles. The next day at work, my knee felt really tight and tender. A few weeks later and it hadn’t gotten any better, so I went to the doctor.

Over the next several years I would see a good number of doctors for this ‘tight knee’ problem of mine. Like other minor health problems I’ve had, each doctor looked at the knee through his/her own eyes, and all of them said the same things: Patellar tendonitis. Mild. Exercise, stretch the quad, and it will get better.

Only it never did.

So now it’s thirteen years later. I still get a tight knee every time I walk further than a mile or two. I wear a brace to support my patellar tendon. I stretch. I do squats to strengthen my quads. But nothing changes.

Until one night I was standing on a hardwood floor and I happened to catch my reflection in the window.

“Oh my gosh, look at my left foot. I’m flat footed!”

Not one of the doctors I’d seen for this – and by now we’re talking at least ten specialist and GPs whose opinions I’d asked – had ever suggested that a flat footed condition could cause Patellar Tendonitis.

I set out to fix my flat footedness. I’ve learned toe exercises. Worked on toe flexibility. It’s been about two months. And guess what?

My knee feels better than it has in thirteen years.