Our local weather station reports that temperatures in our area may dip to near freezing tonight. I was still wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts last week. This morning I wore a sweatshirt and long pants when I went for a walk. I plan to put an extra blanket on the bed tonight. Change happens. Seasons Change. Life changes. We can usually manage change when we learn to embrace it.
It Was a Season of FreedomAbout thirty-five years ago, I started running. I was never the fastest person on foot, but I enjoyed participating in “fun” runs and having the freedom to run for miles whenever I felt like it. Even though it took me a long time to admit it, I started slowing down over the years, and my running turned into jogging. I assumed I would always be able to enjoy the pleasure of a morning jog— even if my jog eventually became a shuffle. That’s what I’d hoped.
A Season of ChangeA few months ago, I was finishing up a four-mile jog when I noticed that my left knee was feeling uncomfortable. Discomfort turned into pain. I iced my knee at night, used over-the-counter pain meds, and then tried to enjoy another morning jog. I spent the next few evenings icing my knee again. For the last couple of months, I’ve taken five-mile walks each morning rather than jogging. Yesterday, a young woman jogged past me—no, she glided past me—with the freedom of movement that I had previously enjoyed. More than anything, I wanted to start jogging at that moment—just to hold onto something I’ve enjoyed for most of my adult life. Two of my friends have had knee replacements recently. One of my friends said her surgeon compared a knee replacement to getting a midlife tire change. I get it—our parts wear out. We are fortunate to live in a time when we can get replacements for worn-out parts. A knee replacement could allow more comfortable movement, and perhaps more, if all goes well. The jury is out as to whether it is possible to resume the kinds of activities that involve high impact.
Embracing ChangeI am not yet at the place where I am ready to consider surgery, but I know change is coming. As long as I wear good shoes, walking and taking occasional bike rides are enjoyable ways to keep moving for now. I have slowed down enough to notice the red, orange, and golden leaves on the trees lining our street. I have slowed down enough to notice the geese and other fowl flying in formation as they head south. And I have slowed down enough to feel gratitude for all that I am able to experience during my morning walks. Change is inevitable. But each season can bring new opportunities to grow, learn, and embrace the joy that is right in front of us.