It’s been ten weeks since I got my new knee. With the help of my fiancée, Lisette, and my physical therapist, I’ve made my way from a hospital bed to a walker to crutches to a cane—and from opioid pain meds to an occasional Extra Strength Tylenol. Standing on my own, and learning how to walk again, I decided that I was ready for my first postsurgical adventure.
Why, you might ask, did I put myself through the ordeal of a full knee replacement in the first place? Well, the inspiration came when, in one of my own Courageous Aging workshops, I reimagined my own best possible future and saw four things that made my heart sing. First, I visualized myself hiking with a grandchild (if so blessed). Second, I imagined myself having a great time dancing with my fiancée, Lisette. Third, I pictured myself going on fun, exotic travel adventures. And fourth, I saw myself looking forward to, rather than dreading, sleep because I would no longer have to live with searing bone-on-bone knee pain.
From that moment of inspiration, I made a commitment to do whatever it took to get in shape so that I could hike, sleep, dance, and travel without pain. My right knee had been hurting for 15 years! I’d really had it with losing sleep, having to give up almost all forms of exercise, living with daily discomfort, and walking with a limp. It was time to do something!
My first trip through airport security with my shiny new cobalt knee took me to a conference that Lisette and I attend each year with other transformational leaders from around the world. After a gloriously wonderful few days, the conference ended with a dinner-dance.
Surrounded by people we’ve grown to love, standing with my beautiful and beloved Lisette, and listening to the DJ play “We Are Family,” I was unable to hold back. I grabbed Lisette’s hand and led her onto the dance floor.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked me hesitantly.
“Yes!” I proclaimed.
Taking my new knee on a test drive for the next 30 or so minutes provided me with a joy I hadn’t felt in years. Smiling and moving freely without pain, I had achieved one of my goals.
Next up is a hike on my favorite trail in beautiful San Diego, and more physical therapy to awaken the parts of my body that have fallen asleep or have become contorted as they compensated for the pain. As I enter my seventh decade, I vow to dance on all of life’s dance floors and travel courageously without fear, pain, or hesitation!
Test driving any new parts of your mind, body, spirit or relationship? If so, please share.