Found Out a Little Too Late

The Color Run, Baltimore
The Color Run, Baltimore

It all started when I decided to start running again. I began getting severe pain in my left knee, but I figured it was just because I hadn’t run in awhile, so I pushed through it. But when the pain became excruciating, I decided to use the elliptical machine for a little while to try to settle it down a bit. About a week before my scheduled Color Run (the reason I started running again), I decided to finally go see the doctor.

He looked at it, poked and prodded a bit, and then put me on an anti-inflammatory, telling me to use it as much as I was able and to come back if it doesn’t get better.

Fast forward four weeks. I took the pills, ran only about a third of the 5K and walked the rest.  And then I came home and limped around for awhile. But the more I used the knee the more excruciating the pain became until I was forced to return to the doctor. He scheduled an MRI, which I had done yesterday. I am now waiting for the official results.

So why do I tell you this? I assure you that it is not to garner your pity, concern, or prayers. It’s just a knee. I can still walk and do what I have to do. I am not dying.

But here’s the thing– every time I sit down, every time I get up, every time I move that left leg, every time I bend or lift or stand or walk, I feel pain.

And I realized something. I have had over 45 years of trouble-free knees that I took completely for granted. I never thought about how well they worked or how much my life would be affected if they don’t. All of a sudden, I am calculating just how much walking a trip to the mall will be or just how long I can work in the garden without completely debilitating myself. Almost everything is now done with that painful knee in mind.

Chicago sang a song in the 80s called “Hard Habit to Break.” In that song is this line:

You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone, and I found out a little too late.

That’s just so true, isn’t it? This singer is singing this song about a relationship he lost with a special girl, but we could sing these lines about many valuable blessings in our lives that were never appreciated until they were lost, couldn’t we?

~Our babies and toddlers.

~Our youthful, wrinkle-free bodies

~Our good health

~The financial means to meet our needs and many of our wants

~A job

~Our parents

~Our siblings

~Our spouse

~Our vehicle, or refrigerator, or washing machine, or dishwasher

~Our cell phone

How many of these things have we ever said thank you for? How many of them have we lost and then went on to complain about? Whether it be the death of a loved one (a BIG deal) or a broken cell phone (so minor in the scope of life, it’s hardly even worth mentioning)?

To keep myself filled with a heart of a gratitude, I started a journal about six months ago. In it, I write three things for which I am thankful. I don’t write every day or even every other day. But a few times each month, I stop for a moment  to truly ponder what I am thankful for and to give whole-hearted thanks to God.

Funny how my knees never made it in on that list. I guess I will be writing “working knees” the next time.

I want to appreciate what I have while I have it, instead of missing it and realizing a little too late just how incredibly much I had been blessed.


2 thoughts on “Found Out a Little Too Late”

  1. I have often thought this same thing when I am having a particular pain. It’s so true. My mom used to tell me the story about how a priest had said to her, “We should be thankful we can swallow.” She always thought that was a strange thing to say, and then about 25 years later she was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Strange, no? I hope your knee gets better without much intervention needed. Keep us posted.

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