Today is one of those days when a big gnarly fifty something hurts all over from being a big gnarly twenty something. Every single injury ever reminds you it happened. Amazing how many joints there are in the human skeleton. Ouch.
I was never an athlete but was a heavy lifter warehouse guy for years, among other things. I remember a beat up forty something UPS guy telling me I’d regret it some day. I laughed.
I probably lifted thousands of heavy loads–boxes mostly–onto my left shoulder. You know how it’s done–you lift the box up about waste high on bent knees then as you straighten up you toss it up onto your shoulder where it lands, hard, and you steady it with your left hand and, if really heavy, your right too. Takes what, two seconds, maybe three? My left knee is gone now, completely, disintegrated, and it wasn’t until today that I realized what I did to that knee. It was defective to begin with, always falling apart and sending me in a tumble to the floor–hurt like hell for a minute, that did–but I always waited till the pain got manageable again and got up and kept walking. My knee probably popped like that a hundred times at least. I never iced it or even stayed off it. Never took pain pills even. And still I kept throwing those boxes on my left shoulder, and the impact would have been focused on that knee. The knee as shock absorber. Who knows how many boxes–ten thousand? Twenty thousand? Two decades worth, plus some. A helluva lot of boxes. Each one a violent jolt to my disintegrating left knee.
And now I sit at a desk typing this into the ether, aching and remembering and laughing an aging stud’s laugh.