"A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world."
--- Dr. Paul Dudley White, a pioneer in Preventive Cardiology
How I wish my knee would bear up under a five-mile walk. My maximum is about two miles, which I completed last fall at the annual American Heart Association walk. I await the orthopedic surgeon's conclusion as to whether I am a viable candidate for a new knee that would take me another step toward being the Bionic Man and hopefully add miles to the daily walks.
Ah, but looking on the bright side, I did manage about a mile and a half this morning, and so did get some much needed exercise the day after all the Super Bowl feasting. Superdawg led us on the woodsy trail on a pleasant day (temp: 45F, light cloud cover, no wind gusts). About halfway through, a woman walking her two dogs came out of a side trail and looked startled. I offered for Sadie and me to go down the path first and get out of their way, but she took a second look at my cane and my limp, and declared, "No we'll go first. We probably walk much faster."
She was right. Fast is not something I can do right now. Nor far, unfortunately. But I do keep putting one foot in front of the other, meanwhile hoping that modern medicine will give me a boost, whether through some injection of new elixir that restores cartilage, or via surgery. I was encouraged that my knee felt a little better today after the beating it took at Coastal Grand Mall over the weekend volunteering at (of all things) the Health Fair. I can't walk a half-mile on those rock-hard floors without feeling sharp pain. But even when out on the soft trail it doesn't hurt too terribly, it still doesn't flex and bend. And it goes snap, crackle, and pop a lot, as though Rice Krispies are floating around in there.
Speaking of volunteering, I sometimes fret that the extensive duties I've taken on as Mended Hearts president will interfere with my walking, and writing, and meditating. But we must always remember as we age that activity of all kinds is therapeutic. We must keep exercising mind as well as body.
© Robert G. Holland 2013
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