The rehabilitation after my knee surgery has been a lot slower and more difficult than I thought.  After over a year of no physical conditioning my body and mind are weak.  I’m starting from zero. My motivation is flagging, and I’ve been too quick to make excuses.

I’ve realized that the rehab goes beyond my knee. It includes my mind.  And my mind is much harder to train than my muscles.

Last night I ran/walked for 30 minutes on the treadmill.  Nothing to brag about, I know. But when I ran, I really ran. I had the machine cranked up to 10! I ran for as long as I could at that pace, and when I couldn’t any longer I walked for a few minutes.  Then I would do it again.

My lungs burned, and my legs ached. (My knee felt great though.)  A few times I wanted to vomit.  But I kept pushing myself.

I’d forgotten what that felt like–to push myself.  I missed that feeling.  Yes, it hurt, but it was a good hurt.

I usually try to avoid pain.  But I’m willing to experience it to improve myself by it.  In Officer Candidate School we called it “embracing the suck.”

I don’t want to be better than everyone else. (That’s really a lie.)  I want to be better than myself.

So I welcome pain like I do a dear friend that I haven’t seen in years.

Hello, old friend.  It’s been a while.  Let’s get re-acquainted.


About Ben

I'm a father, a husband, an educator, and a soldier. I love the outdoors especially the mountains.

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