This is the funniest thing I’ve seen in Runner’s World magazine in….well, ever, really. So, I just had to share it in case you missed it in the March issue of the magazine:
Dear J.R. -
This is your knee. No, the one on the right. Idiot. Weren’t expecting to hear from me were you? You thought maybe you could just coast through life doing whatever you want with me without having to worry about my feelings. And I’m not talking about emotional feelings. I don’t even know what those are. I’m a knee. I thought I made that clear. I’m talking about physical feelings like soreness, swelling, aching, throbbing, burning…starting to sound familiar? The kinds of feelings that you seem to think a couple of Advil and an ice pack can make go away forever. Wrong! Idiot.
Look I don’t mind you using me. I love it when we go running together. I’m literally built for that. And to be fair, we’ve had some good time together. Like the 41:21 in the 10-K race in May. That was a good time. And the 41:05 we posted in April. That was even better. But in case you lost count, allow me to remind you that you’ve limped into the doctor’s office 10 times this year, and there’s a reason for that: You and I are in an abusive relationship.
There, I said it. Boy, that felt good–to finally get it out in the open like that! A real weight off my shoulders. Yes, I realize that I don’t actually have shoulders. Don’t be a smart-ass. That was a metaphor.
Let’s get realistic: I’m not what I used to be. And that means you’re not what you used to be. So quit trying so hard to be what you used to be!
It started with that arthroscopic surgery 20 years ago. What a blast that was! Did I forget to thank you for that? Because I really should have thanked you for that. (Yes, knees know what sarcasm is.) We had to sit on our ass for months after that, and then you basically bailed on the physical therapy–bad idea. Just because you saw a cheap little plastic model of me in the waiting room that day doesn’t mean you know me. I’m very complex! And I deserve to be treated right. But you thought I could just return to work without the proper recovery. Wrong! Again! Idiot!
So 10 years go by and I literlly carry your sorry ass along until finally I can’t take it anymore and I “fail.” That’s what the doctor said: “Your knee failed.” I failed?! Like you had nothing to do with it?! I don’t care how many degrees that guy had on his wall, he got that dianosis backward. All that cartilage you took out of me in the first operation; all that muscle you lost around me and never bothered getting back; the fact that one of my favorite and most supportive ligaments was now nothing more than a piece of some dead guy’s butt muscle! Oh, but I failed!
So you had me “reconstructed” and put me right back to work, and 10 years later…Mr. Right Hip started to complain. To quote Gomer Pyle, “Surr-PRISE, Surr-PRISE!!”
“Why?” you asked the next doctor. Allow me. It’s because you didn’t take care of me! And I had to ask Mr. Right Hip for too much help, and after awhile he was like, “Hey, what the hell is going on here?” and decided to “fail” you, too. Something about a “torn labrum.”
So, now what? Replace us? You really think you can just replace us? Well…okay, I guess maybe you can. But it wouldn’t be the same! You would miss us. You’d see.
So I’ll tell you what you do…idiot. (Okay, sorry about that last “idiot.” Lots of hard feelings here.) First of all, quit being an idiot and start doing exactly what that parade of physical therapists has been telling you to do. And keep doing it until I and Mr. Right Hip say it’s okay for you to start using us again like we’re all still 23 years old. We are not 23 years old anymore–but we’re also not done yet. So do your bridges and your clams and your wall-sits, because I really want to get back out there and show those 23-year-olds exactly what we’re still capable of. Brats.
Your Right Knee