No Pain, No Gain

October/30/2011 16:21PM
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I injured my knee wrestling in college. I’ve lived with knee problems for 50 years. Until the last few years the knee didn’t inhibit my activities. I ran the Chicago marathon in 1980 and climbed Mt. Rainier a few years later. I jogged until 6 years ago when my doctor said it was time to stop. Then, I walked on the treadmill with elevation to keep my aerobic conditioning. But, finally it was cortisone shots 3 times a year to keep going. I still walked 3 miles a day, but some days it was pretty slow and I paid for it with pain. This year it was time for a new knee. I had the surgery October 11th.

Going through rehab is no fun. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not telling the truth. But, living with some degree of pain for 50 years made the rehab seem a little easier. Plus, being in decent shape from working with personal trainers 3 days a week, every week.

The whole process made me think of our country. This country is like my knee, in bad shape. Lot’s of pain, but taking the equivalent of cortisone shots. Borrowing money, running up the debt, and avoiding the real solution, major surgery and painful rehab.

Those who do the rehab and take the pain recover and are almost as good as new. Those who don’t, and avoid the pain, limp worse and never get back to near normal. They trade a month of avoiding agony for a lifetime of disability.

If everyone in this country doesn’t decide to take some pain, we will have a lifetime of agony. We have pain now, just like I did for years, but we are not opting for the surgery. We want our neighbors to take the pain for us.

Look at Greece. The other European countries are taking some of their pain, but the Greeks refuse to go into surgery. Greeks want to keep laying their pain, caused by their actions, off on others.

Look at the Occupiers in this country. They want to lay around and smoke dope and bang drums and hope someone will save their sorry asses. They want Wall Street to take their pain. Those with houses under water want their government, the very institution that kicked them in the knees, to take their pain. Students with big loans want their pain absorbed by someone, they don’t care who takes it, just get it off me.

This country needs major surgery and a period of painful rehab to get back on our feet. Avoidance will be like my surgery delays, the surgeon found the off-the-shelf knee replacement product wouldn’t work because there were no ligaments left to hold it in place. He had to upgrade and do more work.

Yesterday I walked 5 miles on the new knee. The pain was less than with the old knee at three miles. I have a long ways yet to go. More rehab, more ice, more pain, and pushing and pushing even harder. But, I know from that walk, I’m already better than I was for the last 5 years.

Until the majority of Americans realize that getting out of the mess we’re in can’t be pain-free, we will limp and get worse. When we are ready to face reality and find a leader or leaders who will do the surgery, we can begin the healing process. Let’s hope it happens sooner rather than later.

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