I've never been the most ahtletic person in the world. The only thing I was ever adept at was jumping, at least for someone who's short-ish like myself. My crowning achievement was in 8th-grade gym class, when, during a basketball game, I won a jump ball over someone a foot taller than me. (Of course, he probably took me for granted and didn't go for full extension, figuring that winning the tip over me was a fait accompli. Still, a foot advantage is a foot advantage.)
Lately I've been going to the gym on a fairly regular basis, working with a personal trainer. She kicks my ass. It's good for me.
But recently I started getting pain in my knees. Squats were uncomfortable. And forget box jumps. It was beginning to get difficult to continue. I was losing the talent for my athletic forte.
So when I got back from the gym one recent morning, frustrated, angry and hurt, I said to myself, is this the beginning of the end? Has old age caught up to me? Are my knees shot? I'm too young for this. This can't be happening to me.
And then I took my shoes off. And it dawned on me. I've had these shoes for two years. The soles are flat as a pancake.
So I went to Bob's with my friend Rebecca and bought new sneakers, and returned to the gym with a sense of purpose. First I tried yoga, which involves a lot of bending of the knees in Warrior II and other poses. There was a little pain in the knees but not as much. I let some more time pass. Then I went back to personal training. Squats were OK -- less and less pain each time. Finally, yesterday morning I faced my nemesis -- box jumps, which put me in agony when I tried them on my last day with my old shoes.
The cycle is complete. My knees withstood 103 box jumps, pain-free. (I did have one twinge of pain, but that was because I almost tripped over the box.)
My knees are back. Of course, now I also have no excuses for skipping the gym.