I am a very active guy and enjoy a plethora of activities inside the gym and outside in the fresh air. At 52 years old, my knees have been expressing their opposition to my energetic schedules and have threatened a strike. They send their messages with occasional sharp pains and some minor grinding noises. To combat the little bastards, management visited a sports injury physician and was diagnosed with patellofemoral pain syndrome. My new doctor gave me a strength training program that should allow me to enter the end zone with my original parts. After a minor pity party, I accepted that my knees and everything else in life are subject to the laws of impermanence. They are not like yesterday and will be different tomorrow.
My initial reaction was to peer into the rear view mirror and wonder what caused this problem. Was it 7th grade football, riding a bazillion miles on my bike, a few million steps in Spain, or too many flight miles in cramped coach seats? Like everything else in life, diving into the past is a bottomless pit. There is always a need for more. Next, I began to fantasize about a pain-free future where I would ski through moguls like a teen. Nothing like a heavy dose of future to absolve the past! Finally, I decided to be present by going to the gym for leg strength training as instructed by my doctor.
Most paths in life take us to a destination. It may be the accumulation of wealth, knowledge, inner-peace, or status. While all of these journeys contain many steps, the only one that matters is the one you are taking now. Make that step with beauty, determination, and grace. If your entire focus is on getting to the top of the mountain but each step is just a means of getting there then you gain everything at the expense of your soul and sanity. When you realize that getting to the summit will not provide a happiness elixir, you are able to imbibe the beauty that is already baked into each step.
The past and the future require your mind. Do not spend your attention on these rigged games. Focus 100% on the path beneath your feet at any given moment!