I have been suffering as of late from some sort of leg issue. I won’t go into any detail, as I hope it will be fully diagnosed and on the way to recovery quite soon. However, it has kept me off my bike and made me wonder if I would be able to go on another cycling expedition late this fall. I have tried to avoid self pity and remain optimistic. Unfortunately, I must admit that sometimes I have gotten down about it. I have tried not to complain about it, but only my coworkers and students could tell you for sure if I have succeeded. Arrogant me hopes I have, but realist me suspects I haven’t done as good a job as I should.
Today on the way home, I gained a bit of perspective. I ran smack into a very clear sign from the universe, that I should definitely shut up and thank my lucky stars that it is only as painful as it is. This sign clearly showed me that things are not nearly as bad as I feel.
What sign was that?
As I exited the subway station on my short trek to my commuter bus I came across three people in succession that clearly demonstrated that I had very little to complain about. The first was a large woman who was clearly having trouble walking. Each step seemed forced and painful. Each step seemed difficult and hardly worth the effort. The second, coming right on her heels, was a slightly smaller woman who was using a cane. Her steps seemed less laboured, but her expression seemed to indicate something different. There was pain on written in bold letters on her face. I don’t think she could have hid it if she tried. The third was ahead of me and making decent time towards the exit stairs. The thing was that she walked in a way that I hope I can describe without being mean. She more skipped than walked, and he legs remained bent throughout the ordeal. Despite the speed, it looked neither graceful nor comfortable. I didn’t get a look at her face as her pace was greater than my weary walking, so I have no idea if it was painful or not. I was quite surprised when she opted for the stairs over the escalator, but I suppose trying to get on and off would be rather frightening.
None of them complained. None of them even grunted a discontent sound. Obviously, this is not Today’s Perfect Moment. It was an important and sobering one, though.