A beautiful, deeply honest essay about the blissful ignorance of good health. It echoes my thoughts lately. I’ve been enveloped in pain from a fall that could have been disastrous, but as it is, I’ve come out of it with only some damaged joints. I think about the “old days” when I only noticed my body when I danced or ran or lifted weights or rode my bike. Even when the degenerative disc disease enveloped me in a cloud of pain, I rejoiced in my body when I swam, weightless.
Now it’s a dance, too: the dance of finding ways of doing activities of daily living, working around the injured and degenerated joints, working around the jolts of pain; the dance that I dance in bed all night, trying to find a position of comfort so I can sleep for a few minutes before the pain nags or jolts me awake again. I get more tired trying to sleep than I do awake.
It can get discouraging to know that this is what’s on my plate, for the rest of my life.
The Subtle Arrogance of Good Health
Until my physical ailments began worsening rapidly in my late 40’s, I was a high achiever, proud of my “kick ass” attitude, thinking I was so competent I could surmount any challenge life threw at me. Life appeared to be straightforward and I didn’t understand why this didn’t seem to be the case for so many other less fortunate folks.
Though I worked hard for my accomplishments and sometimes struggled, there was never a question of ability, never a doubt I’d prevail if I made enough effort. Looking back now, I can see the consistent achievements that came so easily and so early in life instilled in me a subtle subconscious arrogance.
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