As my physical therapist attempted to bend my knee, he looked me in the eye and said, “You know, bending doesn’t hurt.” With that, he bent my good leg to prove his point and then looked quizically at me as if to insinuate that my Fred Flinstone grumblings about the discomfort of bending were completely absurd.
What he meant was this. My bad leg hurt to bend because it hadn’t bent in months. If you don’t ever move a joint, then it becomes stuck in its last position and moving it really stinks. Yesterday, as I grunted and cursed in an attempt to gain a few more degrees of bend, those words came back to me. Back in July, I started cursing and 62°. In September, I uttered words that would’ve embarrassed my grandmother at 105°. Now, we’re just trying to eek those last few degrees out, and I don’t start muttering until well past 130°.
So why am I writing about physical therapy on New Year’s Eve? It’s because I think there’s a lesson here to keep in mind for 2014. Too often, we don’t try something new or change from the way we’ve always done things because we’re afraid it will hurt. Here’s the thing – bending doesn’t hurt. The more you bend, the less it you feel it. The trick to being comfortable is to not stop moving in the first place.