This week I was hiking with friends.  It was a beautiful autumn day, cool but warming up, with leaves just beginning to change colors.  The people I was with are great people, each of whom I enjoy spending time with and the conversation was delightful.  It was a nearly perfect time.

It was about 12 months ago that I realized that my legs had equaled out.   They had begun to respond equally to exercise or exertion.  And one of the things I knew about having surgery again is that this would no longer be true.  (I talk more about this here.)  But sometimes I forget.  

I forgot when I agreed to go hiking.  Inclines, you see, are one of those things that are particularly challenging for my leg.  Moving up and down an incline creates a level of demand for the muscles around the graft site that my muscles don’t happily do right now.  But I forgot this.  So it was about half-way through the hike, or at least my portion of it, when I finally had to turn to my companions and say, “I can’t do much more of this.”  They were gracious and I rested at our picnic spot while they made it up to the top.  

I was right.  On the way down, my leg was definitely at its limits.  And it has reminded me of this excursion for several days now.  I’m glad I went.  I’m glad I recognized my limits and lived within them.  I miss how I felt last year.  I miss that freedom.  I miss living without this pain.

It happened before.  It can and will happen again.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to like what is right now.

It was a nearly perfect day.