Fixing Myself by Changing Literally Nothing
September 30th, 2023 | Maintenance Run
Earlier this year I had a "knee problem" pop up. The term "knee problem" is code for "your knee has had 17 years of various ongoing problems and is fucked, dude." I went for a run one day and everything felt fine. A few hours after I was home and showered and eating toast or whatever, I realized my knee was swollen. The next day I could barely move my knee at all, I was hobblin’ around in a mix of pain and embarrassment because some phantom injury cursed my patella.
I stopped running. My life for these few months mainly consisted of eating junk food and wondering if I would ever run again. I’d look out the window, a half-eaten pint of vegan Ben & Jerry’s in my hand slowly melting into ice cream soup, tears welling under my eyes as the thought that my dumb meat hocks would never get to slap pavement again burrows deeper into my brain. Woe is me, my life is so unbearably difficult.
Distraught, I decided to look for answers the way I usually do: I slipped into a deep meditative state that allowed me to mentally enter my knee and find the root of the problem.
When I projected inside my own inner being, I accidentally misjudged my landing and ended up in my upper hip area, so I had a bit of a hike ahead of me. Luckily since this was all done inside my mind, my knee felt fine and I rather enjoyed the descent down my side. When I got to my knee, I noticed that it wasn’t as dark as I was expecting. When I’m out running I always sort of envision my knee as this swirling black and grey vortex of pain and crusty shit, but that’s not what I found. Everything had a sort of purpley haze to it; a little moody but not unpleasant.
In the center of my knee I saw something, something strange looking yet familiar to me. It looked edible, almost like it was food. It looked like a donut, to be honest. Shriveled, discolored, furry clumps of mold growing across it, but it was a donut. I approached it slowly, my hand held out towards me ready to just barely touch it.
"Yo what the fuck are you doing?" the donut said to me. It spun around and revealed a pair of arms and legs, and a cartoon set of eyes/nose/mouth that previously escaped my vision.
"Uhh, sorry," I said.
"It’s fine. I just get weird about people touching me, sorry," the donut said in return. "I’m an amalgamation of every donut you’ve ever eaten, both physically and spiritually."
"You know all those times you thought about how badly you wanted a donut, or looked up donuts online to see if there were any donut shops nearby, or looked up recipes to see how hard it would be to make your own donuts, or..."
"Okay, yeah. Got it. So why are you here in my knee?"
"I am a warning to you. I am the indulgence that you pay for at the cost of your health. I am the financial burden you dig yourself into with $6 specialty vegan donuts. I am the reckoning that your--"
"Okay yeah yeah never mind I just figured it out, I’m gonna wake up now."
"But you haven’t learned from me the true err--"
"Yeah whatever guy, fine. Later."
I opened my eyes and moved my head down to look at my knee. The pain was gone, completely. I stood up, crouched a little to test out how things felt. Pain free. My eyes filled with tears, I wiped them away and ran out of the bedroom, snorting and snotting all over the place like a weirdo. I ran towards the front door and phase-shifted right through it, re-entering our normal plane of existence on my street.
My body burst into an all-out sprint until my legs turned to spaghetti. I can run again, all is right. This is the most important thing that has ever happened in the world, ever, ever. All the problems of the planet have been fixed because ya boy can jog around town a few times a week.
So yeah, I’m running again. I managed 41 miles this week. I think everything is back to normal now. I'm trying desperately to pretend I didn't feel a slight tweak in my calf when I finished up the last hill climb yesterday.
Next week I talk about bread.
thanks, Pike for reading this over for me.
Thank you for reading.
Filed Under: Running