Don’t take your health for granted

So I recently suffered a minor knee injury, which made walking quite painful for me. It was a pretty trivial sprain, though, so with ample rest, the doctor told me I should expect to be fully recovered in a week. 7-days after that appointment, feeling free and confident, I made the unwise decision of going to swim practice, which basically obliterated all the healing progress I had made. Now here I am, sitting again with an icepack on my knee, angry at myself for being dumb and angry at my body for being so stubbornly broken.

While I was brooding about this today, I remembered something my Dad had once said to me. It was from some casual conversation we had months ago about aging, illness, and the importance of self care. Roughly translated and heavily paraphrased, he said something like this:

When you’re a young adult, you pride yourself on your self-reliance. You discover that you have the power to change things in the world and your life for the better. You learn to believe, deep down, that you can always depend on yourself to do things right, especially when you can’t always count on others. I tell you — you’d really surprise yourself by how much you accomplish. But when you get hurt or ill, your own body betrays you, and your pains will hold you back. Being ill will have you face the uncomfortable idea that you can’t always trust yourself like that anymore. Don’t sacrifice your agency and your potential by taking your health for granted. Take care of yourself.

Needless to say, I definitely don’t take my good health and mobile joints for granted anymore. I want my knee back.

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Writer, Cog-Neuro Research Assistant @ Yale. Presenting my thoughts about self-development and life as a former college student || gloriawfeng.com

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