Balance in all things

So, the outcome of the adventure inside my left knee is that I have less cartilage in there than I should have. In fact, most if it is in a pretty poor state and some of it is missing altogether.

This situation, graphically presented to me in photographic prints like tourist snapshots from the surgeon on his trip through my knee, is often described as arthritis. But then, as arthritis means more or less, sore joints, that kinda makes sense.

The hospital offered me physiotherapy and I've been given a set of exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee thus supporting the bones and preventing them grinding together. Or at least that's the theory.

So twice a week, I sprint over to the hospital on my bike, walk down to the physio gym and climb on an exercise bike to warm up.

Then follows a whole bunch of lunges and squats and raises and abductor this and VMO that.

But the most challenging device is the wobble board - a wobble board being an engineered version of a plank on top of a football. I stand on the larger of two wobble boards with my feet spread apart, hands on the parallel bars in front of me staring at the wall and then let go.

Two seconds and then thump. The wobble board tips and hits the floor.

And again, hands on the parallel bars, stare at the wall, let go and... thump. After about a minute of this, my arse is aching. Baffling because I use my arse all the time, sitting in front of a computer screen for hours on end.

Right. Deep breath. Focus. Find your balance. Let go... flutter... wobble... thump.

Actually, it would be easier to focus and find your centre if someone hadn't decided that having a radio blaring out the witterings of a professional halfwit interrupted only by occasional blasts of popular music would somehow make the exercises easier. And the radio is right next to the wobble boards... Thump.

More distractions follow. A middle-aged woman limps across the gym towards me and steps onto the other (smaller) wobble board. A smaller wobble board, by the way, means a harder-to-balance-on wobble board. She then proceeds to stand on one leg and starts bouncing a basketball off the wall in front of us.

Me...? Thump.

It was at this point that I had a tiny little revelation of sorts. This is a kind of Yoga thing. Put aside for the moment the fact that, although I can still find my arse with both hands, it would appear I can't do a thing with it. This isn't just about balance, it's about Balance.

I need to find my centre. Or should that be Centre? If I find my Centre, I'll find my centre too and then a sense of balance will flow out from the core of my being to the most distant nerves and capillaries in my fingertips and toes. Or more usefully, my arse.

Maybe this is the moment. In the midst of the whirl and bustle of work and family and debt and stress, maybe here I can find the space to rediscover the child within. Maybe I can reach deep down and find Jim. Not Jim the businessman with clients to charm or harass, not Jim the web developer with bugs to squash, not Jim the housekeeper with school uniforms to wash, not even Jim the father or husband. Just... Jim. And the songs might flow again, the guitar would soar and sing...

OK. Concentrate. Where is Jim?

Down here?


Be still.

Focus. You are the pool in the centre of the forest. Dark and cool and secret.

And let go. FOCUS!


Alright. I'll try again next week. I need to get to the wholefoods shop on the way back to work anyway before I lose any more time. That calendar module in Drupal needs attention. I still haven't priced up the e-commerce site either. Bugger - it's Fraser's birthday today. Tobacco! I haven't got any tobacco left.

Will someone please switch off that bloody radio!