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Limitations: When Something Has to Give

So far, despite my bum knee, this has been like Seinfeld’s “Summer of George.” You’ve come with me on my adventures, first to VegExpo in Vancouver, then to Free Spirit Spheres on Vancouver Island. (If you’re sensing a theme here, it’s not your imagination. British Columbia is my Happy Place.) I’ve managed to do my favorite things, albeit differently, despite more physical limitations than usual.

Today I’m pouting because I had to break a grown-up play date I’ve been looking forward to for 6 months. I belong to a Facebook group called Community of Single People. We are about celebrating the best parts of single life, not dating or the assumed quest to become unsingle. Many, though not all, of us identify as Single At Heart—we live our best, most authentic lives this way. Whenever possible, I like to meet my group members in person when we’re nearby. My friend Craig is in Seattle, visiting from New York where he is a college professor. Craig is a cat guy, often proclaiming “My son’s name is Chester.” He does not go to enough concerts (his other tagline). Of course I want to hang out with him! I even bought him 3 boxes of Canadian Girl Guide cookies, which he thinks are as cool as I do. (They’re way better quality than US Girl Scout cookies, no fake ingredients.)

As you all know, I was out having adventures last week. Those adventures aggravated my knee injury to the point where I’ve had limited walking ability since I got home, and riding the bike is too painful. I’ve been swimming in our local lake every day, partly to beat the heat and partly to do exercise I can manage without hurting myself even more.

Last night I just knew I was in no condition to drive 100 miles each way to Seattle, much less gallivant around while I was there. I had planned to take Craig on the rides I helped build and have lifetime free rides on—The Seattle Great Wheel and Wings Over Washington. I would not have been able to walk to the end of Pier 57 from whatever distant parking space we’d be able to find.

I had a massage yesterday morning and my therapist did traction on my knee and hip. It helps immensely, though it takes a good night’s sleep to feel the benefit. I feel it today, and I could have forced myself to make the drive and do some walking, but I know it would have put me back in the same or worse shape than I was in before the massage. I don’t have unlimited funds for these treatments; I need them to stick. The small improvement to my leg made me want to defend it in the hope that maybe tomorrow I can ride my bike to the Co-op just a few miles away for some groceries. I have an important professional conference in Portland next week and I need to be able to stand up comfortably, long enough to do a reading. Reluctantly, I cancelled on Craig.

Last week’s trip was a challenge because I had to accept it under compromised conditions. This is just a disappointment. If there had been a way to make it more doable, I’d have done it.

I’ve asked you all about setbacks before. Have you ever missed something you really wanted to do because of a flare-up or change in your condition? Commiserate with me; let’s have a pity party safe zone before we go back out into the world and soldier on.

Limitations: When Something Has to Give

Kristin Noreen

Kristin Noreen lives in Bellingham, Washington with two cats and her vintage touring bicycle, Silver. Her triple passions are animal rescue, long-distance bike touring, and writing. Her book, On Silver Wings: A Life Reconstructed, is about reinventing her life following a catastrophic injury.

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APA Reference
, . (2018). Limitations: When Something Has to Give. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 26, 2019, from


Last updated: 1 Aug 2018
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