“hey, i have a question!” i’m sitting on the stationary bike, pedaling away my 10-minute warm-up. john has nobody else in the clinic right now so he’s at the table with my chart, detailing my ‘homework’ for next month’s trip.
“should my toes be facing forward? ever since i can remember i’ve turned out my right foot – when i walk and run, too. i don’t know if it’s from the ACL injury or if it’s just…a thing. but should i be trying to correct it?” as i chatter i’m awkwardly trying to force my right toes in, to make them as straight-shooting as my left. every time i do, my knee flops toward the center of the bike. no, having my right toes straight is completely unnatural.
“i don’t care so much about your toes. it could have been a compensation mechanism from the injury, or it could just be one of those weird quirks that people have. as long as your knees are facing due north and you’re not in any pain, i’m happy.”
relieved, i let my right toes shimmy themselves to home base, about 15 degrees turned out, and my knee as if on cue redirects itself dead straight. onward we go.
did you ever make cupcakes that were an absolute mess – overflowing or lumpy or lopsided or all three – but tasted delicious? or made an art project or something for the school science fair that looked beautiful, but left your kitchen in its glitter/paint/paper mache-covered wake?
we’re conditioned to believe that the shortest, quickest, cleanest route to our goal is the best route. we instinctively search for the path of least resistance. we believe in timelines, deadlines, straight lines from A to B.
but not all of us are meant to take the cleanest, clearest path. some of us will double back or go off course or maybe go around in a circle along the way. a few of us might just go so far off course that we create our own damn path.
but as long as you’re headed due north and you’re not causing yourself any pain…onward you go.