It is inevitable that with age comes some aches and pains.  When you have weighed as much as I have for years, those aches and pains come sooner and tend to be more intent.

Back in junior high I played basketball and had started running a little track when I blew a knee out doing a cartwheel in my front yard.  I wasn’t a skinny kid but I wasn’t fat either (although I thought I was).  It turned out to be a genetic issue with the growth of the knee joint that I would have to learn to live with.  It was ten years later when I was able to have surgery to correct it.  By that time I had become pretty sedentary.  I had been in band in high school and marched but my knee cap could pop out at any time.  By the time I had the surgery, some arthritis had already set in.

I have worked mostly desk jobs.  I was a Sheriff’s deputy for 17 years.  I spent a lot of that time in communications tied to a chair for 12 hours at a time.  I was able to get out and work festivals and all sorts of extra duty but it wasn’t on a daily basis.  Two desk jobs have followed.  The arthritis has gotten worse.  My right knee now has the feel of a ratchet when I stand up.  It has a total of five clicks between bent and straight and each one is painful.  All this weight takes its toll on my back.  My sciatic nerve reminds me it is there on a daily basis.

I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  People come from all around to visit the place I call home and yet I can’t enjoy it the way I want to.  The cemeteries here are called the cities of the dead.  I am fascinated by them and love to see them out of my camera lens.  Unfortunately, I can’t spend much time walking around them in the shape I’m in.  I can’t spend a lot of time taking photos in the French Quarter thanks to my body.  I can’t enjoy the Jazz Fest this weekend because I’ll be in too much pain.


This time it will be different.  I know what mistakes I made last time.  This time it HAS to be different.  I want to be able to enjoy my life again.  I don’t want to be held back because of my weight or my pain.  Every pound you take off releases four pounds worth of pressure on your joints.  I know I will begin to feel relief immediately.

It’s time to say, “I can.”