Giving thanks on Thanksgiving

For a non-American like me, Thanksgiving is the quintessential American celebration.

It evokes images of happy families sitting round a table, eating turkey & pecan pie. All rather Norman Rockwell-esque, in the nicest possible way.

The only time I have ever been to a Thanksgiving dinner was here in New Delhi, where I live. At one point, everyone around the table said a few words, one by one, sharing what they were thankful for.

I guess, by and large, we are all very quick to complain, and w-a-y less likely to give thanks for the things we have in life.

But this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for one very specific thing. I’ll spare you all the guff about being thankful for family and friends since (pleasant as all of that is) it actually has nothing to do with running.

What I am so, so, SO thankful for this Thanksgiving is that my knee injury isn’t the bummer I thought it was.

From a sudden, puzzling knee ache during my run on Saturday, it turned into agonising knee ache on Sunday, making me cry out in pain each time I put my weight on it.

The local GP immediately diagnosed it as a torn meniscus, which was backed up by an MRI, and one of the scariest reports ever.

GP took one look and told me, very firmly, that the prognosis was bad.

My running days were over.

As in over. Finito.

I needed a cast on my left leg.

I’ll spare you the full report, but suffice it to say I left the clinic in tears.

The idea of never running again was truly scary.

I’m not sure I quite realised, until that moment, how important running has become to me, these past 6 years.

I sought a second opinion with my running guru Dr. Rajat Chauhan, with whom I started running, and who knows my various aches and pains. Doc was more sanguine, and although telling me firmly that I needed to rest, and vary my routine, and incorporate strength training, his view was that I would definitely be able to continue running.

Doc then sent me for a consultation with an othopaedic surgeon who concurred.

Yes, I had a meniscus tear.

No, it wasn’t half as bad as the report made out.

No, I absolutely could not run a half marathon next week (I’d already told the good folk at the Super Sikh Run that I wouldn’t be able to run).

Yes, I could possibly still run the Mumbai marathon in January (though I won’t. Another cause for sadness and regret…)

BUT I left the 4th clinic in 2 days much relieved, and almost crying – though with happiness this time.

So today, Thanksgiving let me indeed give thanks.

For an injury not being had as bad as I was initially told.

I’m thankful.for being able to run.

“At my age”.

Yes, it had to be said 😛

I’m thankful that I can apparently continue running.

I’m thankful for the chance to sort-of-start-all-over-again, training better, varying routines, getting stronger.

The only thing left for me to say here, is to wish a very happy Thanksgiving to everyone who celebrates it.

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