At this point I should mention that I do in fact have two knees (well, as a diabetic such things can no longer be taken for granted), both of which are my own, and both working.
The right knee, however, is in need of some attention, although by my reckoning the lifetime of this component should be nowhere close to finishing. It's been a good knee up to the last couple of years - it has bent for me (and this is quite an amazing thought) many times. You know what; I'll try an estimate:
Age of knee: 47.6 years
Number of bends per day: (guessing) 3000
So, 365 x 47.6 x 3000 = 52,122000 bends!
Holy moly! And I think I'm being conservative on the average number of bends per day...one of my jobs included walking several miles each day for a few years and I've done lots of sports as a younger (yes, yes, and much fitter) man. Think about it though - if we are lucky, each joint works tirelessly and without our conscious thought - until, that is, it starts to complain.
Doing this calculation (yes I know it's very rough, but just the ball park figure is amazing) makes me feel a bit stupid mentioning that my knee has begun to hurt. Fifty two million...wow...and I'm only half done! No wonder the flippin' thing aches from time to time! For the last twenty eight years the knee has carried, on average, a weight of about eighteen stone (two hundred and fifty pounds or thereabouts), and frequently on the rugby pitch and in the squash court....jeez...I mean, even if I'm out by one thousand daily bends, it's still tens of millions...and I remember reading a long time ago that when we get out of a chair or sofa, the forces exerted on the knees of an average weight person (not me then) are fleetingly equivalent to the weight of a small car. In my case probably a mini bus ...
Mr. Knee, I'm sorry! It's the right one you see - it's started to hurt to varying degrees and on random days, particularly going up and down stairs. Like the hero I am (irony folks), I'm putting up with it because most of the time it still works. I can still run if I need to - which is not very often now that I'm no longer chasing after oddly-shaped balls - and so long as I wear a support bandage I can just about get away with a game of unskilled squash.
It is, however, another little sign of wear and tear; a reminder that leaping from tall buildings is no longer on the agenda, and that warming up before undertaking strenuous exercise is becoming more and more a requirement rather than a luxury. These days, alongside my gorgeous lady, I am eating very well (we hardly eat anything processed and grow more and more of our own produce each year) and although the scales are not being very encouraging, my shape is changing - slowly but definitely - for the better.
It's time to hit the exercise routine - abandoned for a few years now - once more. I'll do it for the right reasons; I want to be around to share life with my loved ones for as long as is possible, but I'll also allow some motivational vanity to creep in and push me towards seeing if I can regain my sporting physique from quite a few years ago...that would be fun, and a real accomplishment given my rather portly silhouette at the moment.
Let's hope the knee holds up; I'd like to put another fifty million bends or so onto it before I go to the scrap yard.