Don’t Push!

In the past few years I have experienced first hand what it is like when people constantly make remarks hoping to push you into doing something you are not ready to do.

Here’s the back story…..

I don’t know when it happened but I ended up with a bowed right leg. I suspect my meniscus tear contributed to it happening. I ended up with arthritis in the knee which sometimes hurt and sometimes it didn’t. Some times I limped and sometimes I didn’t. During this time not much was said, except for once in awhile someone would ask why I was limping.

A few years later my left knee became windswept. X-rays showed that the top bone had slipped off of the bottom bone and my knee pointed to the right. How it happened is a mystery. It didn’t hurt but it made me look crippled. It was with this knee that the comments started coming:

How much pain are you in? …….I’m not. Does it hurt to walk?…..No. When are you going to get your leg fixed?….When I’m ready. When I’m ready. When I”m ready!!!!!!!

Last spring I decided I was ready, not because I was in constant pain or because of the comments, but because I had finally gotten tired of the stares. The stares along with the difficulty of walking up stairs without handrails encouraged me to make the appointment.

Keep in mind that when I make a decision I jump all in. So with the decision made and the surgery date set I started making a plan. Surgery was in 6 weeks and I decided I needed to strengthen my legs. I set up an appointment with a trainer and he showed me what to do. He said I should do the routine 3 days a week and I went 6. After the first 4 weeks I was walking up stairs easily. I was doing so much better that a friend asked why I was going to have the surgery. I told her because I was ready.

Four months after right knee replacement I scheduled surgery for my left knee replacement. Like I said I jump all in. My reward? I now have two straight legs. Can I climb those stairs without a handrail? Yes. Do I feel comfortable coming down stairs without a handrail? Not yet. I’m still in the healing phase.

My whole point of this post is that the desire to do something that others think you need to do has to come from within you. You have to want to do it. You have to be ready to do it.

The same goes for children in the classroom. Let me give you an example. I substituted in a 3rd grade classroom years ago. There were two boys that never finished their work and never got to go out for recess. Fast forward to two years later and I substituted in their 5th grade classroom and they were among the first to finish. I asked what happened and they told me they had just decided to do their work. Doing work, behaving in class, participating in class, being nice to classmates and the list goes on………to want or be ready to do these things has to come from within the child. Pushing, nagging and hounding isn’t going to make it happen until they make the decision to want to make it happen……and maybe some maturity along the way.

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