A couple of weeks ago Derek and I were on the couch watching tv. He was sitting up and I way laying across the couch with my legs resting on his lap. During one of the commercial breaks, he gently asks,”What happened to your knees?”
I looked down, but saw nothing out of the ordinary – they were the same busted-knees I’ve come to know as my own. There were no recent scrapes or bruises, just scars from life come and gone. I looked at him and said “life happened.”
Truth be told, I’ve never given my knees or legs much thought. They’re scarred on the outside, but they’re strong and healthy on the inside. They’ve seen me through seven marathons, a half ironman, and countless hours of training in between. They haven’t let me down yet (knock on wood), even though I’m sure I’ve put them through hell and back.
And, trust me, I’ve put them through hell.
There are the holes on either side of my shin from when I broke my leg as a kid.
A deep scar from a collision with another cyclist last summer.
And plenty of surface scars from the many falls I’ve taken over the years (especially during runs).
A long time ago I knew a girl who didn’t like to wear shorts, dresses, or show her legs. She had a few warts removed as a kid that left tiny scars that made her feel a bit self-concious. She showed me the scars one day, then I looked down to survey my own scars, which in my head were larger and a bit more obvious. The idea of covering my scars never even occurred to me until that point. Was I supposed to care? Was I supposed to cover my legs so strangers couldn’t see my scars?
I’ve only had a handful of people ask me about any of the scars (specifically the holes in my leg), and when they did, I was happy to tell the story of how they came to be. Pants and jeans have never been my thing – shorts, dresses, and skirts are always my go-to choices for comfort. And, the more I think about it, the more I know there really is no need to hide them.
My scars are my badge of honor. They’re my proof that when I get knocked down, I will rise again. It won’t be the first time I’ve fallen and it won’t be my last. Why would I want to cover up that?
So, yes, “life happened” to my knees. And I wouldn’t wish that away for a second.