In the saddle: Knee ops and the bigger picture

Josh Nuttall is a freelance thinker who works with CN&CO on a number of projects. He is an avid cyclist, data/digital nerd, and often shares his thoughts on our blog from in the saddle. Here’s his latest instalment:

When life gets full it is easy to let things slide that you can get to later or reprioritise things when ‘urgent things’ come up that need to get done right that very minute. I recently went under the knife to fix my knee which had been given me some trouble over the last couple of months. Having this operated reminded me to be conscious of the bigger picture and the importance of being clear about why we do things.

Knees and shoulders are two operations that you are told to avoid at all costs if you are able to. I have mates and family who have had both done, with varying degrees of success. Prior to my latest knee op, I had my right knee operated on in 2012 following a hockey injury where I had dislocated my knee-cap. A surgeon’s precision is something that fascinates me and how being a couple of millimetres out is a lot in medical terms…

Having my right knee operated on changed by life, literally. It opened new doors and allowed me to enjoy trail running, something that I had battled with for 2 years since my hockey injury in 2010. Having this new perspective made me realise that you should never ‘just make do’. If you have the ability or opportunity to do or make something bigger or better, you should do it… even if it requires a change or taking a leap.

Mentally preparing for my latest knee op, on my left knee, I knew that the recovery was going to be the tough part. As a good mate said to me, the operation is the easy part. Once you have decided to make a change or go ahead with an operation, there are other things around you that you need to be taken into consideration. Here are some of the things which I thought about during this preparation process.

  • patience—things happen for a reason. Give yourself time and understand what you want to achieve by taking this next step. Also remember to take a step back at times.
  • planning and perspective—having a plan does not mean that you have to follow it to the ‘T’. You do however need to be aware of what needs to be done and why you are doing it. Planning also allows me to manage how much I can do.
  • prioritise—not easy as in some scenarios everything is urgent. Knowing what to say yes and no to is sometimes hard than you think. Having a roadmap, more on this another time, is helping me with this.
  • participate—try new and different things. Sometimes we just need to turn up and figure things out along the way. Why does failure have negative connotations?! Will you ever know if you aren’t able to do something if you haven’t tried?  
  • passion—give everything you try, learn and experience the best chance it has at succeeding.

Life is what you make of it, there are bound to be different puzzle pieces that you need to piece together along the way and things do change. Being reminded of the importance of bigger picture made me appreciate where I am at the moment, life’s journey so far and opportunities that lie ahead. For now though, wish me luck as I test my own patience recovering from this knee operation.

Matching scars!