Not afraid to tell the truth

Early this morning I tip-toed down the stairs, hangers in one hand, shoes in the other, hoping to let my family sleep through my morning ablutions.  The only sound I could hear was the creaking of the stairs and the creaking of my knees.

The knees win this round.  I think it was the hills.  I’m giving running a hiatus and focusing on some knee rehab exercises and using the stationary bike on low for cardio.  Damn knees.

I’ve been watching a listening to a lot of the GOP primary news, and one of the comments that keeps popping up (this year and every year) is, “I really like Candidate X.  He’s not afraid to tell the truth.”  What does that mean?

I would think that being able to tell the truth would be a pretty low bar for public office, but I don’t think it means, “always tells the truth.”  Being willing to tell the truth means understanding that truth comes with consequences.  Not everyone is happy to hear the truth.  In this case, praising a politician for being willing to tell the truth has a specific meaning: “Candidate X is willing to give voice and legitimacy to my prejudices.”  It’s just another political dog whistle.

I don’t like that I screwed up my knee.  I don’t like telling other people they’ve screwed up their knees.  I don’t like giving bad news at all.  But telling the truth often means giving bad news and being willing to suffer the consequences. The Reluctantly-Stated Truth is rarely something that makes people happy or makes them cheer.  If it does, it’s time to re-examine the truth as you know it.  Be skeptical of people who always tell you what you want to hear.


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  1. Oliver Kurth

     /  February 21, 2012

    Maybe you should do some research on proper running form. Knee pains are often caused by heel striking and overstriding.

    Here is a link with some interesting videos:

  2. genewitch

     /  February 21, 2012

    Oliver: i was just going to post a link to 100up and ask if the good doctor had done any research on it. 😀

    Pal MD; i’ve always wondered what that phrase meant, “not afraid to tell the truth” – i am a firm believer in respectfulinsolence’s credo: “a statement of fact cannot be insolent.”

    Take care of your knee. I hear there is some great research going on in Utah (i think) for people with knee issues, using stem cells or some such. Good luck!

  3. I tweaked my knee on the elliptical because I was keeping my feet straighter than I normally do and it was putting undue pressure on the knee. So now my feet are a little cockeyed when I use the machine now and no problem.

    Get well buddy.

  4. DLC

     /  February 23, 2012

    someone had to reference it :
    you can’t handle the truth!

  5. DLC

     /  February 24, 2012

    Came back, because you remind me of my cancer scare from 2011. Doctor said “We’ll get you some chest x-rays to find out” . I said “I’m scared it’s cancer” he said “if it is, we’ll treat it” with a positive “hey we can deal with it” attitude. I trust this doctor to tell me the truth, even if it hurts, even if it scares the hell out of me. Now, rest up those knees! you can run again in March!

  6. Nothing like wonky knees to make you feel old. You can’t walk with long confident strides. You have to take short old person steps–too many people are already practicing taking old person steps in their early 20s so they would hardly notice if their knees keep them from making long strides as they shuffle or amble from parking lot to front door and back–but for those who do a lot of walking, wonky knees do more than any aching joint or muscle aches to make you feel prematurely old. Took 18 months to resolve fully and it was glorious when I could walk properly again, and even jog gently on a treadmill. Wonky knee #1 made a comeback last month though, but hoping it resolves soon–being chronologically old is one thing; actually feeling your age is another.

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