Lessons from a Recovering Doormat

I just bumped into a neighbor who is always complaining she can’t walk far because her knees get stiff. About two months ago she told me how miserable she was having to limit her mobility. I felt so sorry for her that I offered to go to her apartment and show her an isometric exercise that helped me dramatically when my knees were giving me problems. She was very grateful and I explained the technique to her. It was a simple thing and she found it easy to do.

Years ago when I used to ride a bike long distances, my knees got very stiff and painful. I’d hobble around after a long ride. Blessedly I had a doctor who taught me how to do isometric exercises—the easiest exercise that can have great results. All you do is have your leg out straight, squeeze your knee tight and let it go. I often hold the squeeze for a few seconds. That’s it! Simple. You can do it sitting at your desk at work, while watching TV and even standing up. I do it while riding an elevator, waiting for the traffic light to change so I can cross the street and even while brushing my teeth.

I showed Marge what I do and let her do some with me there. Then I went home and sent her some info on it. She was thrilled to find something that might help her. I hadn’t seen her until today and I asked how the exercise worked for her. She sheepishly admitted she hadn’t tried them yet but was getting closer to doing it. I had to stifle myself from asking what was wrong with her brain as she told me her knees had gotten worse. But I know that people can have problems doing things they know will be good for them.

Like many of us, Marge wanted a magic fairy to wave a wand and fix her knees. She could have done the isometric exercise with no cost, little effort and anywhere she was. But she didn’t. Some people find more solace in complaining than in solving their issue. Some just have a hard time trying anything new, no matter how easy. These kinds of people aren’t serious about getting what they say they want.

If you really want to feel better or achieve a goal, you must get serious enough to do what’s necessary. Just wanting it isn’t enough. I work with lots of people who want a variety of things badly yet they stay in the same place. I did that when I lived in DoorMatville. It was so easy to want something but so hard to actually do something differently, even if it was easy. We often stay in the same place because it feels comfortable. We take comfort in what we’re used to, even if it’s actually uncomfortable. Trying something new is an unknown, even if it could make life better. So we keep ourselves stuck, like Marge is doing.

When I saw her today she asked about another remedy I’d mentioned for other issues and said she’d like to stop by and learn more. I just nodded and continued walking. When she says she tried the isometrics, I’ll be happy to share. But my time is too tight to waste giving her stuff she doesn’t use. If squeezing her knees several times a day is too much for her, she’ll never do the one she wants to learn about.

You can’t just want something to get it. You must be serious enough to be willing to do what’s necessary to make it happen. If you want to feel better, be willing to learn about your options and try them. Takes real steps toward your goals. Go at your own pace by go! I did what I could for Marge but can’t squeeze in her knees for her. It’s a choice we all make. Love yourself enough to get serious about what would improve your life and do something to make it happen.

Take the 31 Days of Self-Love Challenge and get my book, How Do I Love Me? Let Me Count the Ways for free at And you can post your loving acts HERE to reinforce your intention to love yourself. Read my 31 Days of Self-Love Posts HERE.

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