Cody Angell took one look at the scars on my knee and knew he had his work cut out for him.
"Wow," Angell said. "Bet you have some stories."
Angell, who operates St. Pete Running Company with his wife, Janna, prides himself on getting battered runners such as myself back on the road.
"Even an old warhorse like me?" I had asked.
He nodded his head and smiled. "With proper technique and the right equipment, you will run again," he said.
"I am going to call you the Shoe Whisperer," I replied.
Angell asked about my athletic history and the injuries that had sidelined me so many times over the years. "I have had long, close relationships with several orthopedic surgeons," I explained.
But my last surgery, a total replacement of my anterior cruciate ligament, had hit me particularly hard. About to turn 55, I just don't bounce back the way I used to.
Angell, a former collegiate runner whose shop was voted as one of America's best running stores last year, started off a quick assessment by having me stand on one leg.
"I can see right away that you favor that knee," he said. "You have to strengthen that leg."
After surgery, I assaulted physical therapy with a vengeance. But once I was released, I forgot about my "daily" exercises, started running again and was quickly reinjured....