Several years ago, I had just gotten out of the hospital after having my knee scoped — another wonderful reminder of the joys of carrying a rucksack with 100 lbs of “lightweight gear” around for years. A torn meniscus, all kinds of loose cartilage and junk floating around in there made Steve a very unhappy boy. 

Originally the surgeon told me that they’d make two tiny holes on either side of my kneecap so they could “clear out all of that loose crap,” which had caused my knee to swell up to nearly twice its normal size. “Stay off of it for about two weeks and no prolonged standing or walking for about a month,” he said. Well, that wasn’t to be. 

Because I got a phone call that day from a film producer that I had worked with on a war film in Morocco. She’s a wonderful woman and very easy to get along with. She needed two personal security guys for the star of a spy film during two weeks of shooting in Israel. They had been filming in Europe and were originally scheduled to shoot in Israel in about two months. But due to some reason, they were heading for Tel Aviv quickly.

As I was the overall security advisor on another of her films, she was interested in hiring my bosses’ company again with the stipulation that I run the show. Would I be interested, she asked. Absolutely interested, I said. She wanted to know if I could be there and ready to go in five days. Sure thing, I said. She got in contact with my boss to work out the details and I was jetting to Tel Aviv out of JFK in business class four days later. Stay off the knee be damned.