As a photographer, I’ve always gone “into the zone” when working. Into the zone means oblivious to all else — danger, environment, aches, pains or physical limitations.

The zone served me well in war. I could scamper about, and into situations that no sane individual would possibly attempt. That’s how I got good photos. It’s also why some of my body parts don’t function as well as they should today and why some are missing or held together with pins, plastic and screws.

In retirement, the zone continues its usefulness. My rambunctious earlier life took its tool on my legs, ankles, knees and hips. But when I’m in the zone, those aches and pains go away and I can concentrate on shooting.

I went into the zone Friday night at the Floyd County store, shooting both stills and video from my knees, climbing up on chairs and furniture to get high angles and working through the jostling cloggers on the dance floor. I also ignored the doctor’s advice about avoiding cold night air while my lung heals from pneumonia.

So I paid the price Saturday and today, spending more time in bed — coughing, hacking and wheezing — and then trying to move about on swollen angles, recalcitrant knees and unwilling hips.

The zone: Sometimes I don’t know if my friend or enemy.