Friday, October 25, 2013

Time to get a grip

I wasn't going to write this one because I am embarrassed, but in the interest of being honest, here I go.

I have kept my promise to keep from jogging around the upper lake, where the roots and stones are now hidden under fallen leaves. I have actually successfully jogged around the paved lower lake, and I should just leave it at that if I feel the need to run at all. Runners know that it is very hard to give it up.

Yesterday I was walking Maddie around the upper lake, and when I saw a straight-away I just picked up the pace and jogged for less than a minute between two trees. In the second that it took for me to say to myself, "I really shouldn't do this," I fell hard. I hit my head, and my glasses went flying.

I got up and walked slowly home, feeling the bump rising on my cheekbone. I took out some ice and lay down upstairs on my bed. I think that by going up there I was hiding from Joe, who was due home soon.

It really amounts to hiding from myself. Even though I have been an amateur athlete, I am like any athlete who just can't come to grips with the limitations that come with age, and, in my case, of course, with all the things that I have been through. It also comes down to impulse control.

When Joe came home he saw the now black-and-blue area on my face and asked what happened. He could see that I was really upset and gave me a hug. We talked it through, going back over my falls and how close I have come to severe injury, notably the time I fell off my bike and came horribly close to getting run over. He said that in addition to avoiding the obvious, I have to in general pick up my feet. "You walk like your father," he said.

Notwithstanding the effects of age and illness, I have always been a little oblivious. We talked about the time when the kids were little and we were visiting my parents at Atlantic Beach. I went for a jog while they went down to the beach. Happily running along, I tripped on a loose piece of pavement in front of the house of people we knew. Dripping blood from my shoulder, I went inside and they washed me up. They offered me a ride, but I jogged back to our house, bleeding all the way. The injury left a whitish scar on my shoulder.

I seem to always fall on my left side. It is the side of the shoulder that was separated during a break from my first chemotherapy 10 years ago, when I fell during a doubles match and had to go to the ER right before going back to Boston for another round of chemotherapy.

But back to the present, I had an incredible headache last night and missed book group. We don't meet that often, and I had really wanted to go to discuss "Orange is the New Black." There will be worse outcomes if I don't finally get a grip. I think I will actually succeed this time.


Mike Rickert said...

Heh-I am a 55year old runner/tennis player and happened on your blog awhile back. I find your story inspiring! I the same problem with lifting my feet and have fell several times over the past few years with the war wounds to prove it. A PT gave me various core and hip exercises that seem to help we lift my feet better. Thought I would pass along for what it's worth. Hang in there! Peace.

susiegb said...

Me too - no, I'm not a runner, but I have had issues with tripping over my feet - eg going upstairs!

But Ronni - my philosophy is to keep on going, doing what I want to do. I don't accept any supposed limitations because of age! I mean - I personally don't want to go for runs or anything like that, but if I did, then I would! Maybe I'm a (little!) bit slower, but I'm still doing everything I want to do!!

PJ said...

I used to be quite graceful, but now with neuropathy in my feet, aging and you-know-what, I'm incredibly clumsy, constantly tripping my own feet. When I go outside I actually tell my feet what to do. Oh well.

Alison said...

It's great that Joe's there to give you a warm comforting hug! :) Despite age and illness, you still manage to run and that's something wonderful. You're such an inspiration! :)