PUMPING IRONY: A Fall From Grace

Nothing like crashing onto an icy sidewalk to get you thinking about growing old.

Nothing gets you mulling over the vagaries of advancing geezerdom quite so effectively as taking a tumble on an icy sidewalk. One minute you’re shuffling happily along on a wintery carpet of snow, marveling at the picturesque landscape, and the next you’re colliding with a patch of cement. I can testify to the wonderment of it all, having crashed to earth yesterday morning on my way to the office.

It was my first fall of the winter, which I suppose is something to be proud of, given the number of miles I’ve logged on that sidewalk since the first snowfall back in November. But it still gives one pause. I’m a big fan of workouts that improve your proprioception and balance, and I like to think that I’m in pretty good shape in those areas, but all it took for me to tumble yesterday was an ill-timed stride onto a hidden patch of ice.

So now I’m nursing a sore left shoulder and a creaky hip and knee, and feeling like a senior citizen.

I had to skip yoga yesterday, because I couldn’t raise my left arm without feeling a jolt of pain, and I was in no mood for a workout this morning. I turned down a Sunday tennis match with The Baseline Machine and Monday night hoops seems out the question at this point, as well. I can see why the elderly worry so much about falling. Even if the resulting injury doesn’t send you to the hospital, it can force you to back off from the kind of physical activities that might help keep you vertical down the road (or sidewalk).

Still, as we like to say here in Minnesota, it coulda been worse. It’s not like I broke a hip or something. So I’m thinking a little stretching and lower-body work tomorrow might get me back on track while the old wing is healing. Meanwhile, the forecast is calling for more snow by Monday, and I want to be ready. Bring it on, I say.

, an Experience Life deputy editor, explores the joys and challenges of aging well.

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