“It’s a witch,” (Ahem. So to speak.) I say to myself and my friends. It just so happens I’m sporting a lovely, fashionable (not) boot to meet the needs of a foot with two broken bones. I’m in this thing for eight weeks, unless I drop to six with good behavior. Truthfully, I’ve never been one to behave, so as my husband says, “Hey, you’ll be out of that thing by Thanksgiving.” Holy crap.
It’s actually quite embarrassing the way I ended up in this incredibly attractive contraption. Ladies, you’ll understand. Have you ever launched a grocery shopping cart and whacked your open-toed sandal, with your essentially bare foot, on the metal sides around that shelf thingy on the bottom, where you put kitty litter or a 50-pound bag of dog food?
Ooh, that smarts, and it breaks off toenails as well. In fact, I was so busy inspecting my pedicure for damage that I totally forgot the pain in my foot. Fast forward to a few weeks later, and I’m no longer fixated on the toenails and polish, but the incredible pain in my foot, making it very difficult to walk. And so, here I am. A fashionista in the orthopedic devices department.
Truth is, I’ve always been ultra-active, moving fast both in fitness endeavors and in regular daily routines, much like the grocery store where I kicked the cart while hurrying down the isles. “Warp speed” is my middle name. I’ve been “dancing on the ceiling” my entire life.
It’s a source of laughter, because not only was I in hyper-drive, I was also totally clumsy. I can trip over an object that’s not even in my way, and the accidents abound. There was the time I broke my wrist ice skating. I’m sure I was trying to do an elegant move when I fell to the ice. Then there was the broken wrist from volleyball. I was lousy at it, and still am, so you won’t see me on the court any time soon. Speaking of that wrist, I once again broke it while in Italy on our last vacation. Second day no less. That one was accompanied by injured metatarsals that ended up in a cast. Do I know how to do it up, or what? Then there were broken toes from running into inanimate objects that are immobile. You’ll never think about a chair leg in quite the same manner after you hear that crack of a break. As a girlfriend who was present for the carnage said, “Wow, I heard that one!” So did I.
It’s crazy when I realize that most of this damage happened after 50 years of age. I’m totally clueless why evolution cannot spare “mature” individuals, or like this column name says, “50+” folks. We’re young at heart, pursue youthful endeavors like bicycle racing, triathlon competing, and mountain climbing, and we’re rocking youthful clothes, shoes and hairstyles. So I constantly wonder, what’s up with our bodies’ aches, pains, injuries, the expansion of the dreaded abdominal “tire,” and plethora of daily complaints about the state of our swiftly changing bodies? What gives?
My own bellyaching revolves around pain in my shoulder and back. I figure that’s enough. My sister, as of this writing, is recovering from the torture of surgery on a torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament), a critical ligament for knee stabilization. The tear is also plentiful among us 50 plussers. My friends tell me about chiropractic visits, dental conditions, and stomachs that have decided they are not fond of different foods, and said stomachs are constantly acting out.
I, for one, finally had to leave gluten behind. I’d had enough with the bloated discomfort that accompanied eating it, and a belly that reacted with a swelling resembling the third trimester of pregnancy. Not cool. I still have belly bloat throughout the day, but without pain. It’s really a hereditary thing. (Aren’t I the lucky one?) Dad unbuckled his pants and undid the waistband after every meal. He was unfortunately one of the first ever to be diagnosed with Celiac disease in the U.S. Mom, on the other hand, never had a stomachache, but had a constant little belly in every photo of her in a swimsuit. Not only did I inherit that little belly, but also her cellulite and varicose veins. Needless to say, I’m not really a swimsuit fan, and insist on wrapping a large, fun, and colorful scarf around my hips. My cellulite, varicose veins, and pasty-white legs will never see the light of day.
In the meantime, I’m mostly consumed with my recent foot break. Ouch! I’m not sure I should be doing all of the activities I’m doing, i.e., housework, litter box cleaning, cat feeding, trash collection, laundry, and all the rest. It’s my nature and I’m not sure what it would take to stop myself.
So, it’s giddy-up! Exercise class calls. My hiking is on hold for eight weeks, which will surely kill me with longing. So off I go, clomping in a boot, ker-clump, ker-clump, ker-clump. My cat runs in terror. In class, as the music and exercises go on, I trip and stumble and do my best with one-legged squats. I flop like a fish out of water on the floor when we do abdominal exercises, and cellulite-reducing moves for thighs, which quite frankly, I think my dimpled fat out-runs. I roll out of control on the mat as I try to direct the boot to proper form. My attempts to rise from the floor to standing position are like watching frick and frack (my legs and feet) try to use an over-stuffed chair to raid cookies from an upper cabinet. Hmmm. Now that’s an idea.
You know what? A boot won’t stop me from living life. I’m rockin’ it to strut my stuff. ❍
Di Chapman is an inspirational author and speaker, and a branding consultant. Di’s latest book is Rekindle Your Purpose: Break through your disappointments, discouragements, and detours to resurrect your purpose and live it!