Friday, June 12, 2015

The Gravity of Age

          I’m balancing on one leg, one foot lifted off the floor of my YMCA shower cubicle, hoping to slip my size 10 hoof through the first circle of my underpants without getting the elastic wet.
Not only do I achieve this, but I succeed with the other foot, too. Next, however, are the very stretchy – think slingshot – knee length yoga pants I chose to wear. Again I beat the odds against gravity and age. Again I’ve managed to get dressed after water aerobics without keeling over onto the tile floor or departing with wet nether regions.

          Still, the whole process made me realize that I’m not just practicing my balancing skills at exercise class. Day-to-day life provides more than enough opportunities.

          The trip (hopefully not a prophetic word) to my laundry area in the basement comes to mind. Not only do I have to schlep the dirty clothes down from the second floor, I have one more staircase after that. Since I’m usually guilty of carrying what my mother always called “a lazy man’s load,” I’m usually toting a basket so full I can barely see over the top of it. Add to that hard basement
stairs, a cement floor at the bottom, and the coup de gras, my husband’s glass fronted showcase at the bottom.     

     Laundry day can be more hazardous than a descent from Mt Everest without ropes. 

          I’ve seen recommendations that people of a certain age avoid step stools, but even at 5’6” I still need help to reach those top items in the kitchen. I did have the good judgment to marry a man well over 6 feet, but unless I chain him in the kitchen (though I’d probably just trip over his shackles), there are times when I need my handy little stool. 

          Yesterday the two of us carried in a new recliner, balancing on the front steps as we maneuvered it into the house. 
       And weeding the bane of my existence, our hill garden, often requires that I balance on one leg while reaching across to grab that laaaast bit of Virginia creeper four feet away.

          So maybe I am keeping my balancing skills from atrophying through just everyday living, but just in case, I think I’ll also listen to the recommendations that I stand on one leg while I brush my teeth  -  even if it does make me feel a bit like a stork.



  1. I'm 5'4" so I've got stepstools in pretty much every room of the house. I like the idea of daily life as an exercise routine.

  2. More power to you, and to your legs.

  3. Your post always cheer me up and make me smile. Wonder if gardening, pulling weeds, hanging wash on the line, etc. helps with balancing skills. I do try standing on one foot every now and then.

  4. Now you have reminded me to check and see if I posted my laundry tragedy a few years ago. I know I posted about my fall down the stairs with a 100 pound Television chasing me.

  5. Stairs are the bane of my existence. Fourteen steps up to the front door and if we go upstairs it's another 16. The kitchen was definitely designed for someone taller than me, I'm only 5 foot. As to balance, my center of gravity is for too low to let me be able to balance myself. At least I'm close to the ground.

    1. See? Your glass is half full. You have less distance to fall.

  6. Sounds like you get lots of balancing in throughout the day, you need a laundry chute! Be careful on the stairs I always hold on with one hand going up and down stairs but I have a one gimpy leg. I also have a step stool in the furnace room just off the kitchen...I am not tall enough for the top shelf either:)

  7. I am now 5'2" down an inch or so from the heights, and I too have difficulty without step stools. You do make me smile. :-)

  8. Balance becomes a problem. sometimes I need two or three tries to get my foot through the leg hole of the underwear. It's rather humorous what you do for practising balance. Nice post.

  9. Your first paragraph seems to me the perfect reason for showering and changing at home where the floors are dry.
    As for the basement laundry, I'm so lazy I'd tip the basket at the top of the stairs then walk down safely and scoop it all back in again.
    I have a step stool too, at only five feet tall I really need it, sometimes I even drag in the big ladder from outside to reach the really high top-of-wardrobe section or to change a light bulb.

  10. I'm worried about carrying anything down steps. We adapt as we grow older, but only after mishaps. Stay limber, but think ahead too.

  11. at 65, I try to be cognizant of possible falls but it doesn't stop me from climbing up on precarious perches.

  12. A few suggestions: 1. at the gym go into the toilet stall and sit comfortably sit as you put on your undies and stretch pants. 2. I agree with River. Throw your laundry down the stairs, then pick it up.

  13. Size 10!! SISTAH!! ME TOOOO!!

    Yoga has done wonder for my balance. :)


Thanks for stopping by and I'd love to hear what you think.