Abrupt Stops

Sometimes a name can feel like destiny. Anyway, that’s my excuse and I’m keeping it. My parents gave me the middle name of Grace, and I’ve used that fact all my life as an excuse for general klutziness. Having the name Grace ensured that I’d be graceless in the rest of my life. As I said, it’s a handy excuse. Maybe not too accurate, but handy.

But it gets old. I have a long history of walking into walls, tripping over cracks in the linoleum, falling up and down stairs. A good friend suspects that I lack the normal amount of proprioception, the internal sense of where one’s body and limbs are in space. That could well be. And I don’t always watch where I’m going. Plus I can be absent-minded. But whatever the cause, the end result is the same: I walk into walls, I whack my toes on the legs of the coffee table, I fall down.

The last is the one that can be nasty. I did it again this week, and as a result lost a lot of skin on my tummy and left elbow and knee. (Asphalt is not a good surface for tumbling.) Now that I’m in late youth (in other words, past the half century mark by a decade), those sudden stops are harder on the system. They shake me up in more than a physical sense. And they hurt. Bending that elbow or that knee is still painful, and I didn’t get as much work done this week as I wanted to. When I realized I hadn’t even done my blog post, I decided I might as well write about what had thrown me off stride for the week.

At least the women of my family have strong bones. My mother, in her eighties, stands straighter than many teenaged girls, with no hint of osteoporosis. We may not bounce when we fall down, but at least we don’t break. I find this oddly comforting.

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