Posted in Aging process, Exercise, Introspection, Old Age

I Fall Down A lot by Ginger Keller Gannaway

boo-boo

At 61, I am out-of-shape and off-balance (both physically and mentally).
It makes perfect sense that I’m prone to falls. In the last year or so, I’ve had 3 falls. Each time I felt like it was a slo-mo fall. In those 3 or 4 seconds I told myself, “Get a grip and straighten up! You don’t have to fall.” Of course, I fell faster than I could utter the previous words.

millie bisquit
Two of the falls happened as I was walking my 60 pound dog, Millie. Millie did not yank me down outright, but on both occasions she tugged at her leash enough to throw me off balance. Both times I was not properly monitoring Millie’s unpredictable behavior. For Millie, another dog seven blocks away seems like special canine crack.. Her ears wiggle, her head faces the distraction and her eyes look for what her nose smells. At such times, I wrap her leash tighter in my hand and I search for what has excited her senses. When I discover the approaching dog, I say, “Leave it, Millie” and I follow with “Good girl!” if she fights her urge to bark like a fire alarm and try to run toward the other animal. However, before Fall #1 I was chatting with my brother as we walked and I fell in the damp grass when Millie made an extra-quick turn around. And for Fall #2 I thought Millie and I had safely walked past a strange dog with no barking, and then she split up my “Good” and “Girl” with a sudden halt to smell a branch near a gutter. And both of my knees slapped the pavement in a flash. For both falls I inwardly cursed Millie even though I knew my crappy balance and old lady reflexes were to blame.
Lately, I feel like my skin, my bones, and my internal organs are conspiring to murder me. They are sick and tired of my clumsy stumbles and my spastic trips & falls. “Just die already” they mutter to each other. “All you do is bumble, fumble, and tumble your way thru a day.”
Although my two aforementioned falls were superficial and handled with a few 4X4 band-aids and some Neosporin, my 3rd fall was a bit messier. It happened in the summer when I was in my hometown with my siblings and a very loyal friend cleaning out my grandma’s attic.
Our first mistake was deciding to clean out an attic in a 152 year old house in south Louisiana in August! We would get up early to face the attic’s heat and dirt and chaos, and then get the hell out of Dante’s Inferno before noon. Then we’d walk to Ruby’s for our plate lunch reward. cracked sidewalkThat Monday as we were walking back to our attic work, I tripped on an uneven piece of sidewalk and made an ungraceful dive into the concrete. The fall included an elbow scrape and a quick head-bounce as a finale. I did not pop up after this fall. I thought I heard muffled snickers, so I pitifully said, “I’m really hurt here.” Loyal Mark immediately tried to help me up, but I told him to hold up as I needed to carefully figure out how I was gonna pull my overweight, off-center self up from the ground.
I managed an unladylike, slow, painful rise from the broken sidewalk as I brushed twigs, grass, and leaves from my palms, forearm, and knees. I straightened my cockeyed glasses and discovered the plastic frame was cracked to the left of the nose bridge. Now I was humiliated, scraped-up, and potentially blind.
“Falling” sounds so much like “failing” and I feel like a falling failure a lot lately.

My mirror states the obvious- “You old…Bitch!” Yet my mind and my heart argue with the obvious truth of my aging. I still understand a novel’s subtle themes or a movie’s complex visual metaphors. My insides still flutter when I hear a powerful song, and I still yearn to enjoy cool going-ons around town. However, when I do go out, the risk of embarrassment has gone way up. My physically crooked, lazy, off-balance, inflexible, unsightly self will most likely show itself to be the 61-year-old specimen it is.
I will continue to fall down a lot. And that’s just a chance I gotta take.

 

Posted in Exercise, Letting Go, Pets

Morning Rescue by Ginger Keller Gannaway

millie bisquitLife

Life slaps me awake.

My two constant companions,

Fear and Worry,

Pull me out of bed.

I often have coffee with these well-known guys.

I read, I write, I pray.

I tell Fear & Worry to get lost, to leave me alone.

They just give me rude sighs and sour burps.

I sip strong coffee; I try to meditate.

But I feel rude in front of my early morning guests.

They don’t care.

Fear is a grossly fat bully and Worry is a half-deaf, slow-witted bore.

I try to ignore them.

Worry spills orange juice on the counter & Fear pushes me off my chair.

(Avoidance never works with these two).

“Look,” I explain. “Ya’ll should move on down the road.”

Fear snorts and farts and gives me a full-frontal cold stare while clueless Worry searches the cabinet for something to eat.

“I got a lot to do today,” I plead.

Worry holds up a stale doughnut.

Then someone snuffles and pads into the kitchen.

“Millie Biscuit!” I smile at my 59 pound Australian shepherd savior.

I gulp the last of my coffee, grab Millie’s leash, pull on my shoes and head for the door.

An irate Fear starts to follow us, but Millie lets out a soft snarl.

Worry lets crumbs fall from his stupid lips and I make my safe getaway.

Posted in Aging process, Exercise, Introspection, Old Age, Pets

Walking my Butt by Ginger Keller Gannaway

Walking my Buttmillies butt

Let me be clear.  I do not enjoy exercise!  I fear weights, treadmills, and machines with names like elliptical.  I avoid any sort of exercise class because the idea of staying in step or keeping time with a roomful of moving bodies makes me sweat more than actually exercising ever could.

However, I will go for a walk.  Mostly I walk my dog. Mostly to give her a sense of freedom and the chance to smell the roses, my neighbors’ lawns, a random piece of trash, another’s dog’s butt, or a dried-up pile of poop.  My walks are mostly for Millie, but they are also a bit for me…specifically for my oversized booty!

Walking my Butt

I’m walking my butt,
Walking my butt,
Walking my big fat butt.

Birds gossip and squeak;owl
Squirrels scamper and peek.
Is nature judging me?
Do they even see
My big fat butt?

No, no, no, no way.
‘Cause my dog just sniffs and squats.
Another short squirt on another lil sprout.
She stops, she pulls, she pauses
To give my butt a kind of rest.

millie and me
So nature really doesn’t care
about my feet, my butt, my hair.
It’s my own so critical eye
that makes me wanna cry, so…

I’m walking my butt,
Walking my butt,
Walking my big fat butt.

Posted in Exercise, Friendship, Outdoors, People

Walk Talk

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For years now, I have gone for a walk almost every day.   I tie my tennis shoes, grab my sunglasses and head out the door.  It’s therapeutic and even spiritual in nature.  I need it and evidently so do others.  Through the years I have encountered different types of walkers and have developed certain categories if you will.  Below are just a few of these walkers…see if you recognize anyone you know.

The Serious Walker:  Eyes straight ahead, purposeful arm swing, long stride…..no nonsense…’get er’ done’.   This walker may not speak even if you say good morning or hello..they are on a mission! These walkers generally have good tennis shoes and suitable attire.

The Dog Walker:  This type varies from the laid back walker who lets their pooch sniff and tinkle at will, to the run/walker whose dog is one with the owner!  The run/walker/and dog seem to enjoy the discipline…eyes forward..steady movement, and sporty outfits, whereas the laid back walker is sometimes on his phone, multitasking a chat and potty patrol, while frequently donning their work clothes and shoes, or worse….pajamas.  (a dead give away)  

The Walker Talker: These walkers don’t want to be alone!  They usually are seen in two’s and occasionally a ‘pack’ or even a ‘gaggle’.  To these social beings, the heart-to-heart chat is almost more important than the walk.  The walker talkers show commitment, enthusiasm, and encouragement.  Through the years, I have had only a few dear friends like this.  Walker talkers are a special breed indeed.  *cute outfits optional, but certainly appreciated!

The “I Hate to Walk But I Have To” Walker:  These poor walkers look bored, tired and MAD!  They look down or straight ahead and never acknowledge anyone else.  They avoid walker talkers at all costs and generally do not wear workout clothes.  The “I Hate to Walk” walkers most likely have a spouse or doctor who is encouraging their exercise!  They may be walking, but they certainly don’t have to like it!

The Stalker Talker Walker:  I have personally encountered this walker many times in my neighborhood.   This walker is (a.)  A talker and  (b.)  Wants to talk whether you do or not.  For example:  I had happened upon this walker several times and did engage in polite conversation; however, I kept moving.  Then, I noticed that he just happened to be walking at the same time I was and would even cross two streets to come over to speak.  I had to up-my-game by keeping a vigilant eye out, so that I could change directions if need be, to avoid “the chat”.  Sometimes he would be talking as he walked toward me and then say, “I’ll walk with you”.  Oh, my!  This person is a sweet, older gentleman who is uber friendly and means no harm, however, he IS a Stalker Talker Walker!  Beware!

The Barbie or Ken Walker (aka Sporty Spice):  These walkers have a certain MO:  great looking outfits; expensive tennies; matching visor or hat; earphones and always a Fitbit or Apple watch to check their progress and status. They usually keep a fast pace and rarely speak…they only nod.

The ‘Baby on Board’ Walker:  These walkers could go a number of ways:  a mom trying to do it all by pushing a stroller or double stroller and having a dog on a leash, while trying to walk or jog;  Sometimes you will see a super tired parent out early in the morning trying to take baby for a stroll just to stop the crying or get a break! They may be drinking coffee and/or checking their phones;   And of course, there are the super parents who are going for their run/walk no matter what!   These parents are usually pushing a double stroller and the kids are eating snacks or watching a movie.  The stroller I used in 1978 would never have made it!!

Did any of these descriptions remind you of someone or even yourself?No matter what type walker you are or type walker you observe, we’re all just trying our best to get out there and bust a move! Don’t be intimidated, mad or too serious to stop and smell the roses….just keep walking the talk or talking the walk, whichever one you choose!

Keep movin and groovin!

Posted in Aging process, Bicycles, Exercise, Old Age, Uncategorized

Ride Like The Wind

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“The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets…”  Christopher Morley

 

I’ve always loved to ride my bike.  I’m a professional amateur.  I have all the bells and whistles, yet I just cruise the neighborhood.

My husband bought me my first adult bike fifteen years ago.  I love that old, green bike!  We’ve taken it to the beach and almost everyone in our family has ridden it at least once.  However,  time, stress and a few mishaps have taken its toll, not to mention that it needs new brakes.

Last year I purchased a fancy, light-weight, thin-tired, sleek-seated, lightening-fast, silver bike.  Then, my husband said I must have the padded biker shorts and loud printed shirt to go with.  Next, gloves were added  because these arthritic hands need the extra padding!

Truthfully, the padded shorts and gloves feel great, but when I get all decked out, I feel a little foolish, especially riding the one mile to our mailboxes.  Oh sure, we’ve taken longer rides and occasionally I ride to the HEB for a few lightweight items (sans the outfit), but still I am an amateur in professional clothing.

I do feel conspicuous in my gear, but what I really feel is exhilarated!  As I pedal through the neighborhood, I may look like a senior citizen in biker gear, pumping the brakes and weaving a bit; but inside, I’m riding like the wind!  I’m blazing new trails and I’m a good twenty-five years younger!
As you pass me by on the streets, don’t honk, just give me the “nod”.  That’s what we bikers do…we’re cool like that.

Life is like riding a bicycle..in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.  Albert Einstein

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Posted in Exercise, Uncategorized

Jazzy J by Nancy Malcolm

 

jane fonda

I’ve come full circle… I’m taking Jazzercise again, some thirty years later!  I’ve always been a walker and even had my years as a “gym rat”, but now I’m doing Jazzercise and it’s so fun!

My daughter was right, there are either young mothers trying to find time to exercise or ladies in their 50’s and up.  I’m at the high end of that group.

The music is current and I’ve been ‘busting a move’ or two that I haven’t done in a long time.  Where else can you chasse’, releve’ and step ball change to the fast, sexy beat of Pit Bull?   I rest my case!

There are a few women much older than I.  They can’t do everything that the rest of us do (or attempt to do), but they’re there everyday….movin’, goovin’ and laughin’.  Me too, I’m having a blast.

As Auntie Sue used to say, “Honey, you gotta keep moving!”

I rest my case!