Tuesday, January 01, 2013
A few years ago it became plain to me that all the agility I once had was totally gone. In particular, when I was about eight months pregnant with my youngest, I had to get something out from under the hospital bed (pre-eclampsia led to a prolonged stay in the hospital, something which has made me totally allergic to hospitals since). Once I had managed to grab it (and I imagine I looked pretty ridiculous, crawling around on the floor with a belly the size of a tank), I discovered I had no idea how to get up. I finally managed by grabbing the bed and using it to support all my weight.
Even after delivery, however, I found I simply could not get myself up off the floor. I had to have something to support pretty much my entire weight which I could grab with one hand and use to hoist myself up. Such a support (e.g., my 6'1", 230 pound son, a heavy piece of furniture, a stair) is not always available when I find myself on the ground, something I tend to try to avoid.
Fortuitously, I discovered that, if I can get both feet underneath myself, rather than just one, I do NOT need such a support. If I get both feet underneath myself, I then balance myself carefully and use my leg muscles to rise straight up. It isn't easy, but I can do it, every single time. TRIUMPH!
So tonight my daughter and I were walking the dog. It was pretty early but of course at this time of year, completely dark. In addition, it had rained and drizzled all day. One of my neighbours decided not to water his yard the last time we had a drought. We have them fairly frequently, sad to say. His grass all died, and his yard now consists of dirt and intermittent weeds. When it rains, that would be mud and intermittent weeds. Also, his house is quite elevated compared to the level of the sidewalk.
This situation leads to significant erosion. While it is a great practical way to explain the concept to a young child, I could do without the buildup of mud on the sidewalk as a result. Tonight I completely forgot about the inevitable mud.
So, I stepped on a several-inch-thick layer of wet, slippery mud on his sidewalk, my sandal went one way while my body went another, and I did a wild dance, flailing my arms, and I'm sure providing amusement to anyone who saw me - except my sweet daughter, who was very concerned. Luckily it was dark and I hope my face was unrecognisable.
Although I did try very hard, the slipperiness was too much for my dancing to overcome. I did manage to somewhat control the fall, such that I landed on my knees rather than my behind, and the impact wasn't too painful. I did, however, drop the dog's leash, and she took off like a shot, as usual.
My poor daughter had to take off after her, since I was still on the ground, and clearly in no shape to run after the dog - who is unbelievably fast, despite advanced age. There I was, kneeling on a muddy sidewalk, gasping, and assessing the situation. I knew I was going to have to get myself up. Cecily isn't strong enough to support me. I would drag her down long before she could get me up. I got first one foot under me, then the other. I took a breath, and pushed up with my - not sure which muscles, quadriceps? I got up. I did it!!! The feeling of accomplishment was unbelievable. Woo-hoo!