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Momo Fali's: No Spring Chickens

Thursday, July 26, 2007

No Spring Chickens

My husband and I have come to the conclusion that we’re no longer youngsters. I realized it sooner than he did, but he’s finally coming around.

For me, the acknowledgement came about a year ago, when I tried to show my daughter how to do a back bend. It had been awhile, so I had enough sense not to go over backward. Instead, I positioned myself on the carpet, put my hands over my shoulders and palms on the floor, and PUUUUUUUSHED up. I held that position for all of two seconds, before I came crashing down on my back, having pulled every muscle between my tailbone and skull. What? When did that happen? Since when couldn't I do a backbend? It just couldn't be true. So, to prove to myself that I “still had it”, I tried a headstand, handstand, and the splits. No luck. The best I could muster was a forward roll, and even that hurt my neck. I didn’t “have” anything. I lost it all somewhere along the way.

Shortly after that, I noticed runners my age wearing knee braces. And, my friends started having surgeries for herniated discs, ACL injuries, and torn rotator cuffs. I realized this was serious. This was real. There would be no more messing around with this body of antiquity. I began lifting heavy objects while bending at the knee. I started stretching before AND after I ran, and wearing a wrap on my thrice broken ankle. And, though I often still run up the stairs two at a time, I hold on to the handrail when I do it.

But, through it all, my husband has been in denial. We bought a home gym and he believed he could lift the same amount of weight he did in college. When he couldn’t, he blamed it on inaccurate calibration, not his aging muscles. When he almost blacked out on a roller coaster, he claimed it was the G Forces, not his degenerating inner ear. And, when we went camping a few weeks ago, he and his friend (you may refer to them as The Lost Boys), had delusions of playing basketball and sand volleyball all weekend. Turns out, they mostly drank beer and ate S’mores.

But alas, my husband has seen the light. Stars, in fact. Because when he took our daughter to a water park last weekend, she wanted to see her whippersnapper of a Dad dive off the platform board. He climbed up the ladder and dove off, just as she had requested. Only, when he came out of the water, he didn’t see her proud face. He saw little white floating dots and strings. Big, strong Daddy got his bell rung. And, last night, he FINALLY said, “I guess I’m not 21 anymore.”

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