Letting the good times roll can be a real balancing act
Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 8:02 pm
By: By CHRIS MENEES, Staff Reporter
The story you are about to read is true — painfully true.
Unfortunately, the names have not been changed.
This column also comes with a disclaimer. Warning: Do not try this stunt at home.
Those big inflatable bouncy yoga balls should also come with a disclaimer. Warning: This is not a toy. Not intended for use by uncoordinated adults.
I could have been spared a little pain — to both my back and my pride — if I’d only been warned.
I’ve been painfully reminded of the fact that I’m not 10 anymore. I’ve been reminded as I’ve gotten out of bed every day for nearly the last two weeks.
Years from now, I’ll probably still be blaming some lingering aches and pains on an old yoga ball injury.
It started out as harmless fun. The 10-year-old granddaughter uses the oversized exercise ball for entertainment only and is pure poetry in motion as she lunges forward, lands belly-first on the yoga ball with arms extended and uses the momentum to roll across the floor.
Sadly, I wasn’t content just sitting on the sideline and watching young granddaughter Karrie have all the fun. After all, she’s the same child who once told me, “Vanilla’s OK, but chocolate’s a party.”
I needed a piece of the action.
I wanted to let the good times roll.
My first couple of spins on the yoga ball were nothing earth-shattering. I started from a shorter distance out, but was successful in staying balanced on the ball and sailing all the way to the designated finish line at the living room couch.
It wasn’t long before coach Karrie turned cheerleader and, with her encouragement, I kept venturing out farther and farther away from the couch. I was fueled by her giggles, which were sparked by the startled looks on my face each time I hit the mark.
We were having a ball (pun intended).
I was on a roll.
But I should have quit while I was ahead.
Instead, I moved the bouncy ball as far across the room as I could possibly get. I determined it would be my farthest and most spectacular roll yet as I launched myself like a rocket and soared from Point A to Point B.
I rared back, lunged chest-first onto the big blue ball, using my feet to propel me forward, and rolled with all my might.
Then my flight came to an abrupt halt — when I slammed face-first into the couch.
The jolt from the sudden stop caused my neck to snap back and my back to twist at a peculiar angle as it jarred my entire body and I toppled off the big blue ball. I saw a flash of stars and I felt my lip stinging with a carpet-like burn from the couch fabric.
A hush fell over the crowd of concerned spectators … well, both of them — my granddaughter and my husband. They looked startled and, in that brief moment, I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry.
More than just my pride was wounded and I could already feel the twinge in my lower back as I slowly picked myself up off the floor. With no one to blame but myself and no need to add insult to injury, I limped away quietly to suffer in silence as I searched for the heating pad.
In the background, I could hear the strains of “Wipeout” playing on my husband’s smartphone and I could swear I heard some snickering behind my aching back.
And, just like that, my carefree days of yoga ball-surfing came to a screeching halt.
What was I thinking anyway? I buckled under the pressure. I’m the same uncoordinated person who can’t walk and text at the same time. With two left feet, I’m an accident waiting to happen.
By comparison, Karrie is graceful and limber and light as a feather — and 10 years old.
I’ve always heard that growing old is mandatory, but growing up … well, that’s optional.
I’ll just have to learn to roll with the punches along the way.
Staff Reporter Chris Menees may be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Published in The Messenger 11.4.11
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