The tangle of computer cords under my desk kept grabbing at my foot when I left to pull things from the copier, or to attend a meeting. I kept warning myself, Better take care of that, Karen, or you’re going to be sorry.
And I didn’t—take care of it. And I was sorry. The cords finally got a good grip around my ankle and plunged me face down to the floor, which I hit hard with my right knee before going prone.
I really wrenched that baby. I limped for weeks and took the stairs like a two-year-old, and moved carefully even during the unconscious moments of sleep. Just when I thought the knee was healing, a small sideways motion would wrench it again. Some days I could take the stairs like an adult; other days, I’d be doing the two-step shuffle again.
Bending my knees to kneel was agony, and getting up after carefully maneuvering myself to the floor—to look under the couch, for instance, or to scrub up some kitchen spills—was a prophecy to me of old-age days to come.
So, before taking myself to the orthopedic office (I’m avoiding the medical community these days until our government lands on some kind of healthcare solution), I went back to CURVES. Would this gentle, but regular, women’s exercise rotation strengthen the muscles that were not holding my damaged kneecap in place?
Sure enough, just after a week, I was taking the stairs without pain. My knee felt much, much better (though a little seemingly innocent twist had me shuffling up and down the staircase for a day). Although improved, I’m learning that I regret it every time I feel frisky. Kneeling is still tricky.
As a side effect, CURVES exercises are also working out the sore arm and shoulder that threatened to freeze up on me—a holdover, perhaps, from the days when I lugged suitcases through the airports of the world. Years ago, a doctor diagnosed it as “luggage elbow.” Unfortunately, this was one of the physical annoyances I seemed prepared to live with, so I am pleasantly surprised with this secondary improvement.
The point of all this is that some falls are not falling down—even though our first trajectory seems to be floorward—some falls are really falling up!
I have no choice if I don’t want to become increasingly crippled but to do my exercises. My goal is to get in an hour a day. I’m not thinking about losing weight—which I need to do—or looking good—although that would be nice. I’m thinking about something even more basic—being mobile.
Now the interesting thing about just-being-mobile-exercises is that there are all kinds of side effects. My 46-year-old daughter announced that one of her goals for this year is A Severe Self-Care Regimen. That was a viral thought waiting to be caught.
As long as I was being virtuous in keeping my three half-hour CURVES appointments per week, why didn’t I just go on and add all those nitty-gritty little should-do’s that swirl around in my noggin, crowding out the more important ideas? What would that include?
- The 7-minute workout morning and before bed that claims to be “the ultimate energy workout.” Two summers ago, I bought a mat for a yoga class (for ages 50 and up) that got cancelled. Now I could use it.
- The steam machine with a face mask for opening pores for cleansing—hidden away on a closet shelf—was resurrected for weekly sessions.
- Walgreens’ Alpha-Hydroxy Face Cream for Aging Skin and Walgreens’ Moisturizing Face Cream for Dry Skin (I can afford these). I use them morning and night along with the Wal-Mart-brand Equate Daily Renewal Cleanser (“with gentle micro beads that unveil youthful, radiant skin”).
Oh, you get the idea; my fall down, contrived by a colluding set of computer cords, has really been a fall up. I, a woman not given much to regimens of any kinds, am finally putting into place a self-care program I should have begun 30 years ago!
It seems to me, as I look back on my life, that every downfall has its upfall component. If I hadn’t totaled the car, we wouldn’t have discovered we could do just fine with one vehicle. If we hadn’t lost our business, we wouldn’t have learned to enjoy our marriage in these later years of our lives—because we wouldn’t have had enough time. You get the point.
This has been a good exercise for me—thinking about my downfalls. Perhaps you might want to start a list of your own. Excuse me, though—while you consider that, I need to do my morning 7-minutes (the ultimate energy workout) on the purple exercise-mat, which is spread out on the carpet, right by writing desk. It’s all about feeling good (“stress-free and vibrant, not tired and anxious,” i.e. book-jacket copy). And I certainly want that.
Other projects involving Karen Mains right now:
Karen Mains heads the spiritual-mentoring ministry Hungry Souls (www.hungrysouls.org), which is offering an eight-month teleconference training for Wannabe (Better) Writers. This mentor-writing course begins Thursday, February 18. The curriculum will concentrate on Personal Memoir Writing and will meet twice a month by phone for an hour each session. For more details, fees, assignments, the curriculum and how to enroll, go to http://www.hungrysouls.org/events.php. You must register by January 31. Inquires can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hungry Souls is also offering the new “Listen to My Life Mapping” Listening Group as well as two 3-Day silent retreats for 2010.
Karen is also developing a two-day training event for those interested in becoming Silent Retreat leaders, and the Global Bag Project is developing a template for Bag Parties in a Box.
Karen Mains is also continuing to write new content for this, her Christian blog, “Gettin’ Thru the Day.”
About Karen Mains:
Karen Mains and her husband, David, have been in religious communications for decades—radio and television and print publication. The are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance and Tales of the Restoration. David has been working on a manuscript titled Revelation for My Grandchildren, and they are just beginning to brainstorm if this should be made into a fourth Tales book, Tales of the Revelation.