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It is not until I developed the aches and pains of Boomerhood that I became curious as to why my body betrayed me. 

 

When I get up in the morning I sit on the side of the bed before I attempt the walk of age.  My backbone won’t straighten completely, at first, and I steady myself on the bed or the wall.  As my boudoir is in the basement of our home I must face the challenge of the stairs before I can even begin to smell the heavenly scent of eye opening coffee.  I half pull, half crawl my way up 13 stairs – isn’t that unlucky?  I’m not superstitious and it doesn’t matter if it’s 2 or 20 stairs – it’s Mt. Everest first thing in the morning.  Especially this time of year when I awake before the sun has the decency to get up first and light my feeble way.

 

 

I won’t bore you with all of the aches and pains in an ordinary complaining mode, which I notice a lot of “old” people do.  No, I will tell you about the creaks and groans by way of my youth. 

 

At the age of 10 I was fortunate enough to have a friend who lived down the street.  Her name is Michelle and she took ice skating lessons.  I was fortunate enough to tag along from Granada Hills to Burbank, California to the Pickwick Ice Rink to take lessons with Michelle.  There was a huge picture of Sonja Henie in the lobby, who I aspired to be.  I recall watching Peggy Fleming in the Olympics and thinking “I could do that.”  Until one day after lessons Michelle and I stayed for open skating, giving our mothers several hours of free time.  There is a stunt called shoot the duck that I could just not master.  I could do it on roller skates, but not on ice skates.  So, Michelle would hold me under the arms while I crouched down with one leg straight out as I grabbed my outstretched ankle.  Most times this worked just fine, or until our momentum stopped us as Michelle couldn’t lift her feet to skate and hold me as well.  Sadly, one day attempting this feat, my toe pick dug into the ice.  100 to 0 in no seconds.  I stopped.  Michelle didn’t.  She flew over my head, but not completely.  The weight of her body landed on my neck, bending my chin and implanting it into my chest.  By the time Michelle got up and stood looking down at me I figured out I couldn’t breathe.  I don’t know how I knew, but I croaked to Michelle “bend my head back.”  She did and my airway opened up.  As far as I knew I was fine and went about my merry way.  The only thing that changed was me trying to shoot the duck.  My duck was shot.

 

Forward a few years.  We move to Arizona and I make a friend who likes to try cheerleading stunts with no ability whatsoever.  Being the ever bright child I was, I joined in this dangerous activity.  One evening while I was spending the night at my friend’s house we try a stunt.  I crouch and she jumps onto my back and sits on my neck – or something like that.  Of course, that isn’t what happened.  You got it, she jumped on my back and while settling her 115 pounds on my neck, we fall forward.  Once again my neck bends forward and my chin plants itself into my chest.  Injury #2 – but what do I know?

 

Forward yet another few years to find me in the passenger seat of a car driven by my older sister.  We have her two year old son with us and (before seat belt laws) he is standing on the bucket seat beside me.  We are going upriver in Parker, Az and stop for traffic so we can go to River Rags and look at bathing suits.  As we wait to make our left hand turn the girl in the car behind us is doing everything except watch the road and at about 40 mph’s runs smack dab into the back of my sister’s car.  The two year old goes flying into the back seat and as soon as my neck has whiplashed I am twisting in my seat to grab the now screaming child.  Thank God he was unhurt.  Just scared.  Sister has whiplash, I’m holding two year old and someone calls an ambulance.  I look behind us and the girl behind the wheel has a bloody mouth from hitting the steering wheel.  This is pre-air bags as well as safety belts or child restraining seats.    We all go to the hospital as a precaution and sister and I are given pain meds and told to go to a chiropractor to treat the whiplash.  I’m young and tough and I don’t like the chiropractor so after one visit I give my sister my pain pills and go about my life. 

 

I also climbed trees, water skied, rode motorcycles and engaged in activity that now requires proper safety equipment to prevent injury, but did not way back in the Stone Age.  Or what is now my youth.

 

So there are three significant injuries that I now suffer from in my Boomertom.  Arthritis in my neck flares up and now causes migraines.  Yippee!!  It sucks, but I have to say this – I had a great childhood, broken bones, injuries and all.  So pass the Ben Gay and let’s do some chair dancing!

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When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, “I used everything you gave me”. Erma Bombeck

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