Sunday, January 01, 2012


We old-timers (especially if we have heart failure) tend to see our balance getting precarious.  Although I've played vigorous tennis 4 or 5 times a week for the last forty years,  I've only rarely tipped over; that was when my wife lobbed over my head and I (indiscreetly) peddled backward with my head turned up to follow the ball.  My scalp was repaired with several stitches.

But as the years go by my balance seems to worsen.  No doctor has ever spoken to me about this, but I found (through the internet) that it's a natural consequence of inactivity.

I'm not inactive; in fact I'm very active, but much of the activity is mental, such as writing this post, so I should say that a diminished balance is a natural consequence of physical inactivity.

But I'm not that either (obviously).  I recently came to see that balance requires special care to provide a boost.  Balance,  mental acuity and physical strength all depend upon practice.  Use it or lose it holds true in all three cases (how many other cases?  I wonder!)

So I'm practicing my balance, doing things like standing on one leg (how long can you stand on one leg?).  Once upon a time I could stand on my head with ease, but that was before ageing 'got to rolling'.


Paul said...

Been a while since I've been around. I'm grateful for your last three posts about aging. I'm now 65 and plan on working another five years until my wife is ready to quit. I enjoy my job but there are many other interests so I reduced to 24 hours per week and then had to return 40 hours after five years of part time. I feel the intrusion. Work even though enjoyable is getting in the way of may other things.

One of my current interests is "how to age gracefully".

Hope you write more on the subject.

Best wishes!

Larry said...

Paul: good to hear from you.
I've find that retirement presents the same conundrum: my options are so rich I can never select one without depriving the other-- continually.

Mental work and physical work are equally true, although before retirement it was work and now it's play. But it's still frustrating to not have time for the 'other' thing I wanted to do as well. Days are too short since retirement began, like they did in the work days.

I always put more on my plate than I can eat. You may too. But I suppose we should be grateful that we're not like the people who sat on the porch all day waiting for the 'grim reaper'. BTW an old friend suggested 'happy harvester'.

Hang in there, ole friend.