Growing Old Ain't for Sissies

Is Fifty Really the New Thirty?

I am 56 years old. Actually, I’m almost 57, but today, for some reason, I was under the delusion that 50 really is the new 30.

After my 30 minute, brisk-paced walk around the track at the YWCA, I decided that I would play a light game of “me-versus-the wall” racquetball. To those of you who don’t play the game, that means I was playing by myself. Having played a pretty good game in my 30’s, plus, having tried to stay active and relatively fit over the years, despite my losing the war against obesity, I figured I could surely hold my own against the wall.

My first few hits felt great! Feeling the tension of the racquet in my hand as I pounded the ball against the wall took me back to my days at The Lakes Apartments where I played daily for years. Perhaps because of that flashback I forgot just how old I was.

I lost memory of the twenty years since I lived at The Lakes and my daily practice on the courts. I felt myself capable. I told myself that I could return that high lob; I could twist my body to hit the ball against the back wall, then turn quickly to get back into play. Gosh, it felt good! But, I’m 56, almost 57; something had to go wrong. It happened so suddenly I didn’t even have time to think of the immediate seriousness.

What happened: I decided I should RUN after a ball returned by the wall to the opposite side of the room. Now, had I remembered that I was 56, almost 57, I would have watched that ball bounce to a standstill over on the other side of the room. But nooooooo; I decided to RUN to make the return. I can’t say for sure what happened; either I turned too quickly and became dizzy or my foot got stuck and I plunged forward. I was in mid-run when suddenly the wall loomed inches away from me at an angle I could not comprehend. My brain went into overdrive, but not in time to decipher what was about to happen. In a milli-second, I FLEW- do you hear me- FLEW into that wall, full force.

I braced the fall with my hands and face (the face was unintentional), but somehow, along with those injuries, my knees were scraped also. I don’t know how. I fell to the floor, eyes clinched shut to keep out the reality of what had just happened, pain leaping forth from the air around me, settling all over my body: my back, my knees, my wrist, my elbow. All I could do was lie there waiting to see the stars that people who’ve had sudden injuries describe. Surprisingly, no stars came. Believe me, I looked for them. When I opened my eyes, I expected to see SOMETHING or someone on which to blame my fall. But the only person there was my friend and exercise partner; she had run into the court as soon as she saw the collision. Her voice calmed me enough that I realized that I would live, so I opened my eyes, rolled over on my back and began planning the next few sedentary days filled with doses of 56 year-old reality and Tylenol.

Now, I know that hitting a wall at full run at any age is bound to be painful, but doing it at almost 57 debunks that myth that is all the rave right now: Fifty is fifty, not thirty.

Comments 7 comments

 7 years ago

I'm so glad that you're alright! It's sounds like you bounced back pretty quickly. I'm off for my one-hour power walk in a few minutes. In my mind I'm just beating back the years one step at a time.

Nelle Hoxie 7 years ago

Hi JDove-Miller I forgot to sign in before I commented above.

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 7 years ago from London, UK

Ouch.. That hurt me just reading it. Hope your okay. I admire the fact thay you like to stay fit though. "30 minutes brisk walk"?. My goodness, I walk 10 minutes and call a cab. Sending you a warm hug :) Take it easy....

DonnaCSmith profile image

DonnaCSmith 7 years ago from Central North Carolina

Oh my gosh! Just remember it's the 3rd day when it really hits you. I know, I sound like Job's comfortor but you don't work with horses 30 years and not learn these things.

dineane profile image

dineane 7 years ago from North Carolina

Yikes! So sorry! I'm still in the 40s but haven't believed a word of the twist on age groups that's so popular now. Look on the bright side - you got a hub out of it :-)

TamCor profile image

TamCor 7 years ago from Ohio

OH, mean, when I hit 50 next month, I won't actually go back 20 years in time? I was really looking forward to that, lol.

I hope you're okay...I'm so sorry that happened to you!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

50 is great! So is 60! I've had the pleasure of living and working in other cultures abroad (mostly S. Korea) and they all revere their elders - what a pleasure to grow old while living abroad - and being honored and respected and adored and treated so well! And seeing people much older than me scale mountains like it was nothing. Wow!

Nice hub - thanks!

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    bohica 7 years ago

    You given a whole new meaning to a runner's lament of "hitting the wall".

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