Monday, December 27, 2010


Of course this post does not apply to most of you as you are probably still gazelle like, but any one even near my age can possibly relate. I haven't run in years, mainly because there has been no need. I never was a distance runner in my youth but a heck of a sprinter, really fast but with limited endurance.

I have always admired people who jog daily. Those who can run apparently effortlessly and joyfully, have always made me green with envy. So, for a good portion of my life, I have been a contented walker but always thinking in the back of my mind, I could run if I had to.

I was watching a football game the other day and was focusing on the young players who would often skip back to the sidelines after a good play. I flashed back to my youth and remembered how much fun it was to skip. It is such a joyful way to move.

Could I still skip? I had to try. Planning my skip attempt route to end at the couch for safety reasons, I tried to convince my muscles that they remembered what to do. It may be like bike riding and is lodged somewhere in my memory banks but evidently my filing system is suspect.

It was not pretty folks. My legs turned spastic and incredibly heavy. My feet barely left the ground and thudded in heavy, uncontrolled semicircles as my arms flailed above my head looking for help. I felt like an out of control windmill and my ceiling fan was in serious danger. I was so grateful for having chosen the couch as my final destination. That part worked out quite well.

I am so grateful I did not take that spectacle outside for the neighbor's entertainment. Phew, scratch that off my bucket list. Who needs to skip anyway?

But back to running. Right before Christmas, I was walking my young neighbor boy back to the gate after a lovely visit and gift exchange. Mr. C, whom I wrote about here, drove by, saw us at the gate and came to a screeching halt.

Mr. C had left me a card and some homemade brownies in my mailbox the previous day and wanted to know if I had gotten them all right. I told him they were so good that I had devoured seven eights of the brownies the same day. I asked him to wait while I got his present.

Now Mr C is one of those givers that is hard to give to. He won't take anything from me, I have tried. Fortunately a friend of mine in Florida, Joan, periodically sends me large packages of pricey brand new cosmetics. Thanks to her, I have found a way to gift him.

Joan always includes something for Mr. C and his wife for all the kindness they have shown me. He accepts gifts from her with no protest. She usually packs an expensive cologne for him along with perfume and a nice lipstick for his wife. I so appreciate Joan for making it possible for me to give back to this man who does so much for me.

Their package was in the house and knowing he was in a hurry to deliver more of his calorie loaded presents, I asked him to wait and proceeded to run back to the house to get his gift. It was a nightmare folks. Instead of nice long, smooth strides taking me quickly to the house as I envisioned, my legs turned into pistons on me.

Instead of stretching forward, they went up and down in choppy, teeth jarring stomps. I was moving all right but it was mostly in a vertical fashion. I was making very little forward progress. My house just didn't seem to get much closer as I diligently labored. Then I started to laugh.

Life does travel in circles, karma does exists. Many years ago, I had witnessed an elderly fellow jogging in Florida. He was making the exact same motions I was currently exhibiting. It had tickled me so much at the time that I had actually mimicked his run for my co-workers amusement. I remembered saying, “ He was running, but up and down, not forward,” as I giggled.

Ah, the arrogance of youth. Arrogance my friends will bite you in the butt. I gave up my ungainly attempt to run and walked swiftly to the house only a little bit embarrassed but very amused.

So should I have tried to skip and run at 71 ? Good grief no, not without conditioning and balance work first. But try telling that to the 30 year old mind that lives in this 71 year old carcass. Don't worry, lesson learned. That thirty year old mind has been properly chastised.

So I say, run with caution my friends, skip in the privacy of your own home close to something soft and listen to that 30 year old mind with a healthy dose of skepticism.

I feel a New Years resolution for me to get in better shape coming on.


  1. Thank goodness you described what running is, as I didn't think I knew. I'm vaguely remembering now. Thinking some more about this, I expect my left leg could do some.

  2. Patti,
    I can say "Amen" and it says it all. Once in a while I break out in a run with Cody and she looks at me like, "Well, why aren't you moving?" I'll have to try running with the video camera set up and see what I look like. I bet all the youngsters are laughing too. Even Cody's probably laughing. LOL

  3. Oh Patti, thank you for the chuckle first thing this morning...and let me qualify that with 'I'm allowed to laugh' because at 51 I feel a tad like you. I use to be a runner; ran races even a marathon but as my knees got cranky and refused to cooperate and my back became achy, well walking is my new running, although in my mind, I 'should' be able to still run; NOT! I mourn that loss everyday as my husband; an avid runner heads out the door in his togs and I am left behind to wish!
    I find growing older makes you more 'Earth bound' so perhaps that's my thought to you...the Earth is a good thing!

  4. I can still run a little bit when I have to, but why would I want to? I have never wanted to run - even playing tennis was too much activity for me!

  5. great post Patti!!

  6. Bionic knees are not made for skipping, jumping, running, and if not careful even standing upright.

    I have often wondered what if a threat, human of natural element mandated I run. I would probably be face down on the ground with the first step.

    We just have to hope fast walking (for me on level surface) will get us to help.

    It is a treacherous walk just to our Hidey Hole storm shelter. I guess we and Luckie should practice. We do keep a close eye of weather.

    I am sure even my fast walking observed from another is amusing. GUess I'll just have to keep treadmilling when I feel up to it.

  7. OMG...I have never laughed as hard as I just did. A plain, out loud har, har, har. Thanks for this mornings chuckle, and advice. I used to be able to do flips and have been thinking/wondering if I could still do one. Read this, then skipped? down the hall toward the kitchen for some coffee. What is it with the arms?? why do they flop around? and nope, I'll never try to do a flip again...

  8. This just might be my favorite Patti-ism. Thank you for at least trying to skip and run, my friend, and then sharing the story with me.

  9. This is terribly funny Patti and piiful, too...And I say that as a great compliment! You describe the loss of dexterity very very well and in a wondrfully amusing way....Indeed, the 25 year old mind that lives inside this 79 year old body Gets It, I am sorry to!

  10. Grandma always said....Ladies never run...they glide along......Sometimes faster than other times.....!!


  11. I loved your story. Made me laugh! You have a great sense of humor and I can't wait to read more!
    You have a new follower!

    PS I live in S Arkansas...I've been up to your part of the state and it's beautiful! Seriously thinking about moving up that way...hopefully soon!!!

  12. What a hoot, I'd probably do the same thing, once when I was walking very fast at my lavender farm I tripped and nearly hit my head on a post. Care must be taken with all the things we once did as youth.

  13. I think maybe I will sit and think about running. Surely if I envision what it is like my muscles will think they exercised. Tight?

  14. Too, too funny and oh so true! Thank you for my morning smile. I KNOW better than to try any movement faster than a walk. And don't even get me started on how I looked at the bowling alley after 20 years away from it!

  15. Hilarious but true Patti! I usually walk a mile or two every day but not in the winter...just can't stand the cold or the wind any more. I always long for spring! blessings, marlene

  16. liZZie,
    He he, If the left leg works, perhaps it could train the right one.

    You know what I mean. Don't worry, Cody may wonder but would never laugh. You sure you want to video the event?

    Thanks Tracy but how sad you can no longer run especially after being in competition. And you are still a puppy yet.
    As for that running hubby, I suppose he is skinny too? Yikes.

    Oh but Judy, how about when you have to dodge a texting teen in the shopping center parking lot? Never know when you will need that ability.

    Thanks Jan--at least I think you are Jan.

    Oh dear, is your hidey hole outside also? Me too. Guess practice wouldn't hurt.

    turquoise moon,
    Thank you. Isn't that the truth. What goes with the arm action. It distracted me so much that it affected my skip. Probably wouldn't hurt to skip the flip.

    So glad you liked my feeble attempts. I keep forgetting not to try.

    At least you have a younger mind than I do. Good thing you don't listen to yours. I am learning.

    BlueRidge Boomer,
    She and my Grandmother went to the same school. Mine not only didn't run but she didn't sweat--she glistened. The old gals had it right.

    Tina G.
    Welcome to TNS Tina and thanks for following. Always nice to meet another Arkansan. The Ozarks are really lovely.

    Lovely idea, now I just have to cultivate a friend with a heated indoor pool. I love the lack of stress on the joints idea.

    Linda Starr,
    Know what you mean, it is that darn brain that refuses to grow up that gets us into trouble.

    I have actually heard where visulation can actually help build muscle. Guess I will join you and think about that.

    RV Vagabonds,
    Oh don't tell me that. My support group was thinking about going bowling. You mean I won't look cool???

    Thank you. Me too. I was up to 3 miles a day then it just got too cold and windy to enjoy. I really need to get my treadmill fixed.

  17. Oh My Patti.... I have a terrible time getting my legs to work these days. AND--for a 'hiker'--that is not good. Ever since I had my knee surgery (and my knee is fine), things just changed... I'm afraid now --more than I ever was... And there's just more stiffness in both knees and legs.... YUK!!!!

    SO--I guess my New Year's resolution is to try to get some of this weight off --and do more exercise, hoping that will help. I try to eat healthy--but I still have more weight on me than I should have....

    RUNNING????? SKIPPING?????? Never!!!! ha

    Happy New Year.

  18. This is one of those things that my grands laugh at me about all the time. It's like they give me a torture test every now and then and my running was just as you described....up and down. GK was laughing so hard she was drooling...serves her right. Then she said Oma, that's jumping, running means you go somewhere. Smart Aleck kid.....but you have made me laugh so hard this mornnig...thanks I needed that more than running or skipping. The Olde Bagg, Linda

  19. You describe this so vvidly that I can really see this happening. It's something for a nightmare. I sometimes dream that I have to flee for something, though I still don't know for whom or for what.Anyway how much I try to get away from the danger I cannot get on at all.

  20. OH honey thank you so much for writing this post. I needed so much to laugh out loud and this what your post did for me. God I was picturing you skipping to the couch and I lost it. lol
    Only because I so no where your coming from but never could describe it quiet the way u have for us. Your the best honey and I should print this out and take it with me where ever I go this week so I can laugh. hahaha
    That is one reason they have not approved me going back to work I doubt if I could run from here to the bathroom without doing major damage to either my walls, Tinkerbell or myself.
    Thanks to Patti for leaving me such a sweet comment. I love you

  21. I've never had any desire to run or jog. I grimace at the site of it. Just watching hurts my knees.

    Walking, I'm with you. It's very hard to get in a walk right now with all the rain but come spring I'll be back on the trails walking.

  22. This was fun to read, Patti, so much for the lesson, as for the empathy it evokes. I'm with you: we need to keep moving, and skipping and dancing. That's our challenge!

  23. I have never understood jogging, though I love to walk.

    Personally, I'm good with not tripping and not falling!

  24. I used to be able to run, but would not give it a whirl these days. I was shocked a all get out when I discovered I couldn't swim any more. That was a harsh realiaztion and not a welcome one when I think of how much water we are around.

    Your post was so funny!

  25. I have a 30-something living inside me too. A slim, eat anything I want 30 yr. old. It's great to have people like your Mr. C in ones life, what a blessing.

    I wanted to pop in and wish you a very happy and exciting 2011.

    btw, love the image on the post, I borrowed it.

  26. Oh, Patti, Patti, Patti, I'm sitting here in tears. I can so relate to what you are saying. Now if I'm in a store with a shopping cart in front of me and holding onto the handle, I'm amazed at how fast I can walk through that store, but without that cart, it's really a chore. Running and skipping, I don't think so. Anymore I have a hard enough time just walking. LOL So I grab a cart, even if I'm just picking up a Birthday card, it keeps me steady on my feet. Same with mowing the yard or using the snow blower, as long as I have that handle to grab and hang onto, I'm fine. Perhaps we'll need to start using a walker and try running or skipping.

  27. Listen, I can barely walk without a hitch in my step, much less skip, hop or run. I do a pretty neat skadizzle when I have to though. HA HA Ever grateful for the soft landings- last year I took a tumble on our gravel road and lay there like a beached whale flapping and flopping because I had sprained my ankle and couldn't get up. I had to crawl to the house. NOT a pretty site.

  28. Betsy,
    I'll join you in that resolution. I am prone to hip problems and my extra weight is a major contributer. Lets both work on that.

    Linda in NM
    Just love, "that's jumping, running means you go somewhere." GK is a genius. That perfectly describes it.

    Reader Wil,
    I know what you mean. Sometimes I wonder if I could get out of the way of trouble. Lets hope we aren't tested.

    I am so glad I found your funny bone. You deserve some giggles. So glad my lack of coordination has a purpose.

    Ah, but you miss the thrill of the earth flashing beneath your feet by not running. Guess I will miss that also.

    Thanks and you are so right, if we don't use it, we will lose it and that is the truth.

    Linda Myers,
    Jogging just looks so free and natural. However it looks like I will stick to walking also.

    Amber Star,
    Oh good grief, you mean I just might sink? I have wondered about that, it has been so long.

    Miss Dazey,
    You are welcome to it. I borrowed it also. Boy I wish I had that 30 year old eat anything I want. Would be nice.

    Sure hope they were laughing tears.
    I know what you mean. I have a friend that I always thought was a bit frail till we went shopping. Once hooked up to the cart, she left me in her dust.

    Southwest Arkie,
    Don't you hate that "fallen and can't get up" routine. I also did that and though I didn't sprain anything, I did rattle my brain for a bit.

  29. Thanks for the I know I don't need to try this! I'd say skipping is over-rated, anyway. No olympnic event involves skipping (does it??), so how important could it be?? Better to stick with the good ol' "walk"...

  30. Oh, sweet Patti how funny. I am going to have to see now if I can still skip. Would you believe the other day I was thinking about things I did as a child and when I was a young adult and I actually thought to myself...wonder if I can still stand on my head...I was distracted from that thought by something and it had not entered my mind again until I read your post. I also have a 71 year old carcass and a 30 something year old can be assured after reading this post I will not be trying to stand on my head, but I do think I still may need to try out skipping. Thank you, for the wonderful laugh and the great advice. Hugs

  31. I haven't tried skipping (shudder!) nor running, but I have been dragged by an overly-energetic dog. It wasn't pretty.

    And squatting?! OUCH!

  32. Deb,
    Ha ha. There really ought to be an olympic event, it takes a bunch of co-ordination to skip-- at least as much as the twirling ribbons that is an event.

    Be sure to pick a soft spot near by before you try. A simple skip requires a ton of co-ordination. Funny, I also used to love standing on my head. Been thinking about one of those inversion tables. I tried one a friend had and it fixed my back in one try. Don't think I would try it on my own though.

    I do remember those big dog drags. Drat, they are strong.
    Squatting is easy, that getting back up is the brutal part.

  33. Your blog is a different experience. your imagination of comparison of the young and the old are aspiring.
    I love running. I hope my opinion won't change as I get older.
    Wishing you a happy New Year!

  34. Elen Susan,
    Welcome to THS. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I will check your site now.
    Keep running. Your opinion will not change, only your options.
    The only old thinking people I know, were old when they were young.

  35. I landed here from somewhere else and am glad I did. You made my day with visions of the skipping and running episodes. I'm no "spring chicken" either, but I still do run and when I finish writing this, I'm going to see if I can still skip. Happy New Year to you! I read your resolutions and they're excellent!

  36. Barb,
    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.
    I do admire you for running. Just plan a safe route for the skip however. It can be tricky. I'll check your site now.