Live longer…and less bruised

What kind of an idiot falls off an exercise ball ?  I prefer not to judge.  I would like to say that it would have to be a special kind of an idiot.  A lovely person who is obviously… a special kind of an idiot.  Oh yeah that special person would be me.  Oh, I do have special tripping talents.  I have managed to fall down stairs a couple…ahem…a few…ok…numerous times over the years.  I have walked into corners and furniture and stairs and I am sure I have broken my little piggies a few times.  Falling off a bouncy exercise ball is a new kind of injury for me.  Now, if you can stop laughing hysterically for a second, I will tell you the story of “The Exercise Ball and the Idiot”.

Once upon a time, about 5 months ago, I started going to the gym.  Wiseguy signed us up.  Wiseguy wanted to strengthen the muscles around his knees.  Me?  I wanted to build up arm muscles so when I fall down (which I do quite often) I would be ninja-nimble and would be able to stop myself from a catastrophic fall OR I would be able to more easily pick myself up instead of laying there helpless saying, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.”  Both good reasons to hit the gym.  I must admit that seeing all the toys…ahem…equipment, made me want to have some of those fun things at home in case I couldn’t make it out to the gym.  You know, sudden summer snowstorm or something like that.  I live in Canada, eh?  Anyway, this is how I ended up being the proud owner of an exercise ball.  A very large, round exercise ball.  One that needed to be air filled prior to use.

I am not sure if you know or not, but there are different size balls that you can purchase. When Wiseguy asked me what size I wanted I figured go for the biggest one.  It made prefect sense to me.  More ball for the money.  Hmmm, knowing what I know now the largest ball was NOT the way to go.  It’s sort of like riding a bike that’s too large for you.  If your feet can’t reach the floor, you have the wrong equipment.  Don’t get ahead of me.

I waited for Wiseguy to blow it up.  No, no, not KABOOM! but more like foot pedal and pump to inflate my new ball.  I couldn’t wait to start doing exercises!  Time passed.  My ball, like my spirit, was deflated. I wanted to get rockin’ on some ab/core exercises.  That ball had to be filled!  I decided I had enough smarts to do this on my own.  HAH!

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like reading instructions.  I believe I’m smart enough to figure out how to do stuff just by looking at all the available parts.   Round peg, round hole right?  I opened the box and heaved out the ball.  I dug out the pump.  I pulled out the hose.  Back to basics:  Stick nib on pump.  Stick nib into hole in ball.  It fits…round peg, round hole.  Hose attaches to pump.  Press foot up and down on pump.  HA!  Easy-peasy!  The air whistled as my ball began to expand.  It grew and grew.  It got rounder and rounder and fuller and fuller.  Hmmm, how full should it be?  I had to get the instructions.  Ummm 0.6 psi.  Great!  How much is that?  I briefly scanned over the instructions to see if there were any hints it could give me about the psi.  Then my brain had a genius idea.  I recalled sitting on a stability ball at the gym.   I would test my new equipment with “butt memory.”   I plopped my rear end on the ball, perused the instructions to see if the pictures could give me a clue.  There were a variety of pictures of stick figures sitting incorrectly on the ball.  Large “X” through their bodies.  In picture language that meant “DO NOT” sit like this.  Well duh…of course not.  Right?  Only an idiot would fall off an exercise ball.  Right?

I bounced up and down a bit, ever so slightly to test the firmness and bounciness of it.  That’s when art became life.  I became the stick figure with the grand ‘X’ running through it.  The rest happened in slow motion.  Nooooooooooooo!!!!  I felt my body lean sideways.  I felt my one leg raise off the floor.  In trying to regain balance I managed to get the ball moving in a mostly backward direction.  Ah….the law of gravity…why would my body not break this law!  My ball slowly rolled backward.  My left foot became air born and started heading skyward.  I struck out with my right foot to try and get some floor with it, but that only increased the momentum.  The ball kept rolling backward.  In slow motion I felt my knees heading toward my chest, my back arching on the ball and my head going down to the ground.  No good could come from this dynamic move. Even worse were my volatile surroundings.  So serene when used as a sitting room, but lethal when an “idiot” is rolling backward on a huge exercise ball.

Behind me was a sturdy wood sideboard.  On that sideboard was a lovely stainless steel espresso machine.  The espresso machine was sitting on a glass cutting board.  The cutting board was large and jutted outward approximately one inch from the sideboard.  Beside the sideboard were my extra oven rack and my cookie cooling racks.  My mind worked quickly to assess the damage before the final landing occurred.  Metal and more metal.  Edges.  Lots and lots of detrimental edges.

Thought process:  I am going to hit the ground hard.  I will end up unconscious.  Since Wiseguy won’t be home until late I will die from my head injuries.  Waldo and Lucy, my beloved pets, won’t know what the hell happened and will continue to bark at walking passers by.  Wiseguy will come home and find me dead.  How will he survive without me?  Who will cook his meals?  No one can cook as great as I can.  He won’t last long without me.  What about the dogs?  Who will take care of them?  The grandkids…I won’t see them all grown up.  I won’t see them married off.  Will the kids think I’m an idiot too?  Who will clean up the blood?  Hope it won’t hurt too long.  Wish I had Life Call.  “Help I’ve fallen…” you get the idea.  Then…

WHACK!  CRACK!  BANG!

My head hit the floor.  My right foot whacked into the oven rack.  My left foot hit the glass cutting board.  MOTHER-FATHER!@!!!$#@^$@!!!  It was after my barrage of swearing that puppy Waldo came and sat beside me.  He tilted his head side to side trying to figure out what I was doing.  Lucy bolted for a hiding place.  Obviously the sky was falling.

I felt pain.  The back of my head hurt.  My right foot hurt.  My left foot hurt.  Pain was GREAT!  I wasn’t dead!  Then hysteria kicked in and I laughed and laughed and laughed so hard the tears came out of my eyes.  I might have even peed myself a little.  So then I called Wiseguy to tell him the fascinating near death experience I had.  I could hear him shaking his head through the phone.

Over the next few hours my delightful feet became a living rainbow.  My one inch bruise on the top of my foot became a swollen kaleidoscope of different bruised hues:  red, blue, yellow, even a nasty shade of purple.  It spread like lava til it reached the tips of my toes.  Then I discovered a bump on my shin.  The bruising kept leaching over my body.  That was fine.  I WAS ALIVE! I had fallen and I had managed to get up.

I learned a valuable lesson that day:  Teach your dog to dial 911 for emergency services.

Haha!  Nope.  That wasn’t it, but not a bad idea.

I learned that I need to have patience.  If Wiseguy says he is gonna do something, like inflate an exercise ball, then let him do it.  It might take a week, 10 days, 10 months, but I’ll live longer, and less bruised, if I follow this advice.

Cellulite…a love story

I love sharing stories about my life and growth.  In this particular instance, it’s about waist (not waste…as no leftovers were harmed).  I can discuss the long, cold Canadian winters which leads me to over-carbohydrate myself with ravenous amounts of bread:  sliced bread, pita bread, bagels (bread really), English muffins (still bread) and then there are the dunking-into-stew breads like baguettes or French stick or really anything that sops up that lovely stewed liquid.  So, today my topic is about curdled-cottage-cheese thighs, my “over” tummy and how I cope with the gym fever of the world.

I joined a gym once.  It was a long time ago…ahem…super long time ago.  I think there was a T-Rex with a pencil ready to sign me up.  The machines were enormous. There were mirrors everywhere. There was a machine which had me pushing my legs out and focusing my eyes on my hoo-haw.  Why was this good?   After a few months (and a call to the Mafia) I managed to cancel my membership.

Yoga is a two-digit word.  Yes, it is supposed to be about clearing your mind and learning to breathe.  Yoga doesn’t work for me.  I learned to breathe…that is true, but other than that, all it did was lead me to rehearsing (in my head) my grocery list of items that needed to be done.  Yoga was not for me.

Racquetball.  I love playing racquetball!  It’s my favourite sport!  I started playing in University with a friend (for an hour) and have never…ever…played again.  True!  (Note: This is an ongoing joke with me and Wiseguy.)

Cycling!  Yes, I recall my bro and I going for long bike rides around our neighbourhood and beyond.  We were explorers!  We would leave after dinner and wouldn’t be back for at least two hours.  I do recall two bad cycling incidents.  Once was a mosquito in my eye.  Yes, it flew in and I smushed it and I couldn’t see well.  The other was where I was turning around a curve and there were crushed stones.  I wiped out and my elbows and knees were bleeding.  Luckily I was able to walk home and keep up my sniffles in order to be pampered at the finish line.  Milk it baby…milk it.

I belonged to a dance group that met once a week.  We had numerous performances and I was in almost all of the dances.  Yes…I was svelte.  Also I was young.  I could jump and spin and twirl and sing.  I could do almost anything.  (Yes, it rhymes…read it again.)

So, here I am…almost 50 (yes…I’m surviving) and my body has decided that there are renovations needed.  No, I did not get the memo.  No notice.  No meeting.  NOTHING!  My gutsy-trusty body decided to go ahead and pillage me without any notice.  How rude!

Every morning, before I get out of bed, I have learned that I should stretch.  I have been doing this since my early thirties.  Well, lately my stretches sound more like maracas!  One comedienne said it best, “I’m an exotic dancer for the blind.”  I stretch and all of my joints take turns cracking like a bowl of rice cereal.

I have maps of some sort of my legs. There are blue lines which I can only assume are rivers.  Not sure where these rivers are but one day I’ll find them.

Finally there are the bubbles.  Yes, I always find silver linings in everything in life.  My wonderful legs that carry my body everywhere have these pretty little dimples.  Yes…they are everywhere.  These dimples are fantastic FAT deposits.  They are the storage units of my winter solstice and my packing on weight to keep warm in winter.  Yes, I love lying to myself.  I just love food and using hibernation always sounds like a good excuse.  Anyway, I jiggle.  My stomach, by butt, I even have jiggle arms.  Here is my crazy thought.  Follow me on this.  Once I get diagnosed with an incredibly bad illness I will have my 20 lbs of extra fat (like camels not needing water) to help me through any horrible surgery and recovery.  Skinny people have nothing to fall back on.  My excess will assist me in survival and then I will once again be slim and healthy after my horrible crisis. Crazy?  Nah!  I just think ahead.

I am “cuddly”.  My granddaughter came up and poked me in my belly. Oh yes! Wait for it… “Big belly”, she said.   Yup, that is what this almost 6-year old said.  Was she right?  Oh yes…absolutely.  Was I offended?  In my younger days I would have been, but I have accepted my body.  I would like to be thinner, but I am also happy with myself and my life.  I don’t want to diet.  I don’t want to give up foods I love.  I consider myself a chef of sorts.  I have the greatest kitchen in the world and I LOVE TO COOK!  My other favourite motto is “never trust a skinny chef”.

Flashback to my “big belly”.  I looked at Kennie and asked, “Baba has big belly which means I am soft and cuddly and I can give you amazing hugs so big bellies are good right?”  She thought for a bit.  Really, really thought about it and then looked at me, nodded and said, “Yup, it’s good.” Then she moved in for the soft, cuddly, Baba hug.

Cellulite and cuddles…a love story.