As we grow older are we more prone to clumsiness?

This week I had a close encounter of the first kind with a door latch. This was not the normal I “did not see where I was going” event. This was a simple exercise in walking that resulted in stitches to my neck, giving me empathy to Frankenstein. If one would ask me how I did it I would simply say “I do not know.” Which makes the question an exercise in futility since knowing how it happened and why it happened will not change the outcome: I fell. Everyone falls regardless of age, but lately I have misled my feet once too often for my comfort. What is going on with my physiology? Why does my lower body not coordinate with my upper body as it did before? What has changed in the last few years?
Children fall because they run, jump, skip, and put their bodies in acceleration that sometimes defies gravity. When my son turned three he decided that he could fly from the bed to the dresser like Superman. He flew but left his two front teeth embedded in the headboard for posterity. They were a conversation piece for the next thirty years when we finally got rid of the bed; which in itself was traumatic because I felt like I was giving away part of my son’s physiology. My son had other encounters with hard surfaces, but eventually they subsided. As he grew older his penchant for flying and “comic hero” worship subsided and was replaced by a stronger desire to attract girls. Which brings me to a logical inquiry: if children grow out of their clumsiness how come we revert to clumsiness as we grow old? At what point in time does our body start doing stupid things?

I noticed the difference in my coordination a few years ago when my feet wanted to go one way but I wanted to go another. Some might say it is preoccupation because of a busy life style. Some might even say that today’s world is so full of distractions that it becomes difficult to remain focused on our actions. All possible explanations but none would explain my latest mishap with a door. I knew that the door was there as I knew that the rug was on the floor. So what happened from the time I stepped on the rug until the time I slipped and almost decapitated myself? One might add that a child might have been the victim and slipped, which is plausible. But I contend that after a certain unmarked age we revert to childhood in more ways than one. One does not hear often of a thirty-year old falling, but one does lament when an “old lady” falls! Except that “old ladies” are a thing of the past because we are in a generation of “new” something or other. I am the “new 40”, and my mother at 98 is the “new 80.” If we are deflating our age, how come we remain victims to it? People my age may be the “new 40” but their hair is still turning grey, they tire quicker, their bodies rebel, and they start to lose their grip on their lower bodies and fall.
As we resist old age we also resist our body’s plea to slow down because it cannot keep up with us any longer and it is getting tired. But we are slaves to Madison Avenue and thirty-something advertisers who tell us, no they demand, that we remain young! We have products to reduce and tackle everything from wrinkles to flab in an attempt to slow down the aging process. Is there a product for clumsiness? Can I take a potion and not fall again? Can I go to a plastic surgeon to reduce the possibility that my feet do not coordinate with my brain?

Growing older and old is a process and an adventure. We discover and rediscover ourselves several times over. We begin to realize that we have limitations and that no matter how young or great we look, our bodies are not fooled into thinking that we are younger. I remember an old commercial for margarine “you can’t fool mother nature.” How true. We spend money on products and regimes that help keep us looking young and feeling young, but do they stop the aging process? Do they stop us from being distracted and tripping? Are we a 60+ generation delusional in thinking that because we look like Cher and want to act like her we can stop the aging process and all that goes with it? At 92 Betty White is still popular on television but even she admits that “hey, I’m 92!” What she is trying to tell us is that no matter how energetic she might seem to us, she is fully aware that she is 92 and not younger. Maybe if we come to terms with ourselves and our ages we become comfortable enough to take care of ourselves more. Maybe clumsiness is only the product of one’s delusion that aging can be “controlled.” This attempt inadvertently disregards nature’s way of telling our brains that our reflexes are not as sharp as they used to be. So, am I clumsy? Hell yes…age has nothing to do with it!

This week I had a close encounter of the first kind with a door latch. This was not the normal I “did not see where I was going” event. This was a simple exercise in walking that resulted in stitches to my neck, giving me empathy to Frankenstein. If one would ask me how I did it I would simply say “I do not know.” Which makes the question an exercise in futility since knowing how it happened and why it happened will not change the outcome: I fell. Everyone falls regardless of age, but lately I have misled my feet once too often for my comfort. What is going on with my physiology? Why does my lower body not coordinate with my upper body as it did before? What has changed in the last few years?
Children fall because they run, jump, skip, and put their bodies in acceleration that sometimes defies gravity. When my son turned three he decided that he could fly from the bed to the dresser like Superman. He flew but left his two front teeth embedded in the headboard for posterity. They were a conversation piece for the next thirty years when we finally got rid of the bed; which in itself was traumatic because I felt like I was giving away part of my son’s physiology. My son had other encounters with hard surfaces, but eventually they subsided. As he grew older his penchant for flying and “comic hero” worship subsided and was replaced by a stronger desire to attract girls. Which brings me to a logical inquiry: if children grow out of their clumsiness how come we revert to clumsiness as we grow old? At what point in time does our body start doing stupid things?

I noticed the difference in my coordination a few years ago when my feet wanted to go one way but I wanted to go another. Some might say it is preoccupation because of a busy life style. Some might even say that today’s world is so full of distractions that it becomes difficult to remain focused on our actions. All possible explanations but none would explain my latest mishap with a door. I knew that the door was there as I knew that the rug was on the floor. So what happened from the time I stepped on the rug until the time I slipped and almost decapitated myself? One might add that a child might have been the victim and slipped, which is plausible. But I contend that after a certain unmarked age we revert to childhood in more ways than one. One does not hear often of a thirty-year old falling, but one does lament when an “old lady” falls! Except that “old ladies” are a thing of the past because we are in a generation of “new” something or other. I am the “new 40”, and my mother at 98 is the “new 80.” If we are deflating our age, how come we remain victims to it? People my age may be the “new 40” but their hair is still turning grey, they tire quicker, their bodies rebel, and they start to lose their grip on their lower bodies and fall.
As we resist old age we also resist our body’s plea to slow down because it cannot keep up with us any longer and it is getting tired. But we are slaves to Madison Avenue and thirty-something advertisers who tell us, no they demand, that we remain young! We have products to reduce and tackle everything from wrinkles to flab in an attempt to slow down the aging process. Is there a product for clumsiness? Can I take a potion and not fall again? Can I go to a plastic surgeon to reduce the possibility that my feet do not coordinate with my brain?

Growing older and old is a process and an adventure. We discover and rediscover ourselves several times over. We begin to realize that we have limitations and that no matter how young or great we look, our bodies are not fooled into thinking that we are younger. I remember an old commercial for margarine “you can’t fool mother nature.” How true. We spend money on products and regimes that help keep us looking young and feeling young, but do they stop the aging process? Do they stop us from being distracted and tripping? Are we a 60+ generation delusional in thinking that because we look like Cher and want to act like her we can stop the aging process and all that goes with it? At 92 Betty White is still popular on television but even she admits that “hey, I’m 92!” What she is trying to tell us is that no matter how energetic she might seem to us, she is fully aware that she is 92 and not younger. Maybe if we come to terms with ourselves and our ages we become comfortable enough to take care of ourselves more. Maybe clumsiness is only the product of one’s delusion that aging can be “controlled.” This attempt inadvertently disregards nature’s way of telling our brains that our reflexes are not as sharp as they used to be. So, am I clumsy? Hell yes…age has nothing to do with it!