Reality Bites by James A. Norton

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It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled…

People my age fit in the strangest of all “generational gaps” for a number of
reasons. I could go on for column after column about why I think my age bracket has the perfect balance of old world experience and modern age technology. In fact, I think I should do exactly that, and in no particular order.

This week, for purely selfish reasons, I am choosing to speak to lessons of gravity and how they apply to people as they get older. Now what you, the reader, have to realize, is that this a generalized statement that demands to be qualified and not left to the imagination, unless you enjoy incurring the wrath of every woman you know.

In this particular instance, how different it is to fall at 45 than it was when I was 15. Or 25. Or even 35.

When I was 15 years old, I had already spent many a year playing sports like football and basketball – so being tackled or fouled and being knocked to the ground meant little to me. Falls from climbing fences and trees and scaling walls were typically met with a brush off and move along type of movement. Time practically stood still – giving me the opportunity to think about how I would land, adjust accordingly and even on occasion – think about my recovery move. Oh to be 15 again.

When I was 25 years old, I still played basketball almost every day, along with the occasional racquetball game and even volleyball on the beach in the summer. Then there were the types of activities that were more suited to the nightlife – fights in and out of bars, weekends with friends in Falmouth and basically anything that involved advanced levels of inebriation. Use your imagination.

As 35 rolled into town, the sports playing was less than frequent although not terribly uncommon still, as my kids were playing soccer and other sports and I was always determined to be the dad who wasn’t afraid to kick a ball around. Then there were the work related tumbles, which definitely happened a little more often than I liked as I got older – the real estate business can be very hands on at times. Of course, there were still those nights that involved excessive drinking, but thankfully the bar fights were non-existent by now.

Then 45 comes knocking. All gravitational sense and sensibility thrown out the window like the baby with the bath water. It’s like I didn’t spend a minute being coordinated in my life up until this point. Sure, there are those who will, at this point, sneer and ask how often I play any sports or keep myself active. To this, I will admit a certain sense of less than active lifestyle, when the extent of my extra-
curricular activities extends only to Black Ops, but that doesn’t mean I am a Weeble.

Perfect example of this was just this past weekend. I stepped out of the house and onto the porch in the early morning on Saturday and in an instant, I only had enough time to let my feet go forth in the direction the ice wanted me to go. Then gravity showed up. In less than a millisecond, gravity had taken me from vertical to horizontal so fast and my body met the ground with such violence that it shocked me – and could have killed me – as my head smacked right off the edge of the step I had just launched from. Obviously I am still amongst the living, but, it was a huge shock to me to have taken that fall as nastily as I had. Oh to be 15 again.

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