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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Losing One's Balance

This is Steven Petrick Posting.

I have nearly suffered significant injury several times of late in the office. These incidents have all been associated with the simple act of sitting down. Most of the desk chairs in the office are on wheels, and will move readily if there is no wait on them. Recently, almost every time I have tried to sit down in one of these chairs one or the other of my heels slams into one of the legs of the chair and sets it to sliding away from just as I have begun to sit down. I am past the point of "aborting" the sitdown (my weight has already shifted off center and gravity has taken hold) when this occurs. So far, I have managed to survive (usually by adjusting the angle of fall . . . all I can do, by pushing away from the earth with legs such that I overtake the receding the chair and land in it awkwardly). But one of these times I am likely to completely miscalculate the trajectories and wind up slamming my head on the floor (or the edge of a desk).

I am not sure what is going on. I used to have (while not graceful as a gymnast) a pretty good sense of balance. Now it seems increasingly that maintaining my balance is intruding into conscious thought processes rather than being entirely automatic. Relatively minor disruptions on the ground over which I am walking now seem to have the power to throw me to the ground. It was not that long ago that I would not give any thought to bounding over a short wall or vaulting over a fence slightly more than waist high.

I am obviously in some state of decline, and find it truly possible that this trend may lead to severe injury at a time when I am not doing anything that would, in the past, not even remotely be considered risky.