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Saturday, November 05, 2016

On Walking and Falling and Walking Again

Jean Sexton muses:

Many of you know that my doctor has told me I need to walk to stay healthy. I've slowly increased from walking about a quarter of a mile a day to about two miles a day. It isn't easy for me to do, but I am not ending up exhausted as I did when I started back in January, 2016. That's only taken 11 months. Still I am proud of my accomplishment. Wolf usually walks with me, so it isn't a fast walk, but it gets the job done.

And you know what they say about pride -- it goeth before a fall. Well, just before Halloween, I went for a walk without Wolf (Steve had taken him to the office for company). I wanted to see how fast I could cover our "long walk" of three-quarters of a mile without Wolf checking every bush (at least it seems like every bush) for other dogs' messages. I was moving along and my toe hit an uneven spot in the sidewalk. I tripped. I couldn't catch myself, but in my attempt to not fall, I got to a spot where I mostly hit grass: very hard grass, but grass, not cement.

I lay there for a bit, taking inventory. My glasses had fallen off, my face felt a bit raw as did the heels of my hand, I had a sore spot where a tooth met the inside of my lip, and I was so embarrassed. Nothing felt broken and my clothes weren't torn. So I got up. I had two choices: take a shortcut back to the apartment (about a building's length) or go the four-building square that would finish up the planned walk.

I opted to finish the walk. I thought maybe I would be able to better tell what was damaged. I added a sore ankle and thumb, raw-feeling elbows, and a stiffening shoulder to the count. When I got back to the apartment I got some ice on my then elevated ankle. Steve dropped off Wolf that evening. I decided to walk Wolf, who obviously wanted his evening walk. We went on our long walk, albeit a lot slower and more carefully than our wont. (The path we take is such that I'm never more than five building lengths away from my door and frequently it is a shorter distance, so I could cut the walk short if need be.) We made it! On Halloween, Wolf and I didn't walk much outside, but I walked inside using the Wii Fit program and went for a solid 30 minutes. I was tired, but I made it.

If you've ever fallen, you know that the pain tends to get progressively worse for about three days. All those wrenched around muscles tighten up and hurt. I noticed it some this time, but it wasn't nearly as bad as the last time I fell over a year ago. I don't know if walking and exercising helped keep the muscles looser, but I know that the only things that were still sore three days after were my lip and shoulder. And I didn't take any medicine to accomplish this.

They say you should get back up and ride the horse that threw you. If it means not hurting as much for three days, I'll have to walk after I fall and try not to coddle myself excessively. I'll also try to be more careful so I don't fall again.