Another Damned Growth Opportunity?

Time casts a long shadow. I’m feeling that now. Four years of anger and frustration and bewilderment and “POOF!” I know the changes that need to be made won’t be “POOF!” but I’m wondering how much of that anger, frustration and bewilderment BECAME me?

Yesterday after Biden had been sworn in, I took off on my skis. The nordic club had laid track basically for ME. I wanted to be out in the snow while it was still cold and not sticky. I struggled to get one of my bindings to close, but I succeeded and took off. It was beautiful. Then, at the halfway point I decided to turn around because my bio mechanics is funky and one of my legs is 1/2 inch longer than the other and I’d been skiing with that leg on the inside of the curve when it should be on the OUTSIDE (think of a drawing a circle with a compass). Not long after I turned, I lost my balance (the snow depth is very uneven out there) and fell. I got up and more or less into my skis, well into one ski, but I wasn’t able to close my ski binding again no matter what I did. I ended up lugging my skis a quarter mile out of there. Not fun.

My balance until this year has always been pretty good out there. This year? No. Yeah, a packed trail is easier to ski on and it wasn’t packed, just nicely broken. And there’s the leg length problem. And there’s the fact that my glasses are whack. While I was skiing, I struggled the whole time to keep my feet in line and to remain upright.

Once I got to Bella (who loves deep snow, bless her little Jeep heart) and turned on my car, Mohammed’s Radio was playing the Byrd’s, “Turn Turn Turn.” “Fuck that,” was my first thought.

I was hurt, but not injured, if that makes any sense. I’m still not walking great and so on and so forth. There are bruises around my ankle where my legs threw themselves against my boots in the second fall day before yesterday.

The thing is, I want to go back out today, but can’t because of my ski binding and my body. The store says I should bring them in and that’s right, but today’s not the day. I want to change them out for automatic bindings that I don’t have to bend over to close or open. That’s what I always had (once I’d given up 3 pin bindings which are OK with me, too). When a person has balance problems, bending down to close something on the ground isn’t always a great idea.

On the other hand, I have begun to wonder if it’s just time to give up. As things are right now, I’m barely walking, but I know it will be better tomorrow and the next day. The thing is, if you can’t endure falls, don’t ski. 3 falls in two days.

I am still superstitiously haunted by Bella’s spooky radio and The Byrd’s singing, “Turn, Turn, Turn” is a semi-quote of Ecclesiastes 3. No one knows who wrote Ecclesiastes, but there is a case made for it having been written by King Solomon. In any case, these are wise words, and a part of Ecclesiastes 3 that isn’t often shared. I don’t know any rock songs about this:

“…10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God.”

The part we all know is a lesson in acceptance: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”

It’s strange we don’t go around saying, “I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and do good while they live.” Personally, I think it would be cool if we did.

I expect that I will take the skis to the shop next Monday and see if I can switch the bindings. I don’t think I’m psychically ready to give up, but the problem is, it might be physical wisdom to hang up my skis. Life seems to be a process of becoming someone else all the damned time. I remember being young and wanting to “find myself.” The thing is whoever that “self” is, it’s like the horizon.

Like this little poem by Stephen Crane. I used to read it one way; that we have the right to pursue our dreams and no one has the right to stop us (Take that mom). Now I just think it’s a smart, experienced person talking to a child.

“I saw a man pursuing the horizon”

I saw a man pursuing the horizon; 
Round and round they sped. 
I was disturbed at this;   
I accosted the man. 
“It is futile,” I said, 
“You can never —” 

“You lie,” he cried,   
And ran on.

20 thoughts on “Another Damned Growth Opportunity?

  1. I’m so sad to think you might give up the skiing. Perhaps new glasses and then new bindings and life will look better – Poof! I’m hoping the changes will come fairly quickly but I’m not holding my breath…

    • The bindings will be a big deal. We’ll see. 🙂 What I hope is that more money in the pockets of lower and middle class Americans brings the “other side” around. I’m grateful we have a Dem Senate so Biden can move along with his agenda.

  2. I don’t know, Martha. I’m torn between cheering you on and saying, ‘maybe your body is trying to tell you something.’ Hopefully the new bindings work and that little voice says, “Ah, this is what we were waiting for.’

    • I’m hoping for that, too, but I also know the bindings aren’t going to change my body. I’m not taking any action right now. It seems like something to sleep on and think over. I mean just because a person isn’t asking for much doesn’t mean it’s still not more than they can have.

  3. I haven’t heard that song at the end of your post in quite a while, and I never knew the lyrics beyond the chorus of “Forever Young” but how nostalgic it was to see the big hair and red pant suits of my teenage years.

    I’ve had to make a few adjustments in the recent years to what I ‘can’ do and what is a thing of my past. Driving after dark has become quite difficult. It used to be I thought nothing of getting in my car and hitting the road at any hour. Now, with the changes in my eyesight and these flashes of light I occasionally get, well, it’s safer for everyone if I’m not tooling on a highway at 70 when these issues crop up. That said, you are at least only endangering yourself when you are on skies. Is there such a thing as wider skies? Or something that would help with your balance–besides not trying to stand on a slick surface, I mean? Perhaps you can explore those tennis rackets people put on their feet. What are they called? Snow shoes. Or, maybe get a padded suit, so when you fall, you land soft? (I’m full of useless advice nobody asked for. I take pride in this.) Whatever you choose to do, be kind to yourself. It is hard enough aging and facing those changes without doing it with forgiveness of your body or mind for its inability to stay forever young.

    • Thank you. I’m not sure yet what I’m going to do. I’ve been thinking all day of the toll the past four years — and especially this past year — might have taken on my psychic confident and even physical conditioning. I have snow shoes but I’ve never used them 😀

      I hope your eyes are OK 😦 all that is scary.

  4. You go girl. Keep doing for as long as you can. I did think about one leg a bit shorter and wondered if you were skiing in circles (sorry I had to) thanks for joining in Martha 🙂

  5. My suggestion is to find easier skiing, then work your way up. Conditioning doesn’t happen quickly. Maybe put a 1/2 in. spacer between the binding and the board for the shorter leg.

    • I take what I can get as far as snow conditions go. I’ll ask the ski shop when I take them in if they can help with rectify the difference in leg length somehow. Really, it would have been OK if I’d been able to get back on the skis, but I couldn’t.

    • The snow is soft. If I fall where there is much snow, the ground is a little hard. Getting up is awkward but no big deal, but getting the ski back on isn’t easy on the snow in the first place and a lot harder when the binding doesn’t work. BUT the first day out I took a pretty hard fall. Nothing major but all of this has been discouraging. I think these last four years and this past year in particular have drained my psychic energy and made it harder to take things in stride (no pun intended but it’s pretty good anyway).

      • Maybe you just need to do things that are easy and relaxing for a while, Martha. From what you’ve said, I do not think the skiing is beyond you. However fighting with the binding, is a fight you don’t need to have at the moment. 🙂

  6. How are you doing now Martha? I may sound a bit protective but it worries me if you’re alone and not able to get up. I say all of this because of my balance and depth perception issues and the many times I’m asked, “Are you going alone? Do you have your phone?”…I’ve never been on skis on snow~only water. It’s maddening when you can’t do the things you’re used to doing without too many obstacles. It burns and I think for me, the last four years have attributed to my sense of higher degree burns. I was so happy yesterday that I cried during inauguration ceremonies. And today, after a great morning of writing, I was ready to hit the trails. A former full time RVer and friend from St. Louis (she is 67 and her balance way better than mine) was visiting and wanted to go too. I was going down 312 rock steps to get to the grotto and felt frustrated with my skills. I ALMOST tumbled a time and then my leg was so weak from fear of falling that I was unsure of my steps. I’m going to gain it back and do my best. I’ll adjust as I need and stay smart on how much I think I can do. I think of my 14er in Colorado and all my times hiking many beautiful and dangerous places. I still think I can do it~just need some safety procedures in place. If your body doesn’t cooperate with new adjustments I foresee dog sledding in the future (a girl can dream 🐶🥰). I love the verses you included. I’ve been a bit beaten up in the soul by the attacks I’ve seen. I’ll never understand those that complicate the simplicity of God and his love. I’ll keep striving to stay balanced and not go in circles ~and I know you will too. I know I’m a “little”distance from you, but if you ever needed us, Finn and I would be there. 🐾❤️♥️

    • ❤ Oh Karla. This means so much to me. I had a lot of thinking to do today and I'm going to get my bindings fixed and I'm going to get my glasses fixed. They're "graduated lenses" so really bifocals and if they're NOT lined up right things can be weird. I go without them a lot. In the meantime I've decided to return to my simple yoga practice and hope for the best.

      These past four years have been awful. I didn't realize HOW awful (we hold our shit together, right?) until I saw all those nice people none of whom were wearing ugly clothes, and they were all acting normal and not drawing attention to themselves, just doing the business of a dignified and gentle inauguration. I wept during the memorial for the Covid-19 victims because all the lies thrown out in front of it like a dense smokescreen has been confusing emotionally — anger and frustration at the lies or sorrow for the family members and friends who are lost forever? Emotions can help provide clarity but if they are confused by the reality of a moment, it's really hard and really stressful for me. Definitely, as you say, "beaten up in the soul." I was raised to believe my emotions didn't matter to anyone, but I learned through therapy they are part of what I need to understand reality. Oh us humans are complicated.

      Anyway, I'm also going to pursue snowshoeing. It's really about getting out during my favorite season. It doesn't have to be skiing, but walking in deep snow isn't really much fun. Thank you for your loving message. Scratch Finn's ears for me. ❤

      • I’m so glad you’re good. ❤️What a great plan you have! And Finn loved the ear scratch. Us Missouri gals send love and prayers to you everyday. You’re the “realest” person I know. 🤗❣️

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