Wednesday, February 11, 2009

On giving up my rollerblades - the sequel

Posted by Terry McNichols

This post is a rerun, but I will preface it by saying that I haven't yet actually gotten rid of the rollerblades. In spite of this July post, I have had a difficult time with letting go of this tangible proof that I am not an old lady! The rollerblades still take up space in my tiny attic, waiting for me to finally make a decision. I'm afraid that my resolve to get rid of the "stuff" in my life is not as strong as the need to hold on to this semblance of youth and virility. Maybe when the crocuses bloom and the promise of spring impels me to clean out my attic.... Anyone out there looking for a very slightly used pair of great rollerblades? 8-1/2 to 9, complete with knee and elbow pads!

As I recover from my knee surgery (all my resolve wasn't enough to heal meniscus tears on both sides of my knee), I have come to a sad conclusion. It is time to sell my rollerblades. I bought these fancy skates, and all the trimmings, when Ken was working in Duluth, Minnesota, and I needed to find a way to fill my days. I walked along the downtown waterfront trail in Duluth watching all the rollerbladers and I knew that I could do it. I had been an accomplished roller skater in the days of my youth, spending an entire summer camped near a roller rink in Montana, skating every night. The roller skating rink was considered an "in" place to be in those days. I had no worries about my ability to skate. Stopping was another matter, and I practiced my stops before I got very brave on the skates. But I was right -- it all came back to me and I loved skating.

Shortly after our return to life and work as we now know it, I was skating around the local lake. But at just about that time, an acquaintance about my age was mowed down by young kids while skating around that same lake. She had major injuries and a long recovery. I put my skates up on the shelf for awhile, just to think about it. In a nutshell, I got cold feet!

I realize that many people over the age of 60 are still very active in the sports of their youth, but what happened for me is that I couldn't help but weigh the costs. Skating was fun, but I wasn't really all that stable on the skates, and the threat of major trauma scared me a lot. It wasn't the pain or the recovery that worried me, but the possibility that I would not fully recover and give up some of the things that I hope to do for many more years -- like walk! I have not totally given up all activities -- I still bike in spite of a fall a couple of years ago that was quite nasty. Some things still feel worth the risk.

But I think the skates have got to go. Four months of not being able to take my beloved exercise walks have been hard on me, and hard on my exercise partner, Ken! We both are feeling lethargic and out of shape. We still have a lot of travel we'd like to do, and these things must all be weighed. I've kept the skates tucked away in a corner of our attic, just waiting.... It's time. This is one of the necessary losses of my own aging journey.

No comments: