So many of the women interviewed for DON'T FORGET YOUR SWEATER, GIRL shared stories about falling, or as they prefer, tripping over something. All agreed, falling can be the death knell to happiness. Falls result in broken legs, hospital stays and can take away the joy of living. Again, it’s well known throughout the research that as one ages we don’t lift our feet as high above the ground when walking as when we were younger. Just a few minutes ago I saw my neighbor, Betty, leaving her house sporting a wrist cast. I believe she’s around 70 or so. What happened, I asked? Her story, was a sad one that included two grueling surgeries, pins and metal plates. She showed me three visible aluminum pins sticking up from all sides of her cast. She told me she wished she hadn’t looked up at the men cutting palm trees when crossing the street to the Del Coronado Hotel. Not paying much attention to her immediate surroundings, her sneaker caught a fixture in the road and caused her to fall hard onto the pavement, crushing her right arm with the bulk of her body. She broke three bones in a variety of places. “This has been pure hell. I can’t even open up a container of yogurt without help. I’ll have this damn thing on for another six weeks,” she moaned. Now, because of her story this morning as well as the cautionary “tripping” advice from our interviewees, I walk with a purpose, try not to rush, attempt to be present and above all practice my balance every day.
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