Yet another ‘old guy’ body betrayal

Column by Michael Alcorn
Posted 2/5/20

So, I recently injured myself. I would love to say it was a great story, that I was engaged in some amazing feat of athletic prowess and simply pushed my body beyond the limits of what the human body …

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Yet another ‘old guy’ body betrayal

Posted

So, I recently injured myself.

I would love to say it was a great story, that I was engaged in some amazing feat of athletic prowess and simply pushed my body beyond the limits of what the human body is supposed to do.

But, no. I was taking a step backwards.

Sure, I was playing basketball at the time, but all I was doing, at the moment of truth, was turning around to catch the inbounds pass. After giving up a basket to my guy. Injury to insult.

That’s when I felt something in the bottom of my foot go “pop,” and that’s that. Ruptured plantar fascia. Crutch for four weeks. No normal activities for six weeks.

There are many bad parts of this, not the least of which is this is a quintessentially “old guy” kind of injury. This is not the sort of thing that happens to 30 year olds. High ankle sprains, pulled hamstrings, torn Achilles … these things happen to young athletes. Ruptured plantar fascia, that’s an old guy thing.

But I have to say the worst part is that something so small and, to be honest, inconsequential to me for the first 50 years of my life has completely disrupted my world. I really had no idea how inconvenient this could be. To not be able to trust your feet is a troubling thing for a guy who likes to take the stairs two or three at a time, and who (on account of always running late) tends to hop over things and move at a half jog most of my life. Not to mention how hard it is to operate with only one hand.

As I go from school to school for my job, I carry a backpack and at least one musical instrument, and, as I’m exiting my car, I usually throw things over my shoulder while walking away from the car after kicking the car door shut, only pointing the keys back to lock the doors once I’ve hit my stride. Not so much these days.

Because, believe it or not, it’s really the smallest things, the things we take for granted, the everyday mundane, have-to-work kind of things that throw us off our equilibrium the most when they fail.

I think that’s why I have the limited view of government that I do. I don’t want the government to do all that much. But, dang it, do the things you do really well, please.

We count on the government to keep food and water safe. Ask the people of Flint, Michigan what happens when you can’t trust what comes out of your faucet. We count on the government to keep the roads safe and functional. And, as I’ve written about once or twice this year already (and am likely to want to write about more after this week’s storm), when those aren’t working right, it really throws us off. We want the government to keep the lights on, the keep the communication systems operational, and to keep us informed of big things going on. That would be great, thank you.

When those pieces of the puzzle aren’t working, none of the rest of the civilization holds together. And, for me, I prefer a government that focuses on keeping those things working. Save your crusades against plastic straws and campaigns to provide free needles to illegal drug users for that day and time when everything else is ship shape. I want government to focus on being able to walk from one place to another with minimal assistance before it worries about the color of accessories it puts on civilization.

The simple things have to work. If we can’t manage that, if we spend our time getting caught up in trivialities, well, maybe that explains why our society is almost all as grumpy as I am these days.

Michael Alcorn is a teacher and writer who lives in Arvada with his wife and three children. His new novel, “Charon’s Blade,” is available at Amazon.com, on Kindle, or through MichaelJAlcorn.com.” His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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