Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I don't feel too old

I came down hard and heard a pop.

Then there was a sharp pain in my right ankle.  My right foot had slyly and selfishly turned in to escape the impact of the landing, failing it's close neighbor, the ankle, which was left to absorb the shock.  While feet excel at this, ankles do not.  This explains the pain.

I was on a trampoline, which is good because it had more give than any ground I've ever met, though had I been on the ground, I would not have been falling through the air and therefore would not have needed the give.

In any case, the ankle was sprained.

The next day at my office, my supervisor, upon seeing the crutch leaning against the wall near my desk, pointed to it and furrowed her brow.

"I sprained my ankle yesterday," I said.  She continued to look at me and her brow continued to be furrowed.

"I was on a trampoline," I went on, expecting this to be enough, expecting her eyebrows to raise, her head to nod, and her feet to take her away from my desk.  Perhaps she would even say "ahhh," as she did it, to confirm that she now understood completely.

Instead, her brow was as furrowed as ever, her eyes squinted, her head turned, and her mouth broke into a small smile.  It was as if I had just told the punchline of a joke.  It was not, however, a joke.  My ankle hurt.

I was confused at her reaction.  I expected some combination of amusement and compassion at the telling of my tale, but this was more like amusement and skepticism, or even judgement.

"Am I too old for that story?" I asked, joking, of course, but not knowing why else should would be looking at me that way.

"Yes.  You're in a new age bracket now, Katie," was her response.

She laughed and walked away.

I was shocked.  I'm still shocked.

I've never been too old to do something before, or at least something that I've actually wanted to do.  I had come to believe that the changing list of activities that occupies one's time is not related to an external set of rules, but the dynamic interests, desires, and priorities of a growing person.  I thought that jumping on a trampoline was an acceptable behavior until my desire to jump on a trampoline had faded, which was not now.  But, here I was, being chuckled at.  Was my theory incorrect?  Is it fantasy to believe that I can do whatever I'd like to do, as long as I'm able?

I certainly hope that she is wrong and not me. If I am wrong, and I am every day losing the ability to participate in youthful activities, I hope there is a guide somewhere - a book that can tell me everyday which activities I should avoid, if I wish to also avoid the chuckles.

fellow synchrobloggers' posts:
The Next Long Haul
outer door

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