Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting in touch


I’ve hurt my shoulders a lot. It comes from doing things like playing hockey (fracture, torn rotator cuff), football with friends (dislocated clavicle), bike accident (torn rotator cuff on the other side). Well, needless to say, I haven’t spent much time working on my dunking skills since high school.

See, when I was a teenager (yes, it was a while ago) I used to go around seeing what things I could reach just by jumping. I had a pretty good vertical leap (not great, not even average for an athlete, despite being an athlete), and I always tested myself. I could easily jump and hit the ceiling of my house, most of the school classrooms, signs, expensive doorjambs, you name it.

Enter college, a decade and more than fifty pounds, and let’s just say I haven’t been jumping to test my vertical leap that much. In fact, I’d kind of just written off that whole aspect of my life. No, I’m not sedentary, but both my mother and my sister gave up their sport of choice in their mid thirties, so I’ve been starting to feel, well, old.

Put out to pasture, even.

I know it’s silly, and that attitudes change (yeah, my 60 year old mom now goes to dance conventions where they dance from 10 am to 2 am for three days straight, so clearly her throwing in the towel for soccer might have been a touch premature).

Still I’ve been feeling a little wore out and over the hill (I’m not, I’m just feeling that way, and if you are too, you might like this video).

So there I am doing a work out, trying to pump myself up to get it done, when in comes my crazy curiosity. Can I touch the ceiling in here?

The ceiling in that room is a decent jump, and I didn’t really think I could. I mean, yeah, in high school I could have touched that ceiling, but I ain’t exactly in high school anymore, if you know what I mean. I lined it up and took a leap.

I missed.

I did it again.

I missed again.

I’m pretty stubborn, and that ceiling was pretty close, so I jumped again.

And I missed again.

I don’t know where I’d gotten it in my mind that touching the ceiling was some sort of bench mark for old. If I could touch it then I was awesome, but if that ceiling remained out of reach, then I was doomed to grow old and die unsatisfied.

I know it was dumb, but that stupid ceiling now had something I wanted back. Some part of my life that I’d let slip by somehow, and that damned ceiling had it. Wisdom, grace, youth—I don’t know, I just knew that it had it.

I stepped back and thought about how I used to jump, how I used to move with freedom.

Then I jumped and touched the ceiling.

Complete euphoria. I might as well have won a gold medal with that leap. I fist pumped and everything (cause I am a nerd). I may have even hollered out my victory roar. In my mind I heard the 80s music as the credits roll.

Yeah, I know it’s silly, but it was such an incredible feeling.

Ever have that moment of complete euphoria? (though I suspect mine’s the only one for touching a silly ceiling).

11 comments:

Kelley Lynn said...

What a great story! I would have clapped for you. Then tried myself and since I'm short (with no vertical) I wouldn't have got it.

I recently started up soccer again. I played from age 5 to 18. From ages 12 to 18 it was year round, serious stuff. In college I played every fall in intramural. Then I stopped. Four months ago, after two years off, I picked it back up again. GOSH does it feel good. :)

elizabeth seckman said...

I have read my blogs while walking on my treadmill for two weeks now, cause I was feeling like you. I have gone from the slow 2 to a 3. It's not much, but I earned it and I'm proud of it!

Angela Cothran said...

Celebrate all small victories!

Rena said...

Thanks. I felt totally silly posting it, but I sort of felt like it was important (that was the whole fist pumping part)

Rena said...

Every step is important. I've been way off lately, but I'm trying to take the little steps that lead to a better me.

And for real, a full number jump is huge on those machines. I remember feeling all awesome at wailing on a 3 and I decided to do a 4 instead... yeah, that didn't end well.

Rena said...

Yes, that's my feeling too. It's hard, but it's important.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

That's awesome! I do know how you feel, (although I couldn't have hit the ceiling even in high school.) My grandma used to say that you expect to feel different, wiser, when you get older- but you don't. You pretty much always feel eighteen. I'm starting to see how right she was. :)

Daisy Carter said...

You've inspired me to do something that keeps nagging me - to do this yoga pose I used to be able to do in college. It's gonna take some serious practice to get back to that, but I've felt lately that I've just gotten old. And I'm NOT old! My body just feels that way because I've let it sit on its "laurels" too much!

Thanks! And congrats! I might have to go out and see if I can still do a cartwheel, too!

Rena said...

OMG, I feel so eighteen right now. I always expected some sort of horn blowing or something, but I'm still awkward and uncomfortable. The only thing that's changed is I've decided to do the things I want to even when I feel awkward and uncomfortable.

Where's my wisdom?

Rena said...

Eeek, Cartwheels! Those are dangerous. I tried one a long time ago, and that was... humbling.

Jenny S. Morris said...

This is silly but getting on a bike and riding again for the first time in forever. I closed my eyes (not for too long) and in that moment I was in 4th grade and I could ride my bike all day long. It felt good. ;0)