A Lighter View . . . The air chunk
By Karen M. Morris
By Karen M. Morris
I think my body is trying to tell me something. I went to the movies, and when I got up to get some popcorn, my joints creaked so bad I sounded like a one man marching band. And Ive noticed my head looks like a tiny grape on top of a cupcake, and my feet look underpowered for the load. Lets face it; Im so out of shape that I get winded rolling over in bed.
Oh, Ive tried to fool myself. Id stand in front of the mirror and push my shoulders back and suck my stomach in. But Ive had an epiphany: not even a dork stands like this, and I cant hold my breath longer than 30 seconds. If I didnt do something soon, Id be doing guest appearances as the Pillsbury Dough Boys mom. But what should I do?
I already had enough exercise equipment to start my own chain of health clubs. I started with the purchase of an old 78 vinyl record. The album cover had a picture of a woman named Barbara in a bathing suit and leg warmers. She had a big smile with lots of teeth and her hair looked like cotton candy. I couldnt wait to get home at night to exercise with Barbara.
In no time, she had me prancing around the house, incorporating such cutting-edge aerobic moves like butterfly legs and chicken wings into my routine. I think the only reason I lost weight was because I couldnt eat as I fluttered and flopped around the room.
When my Barbara record got scratched, I sold her at a garage sale and moved on to a stationary bike. It wasnt the same. I spent more time trying to hook myself up to the heart monitor than pedaling, and this two-wheeled monster was harder to mount than a galloping horse. One day the handle bars went berserk and started hitting me in the head (repeatedly), so I had to get rid of the bike before it killed me. It was like those docudramas on TV: When good exercise equipment goes bad.
Next came a rubber-backed chair that I sat on while watching a tape of a man yelling, Bend, twist, bend, twist. I got so dizzy, I had to seek medical attention. And then came the weight machine. What was I thinking there? I get muscle spasms lifting a breath mint.
If I wanted to be at the top of my game again, I was going to have to start a disciplined exercise routine. But I was through with all the commercial exercise contraptions and gizmos. Id become a purist and urban warrior. I would pit myself against the savage forces of nature and take up brisk walking.
My first day of training was spent hoofing it around the mall looking for cute sports underwear and CDs for my Walkman. I bought arch supports for my shoes and a Hibiscus plant which has nothing to do with walking but was on sale.
It rained on day two and three, so I couldnt walk because high humidity makes my hair frizzy. On day four, Wayne called my walking program exercise lite and gave me a walking stick to display with my collection of abandoned exercise paraphernalia.
Undaunted, I got my sunglasses, hat, and Walkman and started out for my exer-strolling. The winds were out of the north at 5-10 mph. The sky was slightly overcast, and the temperature was a comfortable 72 degrees. It was 9 a.m. Swinging my arms, I smiled at the world as I cruised along the sidewalk that paralleled a busy street. I breezed past people trapped in their cars, driving at a snails pace. I felt so alive.
And then it happened. A chunk of air appeared out of nowhere and tripped me. I felt myself lurching forward in slow motion. Stretching my arms out, I tried to break the fall by sacrificing copious amounts of soft tissue. It was futile. Slowly, my hands hit the pavement, and then my body curled into the fetal position and flung itself onto the pavement. I rolled like a cheap penny into the grass.
Hurt and humiliated, I quickly jumped back up and started walking. I was in a lose-lose situation. I was upset that no one stopped to help me, but if someone had, I would have been totally mortified and denied ever falling. Limping home with bloody knees and elbows, I kept my eyes peeled for any more chunks of air. It was 9:10 am.
Let this be a warning; air chunks can attack even when unprovoked. They can strike anywhere and without warning. Last year, millions of people were injured in their homes, workplace, and yes, even their bathtubs by this public menace. Never underestimate the air chunk-just ask my body.