As a writer, I like to think I’m supple and agile when it comes to storylines. I like to think I can twist and turn a plot in all sorts of directions. I like to think I can write stories that are twinkle-toed, able to make sudden changes of direction in an instant.
If only the rest of me displayed the same suppleness and agility.
Yes, that’s right. I just received another one of those happy little reminders, telling me that my body is not what it once was.
Here’s how it happened. I was mowing the lawn. Not one of my favourite tasks at the best of times. One I always try to put off for as long as I can. But every so often, I glance out the window and the state of the lawns just can’t be denied. Much as I know I’ll regret it, I need to take the mower out.
This time, I regretted it far more than usual.
So there I was, out on the lawn with the lawnmower. Of course, my main motivation was to get the job done as quickly as I could (the threatening rain clouds providing further encouragement in that regard). And because (at least in my head) I’m still fit and supple and agile, I paid little heed to any limitations I might face. I pushed the mower up and down as if it were a yo-yo. I spun it round corners and flicked it past the range of obstacles strewn over the lawn, oblivious to any potential ramifications to my physical wellbeing.
I felt a little tremor in my back.
Just a little one. No reason to stop. Gotta get the job finished.
Actually maybe not that little. Actually, ooouuch, but still gotta get that job finished. I’m young and agile and supple. Nothing is going to stop me.
OUCH. Something is going to stop me.
Since then, I’ve been pretty much laid out. It’s slowly starting to get better, and I’m slowly starting to be able to move again. But oh my goodness, what a shock to the system. What a reality check to my current physical state. What a way to discover that lawnmowers hate me as much as I hate them.
So as I continue to recover, I have to reassess my physical condition and the way I approach manual tasks. I have to take into account that I’m no longer the magnificently fit specimen of humanity I once was.
But the good news is, my capacity for incorporating supple and agile plots into my stories will remain undiminished.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as