We bodacious baby boomers still have a lot of living to do, but we’re on the cusp of that age where we have to start worrying about falls. Any injury can make us feel like the Tim Conway character, Mr. Tudball, shuffling over to Mrs. Wiggins. The truth is that any fall, big or small, can steal that bodaciousness. Perception is everything.
Why do I share this with you? If you’re like most bodacious baby boomers, you may come to that point where you suddenly fear the Great Fall. Any injury in a fall shakes your confidence in your ability to navigate your world. It begins to sap your courage every time you go to take a step. Whether you go down on your keister on black ice or you take a slide down a mountain, the result is still the same. You start to doubt yourself. What if you don’t put your foot where it belongs? What if you fall again?
Recognize that it actually takes longer to heal physically when you’re a baby boomer. While you’re recovering, muscles go lax from lack of exercise, and that’s when baby boomers become old geezers. It’s easy to get discouraged when it seems to take forever to heal. Getting back in the saddle and riding again after that horse bucked you sends your body the message that you can overcome the obstacles in life. That doesn’t mean you have to ride the same stallion that tossed you. Leave “Wild Thing” in the barn and mount “Old Reliable”. The important thing is to ride again!
As someone who regularly works out, I’ve had my share of injuries and I’m a big believer in keeping up with physical therapy after medical treatment. Recovery from a fall is more than just being able to walk again. It’s about getting back in the game mentally. Pain can often deter us from the path we want to take. We hesitate, we question our own decisions, we hold back when we really want to move forward, all because we fear it will happen again. This is a scary concept, especially for women who have to worry about bone density. Any residual pain or limitations from a fall leave us quivering over the potential for another, more serious fall. Maybe next time it will be the Great Fall.
How does a bodacious baby boomer get back the needed confidence after a fall? That’s a head game, and the only way to overcome that is to have a realistic view of your actual physical limitations and capabilities after a fall. If it’s going to take time to recover functionality after a fall, do what you have to do, even if it means installing grab bars in the bathroom or a railing on the front porch to avoid another fall while you’re healing.
Bodacious baby boomers know that we need to get past our fear of falls, but we don’t do that by being in denial. If you can’t dance the way you did before you hit the ground, you’re not going to make it on this season’s “Dancing with the Bodacious Baby Boomers”. That doesn’t mean you can’t make it for next season. Do what you have to do, however long it takes, to get back what you realistically can after a fall. Keep at it and keep on your toes. After all, you’re bodacious, baby!