By Kevin Duke
“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”
Birthdays used to be full of big dreams and far-off aspirations as milestone years – 16, 18, 21, 30, 40 – were clicked off. Today is yet another anniversary of my birth, and I’m realizing that my outlook on life and living has been metamorphosing.
I was jarred into this transformation two weeks ago when I fell and broke my hip. Yes, my hip – such a typical injury for old people that it’s become a cliche. Okay, so I didn’t fracture the bone slipping on spilled Metamucil or anything, but neither was it anything glorious like a lowside while trying to outbrake another racer for a roadracing championship.
The origin of my injury became somewhat controversial. I had taken my kid out for a spin on her new inline skates at our local park. As a former hockey player, I’m quite adept at rollerblading, and I was enjoying the graceful feeling of arcing a corner while skating backward on a handball court – it’s a lean-into-a-turn feeling akin to riding motorcycles. Then, suddenly, a stray rock removed all grace from my lean, and I crashed down on my left hip. There was pain, of course, but I’d been hurt worse. However, some yet-undetermined damage to my chassis prevented me from getting back to my feet.
So I call up my wife to tell her to dust off my old walker and bring it to the park for me. A fracture to the femoral neck of my hip required three new screws to be added to my internal hardware collection and two nights in the hospital. It also forced me to bow out of a much-anticipated shootout in which we’d be riding sporty bikes to Monterey and …read more