Am I ageist or am I ableist?
I have always walked fast; in fact, my future husband on our first date asked me “Do you always walk so fast?” He was a stroller.
However, I’ve noticed my balance isn’t as good as it was; I’ve also had two minor falls over the last year; one resulted in a badly twisted ankle and small bone chip in my foot. I’m pretty sure my eyesight was the culprit in both – I somehow missed the step.
While I don’t mind saying I’m 76, particularly as long as I can color my hair, the falls give me concern. I’m very inspired now to join a gym and strengthen my functional fitness, as a story in this issue urges.
Author of “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism,” Ashton Applewhite says, “It’s not actually about age – plenty of youngers live with disability and plenty of olders do not.” She says we can learn from the disability rights movement about asking for help, adapting to impairment, and having age pride.
If we live long enough, we will all age into impairment of some kind. There’s a Mexican saying that “the appearance of the bull changes once you’re in the ring.” If or when I reach a point of having to walk slow, or need a cane, walker, or even a wheelchair, I hope I can adapt gracefully and pridefully. And I hope my community is prepared for these adaptations because there are going to be a lot of us. More on that in another column.