The Old Coot is unbalanced

Most old coots are balance challenged. Not all the time. Some days we hardly totter at all. But, when it hits, we go reeling. For me, it’s to the left – an awkward step or two before I right the ship. I found a secret solution the other day, while walking into town. Walk faster! My slow pondering pace has me wandering side-to-side and tottering every once in a while. Then I sped up the pace, and presto, my line straightened out and the tottering subsided. 

Then, I stubbed my toe, and went reeling again. “Pick up your feet, stupid.” I scolded myself, remembering my mother often saying that to me when I was a kid, minus the “stupid.” Back then; the issue was being too excited to get somewhere, shooting here and there, my body ahead of my feet. Now it’s the opposite – my body comes lumbering along after my feet choose a route. 

My friend Don is balanced challenged too, even more than me. We are quite a pair, reeling around on a golf course (at least when we’re having a bad balance day). My favorite image out there is when he gets off a huge drive. He’s the longest ball striker in the group. Zing it goes and then he staggers back several steps to the edge of the tee nearly toppling over. “Where did it go?” he asks, never getting to see those great shots. 

Sometimes, on a super “unbalanced” day, he sports a cane. I’m less obvious; I just hang on to my club after a shot and lean on it if I need to. George (the young guy in the group) usually chides me, “Why don’t you put your club back after you take a shot? Tom (the oldest of the group who doesn’t appear to have any balance or other issues) cleans his clubs and puts them away, making my “hang onto the club” habit stand out. I don’t care. I just say I like to maintain a close relationship with my irons. That’s about as lame as the excuse I give when I go reeling down the sidewalk in the village. In that case, I blame it on the uneven sidewalks – especially those old slate ones.  

Us old guys don’t mind these balance issues. We spent our childhood on spinning rides and turning circles on the lawn until we got dizzy and then staggered around, laughing our heads off. Dizzy was fun! We had to work to get it then. Now, it comes for free.

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