Monday, February 20, 2012

Upside down

HWMNBMOTI and I were both experiencing some back pain this weekend and got to talking about inversion beds and my visceral response was this big fear of a headache. You see... I can't really be upside down anymore.

But this is a huge change from an earlier time in my life. I spent my entire childhood upside down. I was a cartwheel, monkey bars girl. I spent hours every day cartwheeling or walking on my hands. I loved rides, especially ones that flipped me over.

Then... and I identify the timing as my first pregnancy, suddenly several of the things that USED to really thrill me... speed, heights, spinning... no longer worked for me. There was this strange fear and really negative physical response to all these things I used to LOVE.

I think what happens is a function of biology, actually. I think when we become responsible for another human being, our physical response to risk-taking gets more negative.


It got me thinking about perspective in writing. It made me think about the challenges to writing a point of view from a different age and what the markers are that would change how we see things. I think we always need to be cognizant of events that might change responses to keep them realistic.

So that is it today... my very brief thought on how how we feel about things changes as we get older. At seventeen I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. Would I do that now? NO WAY. Part of it is the reality of aged bones and poorer physical condition, but much more of it is that fading sense of immortality.

15 comments:

Trisha said...

I'm pretty sure my sense of immortality faded when I was still a teen. haha. I'm one of those weirdos who'd leap at the chance to risk my life in at least one way - going into outer space. My dad is the same way. My mum and brother, however, have always been staunchly against this idea.

Old Kitty said...

Lovely Tart! When I was 17, I could live on an hour's sleep and still look GORGEOUS the next day. These days if I don't get my eight and a half hours minimum sleep, I am not only Ms Crankypants, I am Medusa on a really really really bad hair day! LOL!

You are beautifully mature and still most NAKED! Take care
x

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I loved those spinning rides at the fair. Boy, I sure can't get on spinning rides now...

kimberlyloomis said...

So very true. I do think that some things, like perception of movement, irrevocably shift in pregnancy, too. Even getting on a swing at a playground is enough to make my stomach bottom out and I used to be a monkey bar, cartwheel kinda gal myself. Still, I love how thought provoking this post it. Makes me ponder some possible changes to the wip.

Nancy said...

I had thought about my lack of desire to do a lot of those adrenaline pumping things in terms of parenthood but I had not considered that perhaps it is a physiological response to those kids. Makes sense, it's their fault I can't ride spinny rides anymore :).

Hart Johnson said...

Trisha-outer space, huh? I don't have desires there. I guess I don't think of it as risky, so much as free of nature and I like nature... green... water...

Jenny-yeah, I remember being able to do that, too... been a long time now...

Elizabeth-glad at least I'm not alone!

Kimberly-Yeah, I've had that swing reaction if I go too high. I used to be able to swing for hours.

Nancy-yeah-blame the kids!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Crap, I wouldn't jump out of a perfectly good airplane no matter what age! Wasn't ever a thrill seeker though. Spinning stuff didn't bother me as much when I was younger as it does now, so age has a lot to do with the changes.

Johanna Garth said...

I was thinking about this same thing while I was on the swings with the kids a week ago.

When is it that swinging to the top went from amazing to nausea inducing? And what's the writing equivelant to swinging as high as you can go? Lovely questions.

Jenny said...

So glad I'm not the only one who has recently discovered this shift! My kids want me to swing on the swings beside them at the park, and do roller coasters at Six Flags and my stomach and nerves- once absolutely fine with this- just can't take it. Huh. But I'm with Alex on the airplane point, though. Never have been that kind of thrill seeker! I love knowing others who are/once were, though! :)

Hope you have a great week!

Ketutar said...

Hmm... Thinking about Leni Riefenstahl... Now, that was a woman!

Anyway, I saw these and for some weird, unexplainable reason I thought about you...
http://pzrservices.typepad.com/vintageadvertising/2008/05/vintage-ads-f-4.html
;-)

Marjorie said...

I know just how you feel! When I had Isabella all sense of indestructibility went away. Though I wouldn't have jumped out of an airplane at any age.

Helena said...

What a profound post! And yes, I too have grown more cautious with age so that now I have to push myself to do more daring stuff. But when I do get gutsy, I'm happier and feel so hot and ALIVE. You, on the other hand, are more daring and free with nakedness, whereas all I can think of is my cellulite...

Ellie Garratt said...

A post that's made me think. As a child I approached everything with a sense of wonder and little fear. Need to remember that in my YA novel!

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Hi Hart! Dang, sorry to hear about your computer having problems. I'm so glad that you were able to stop over and say hi to me though.

When I hit 18, rides started to make me dizzy, so I can totally relate. Now I won't even try to go snow skiing though we only live 1/2 from Mt. Bachelor, because I don't want to risk breaking my ankle!

Have a great week, and I hope that your back is already feeling better.

Kathy M.

vbtremper said...

I think you're onto something there. Fading sense of mortality + responsibility for other human beings. I was never much into roller coasters (unlike my own kids), but I went through a cartwheel phase and I'd practice for hours along a jumprope so I could someday do a cartwheel on a balance beam. I didn't succeed before fear of heights kicked in.

Great point about perspective!
-Vicki