Springfield All-stars 1996

Springfirld All-stars 1996

DisneyWorld Florida, before the UCA competition

On aging…

While working at the nursing home tonight, I was talking to some ladies, and wanted to center a blog on it, only I can’t remember exactly what was said.  It was really funny though.  It was something about still laughing to know that you’re still living…and it was so silly!  We were all cracking up and sitting close like a throw-back to high school.  High school, so long back ago.

It makes me feel so old.

On Facebook my friend that was on my all-star cheerleading squad posted a picture of a much sassier, prettier me, wearing Minnie Mouse ears in DisneyWorld before a competition in Florida.  Pre-car accident, and it feels like a whole other life to me.  It was a whole other life, over half my lifetime has past since that picture was taken, (if that makes sense) The picture was taken 17 years ago, (I was 16 when I was in that life changing accident) and I am 33 years old now.  Forever ago, right?

I look at those high school cheerleading years as my “glory days”.  I miss them, when I had it all, lots of friends, lots of social life, before I got old and before my car accident.  Not only was I on the high school team, but also that Competition squad that was in the picture.  My accident aged me, I felt when I was back in school the following year that I had so much more knowledge about what was really important than what the ‘normal kids’  had at that time in their lives.  I’ll admit it, before my car accident I was caught up in all those high school things, like writing down what I wore each day to school so as not to ‘repeat an outfit’ in like 3 weeks time.  But afterwards, I had to concentrate on WALKING, and how to actually learn, instead of balancing my cheerleading practices, homework, and long phone conversations.

When I returned to school a year later, I felt like I was actually 27 instead of 17.  Like I had so much more life experience, and couldn’t really relate to everything my senior friends were talking about.  They were talking about what happened over the weekend, and I didn’t really ‘go out’.  Sure I went out with all my senior friends for ice cream in Old Towne Alexandria in the beginning of when i got home, but I couldn’t really ‘walk around old town’ or really drive around hoping in and out of the car, from one friends house to another.  And the football games.  A Friday night ritual that everyone would go to.  Where you’d see all your friends, it was just like an extension of the school day.  But this was different- I wasn’t on the track, doing cheers, I had to be in the stands.  And with my physical limitations, I was walking with under arm crutches, (my Psychical Therapist thought it would look more high school “normal” like I just had an athletic injury, like a sprained ankle or something) and in actuality, the under the arm crutches did provide more mobility than a walker, that i was using before school started.   Although it made bleachers really tough.  Not only did I have the issue of watching where I step and making wide steps, but i also had a balance issue, with no free hands to grab onto anyone.  So I stopped going to games.  It was too hard to climb up that big hill and run around trying to socialize with everyone.  I felt old physically, as well as beyond my years with the social talk.  I ended up spending many of my weekend nights at home with my parents.

It made me feel so old.

Plus, all this back/shoulder pain I’ve currently been experiencing… my yoga teacher is giving me exercises to relieve this built-up tension from stress, but it does make me realize that my aging body isn’t as limber as it used to be  .And now, out for my morning athletic walks with my dog (after he does his business) I would see other middle aged women doing their morning walks.  But I tell myself that I am different, I’m walking my dog and listening to my music, admiring the beautiful spring landscape that is set out before me.  I hope not to reach middle age for another 10 years.  Look at this though, when my mom was my age, I was already like 6 years old.  Makes me again feel old.

I guess aging is just one of those inevitable things, something that we can never change.  And you will never be as young as you were at this present moment.  So appreciate every moment that you have today, because you can’t ever get today back.  Enjoy each day of living today as much as you possibly can.  As long as you’re still laughing, you know that you’re still living and as long as you’re still living, you should still be laughing.

About Danielle!

A young professional Longwood University alum, with a traumatic brain injury having previously worked in the Therapeutic Recreation field with the elderly at nursing homes in Fairfax, VA. Now as a TBI advocate, trying to help others learn more about TBIs is involved in support groups, as well as very involved in my church, child care, and working part-time at a library
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1 Response to Springfield All-stars 1996

  1. Such a real post. We are older. All of us, always from the day, hour, minute before! I know you know this. You have overcome so much already. There is a lot more living to do!

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