Michelle Ephraim is Associate Professor of English at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Along with fellow Shakespearean Caroline Bicks (Boston College) she writes a humor blog called Everyday Shakespeare. It's delivered fresh Monday-Friday at www.everydayshakespeare.com.


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AUGUST 2, 2010 1:37PM

Aging Without Grace

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O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wreckful siege of battering days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong, but Time decays?
O fearful meditation!
--from Sonnet 65

Ah, Mortality.

Fresh from yet another birthday (Friday), I took a plunge . . .
I mean, a literal plunge. Like off a bridge.

This particular bridge was on The Battle Road Trail in The Minute Man National Park in Concord, MA. It looks like this:

My daughter and I were having a fine time, until we came to this bridge, which was marked with a sign: Walk Your Bike.

“Mommy, it says ‘walk your bike.’”

“Oh, that’s just if the bridge is crowded with walkers. We’re good!”

One moment I’m slowly going around the bridge’s sharp turns; the next, I’m tipping—slowly, excruciatingly slowly—off the bridge, unable to get my foot out of that stupid foot harness.

And then, after that, I hit the ground, five feet below my daughter who is screaming.

Ten minutes later we were back on the path, thanks to some friendly college students. Five hours later, sore as all hell, I’m stunned and grateful that I did not get seriously injured.

Today, I’m totally freaked out about what could have happened, especially because I’m not twenty (or thirty) anymore.

In addition to providing a poor example of following rules and responsible parenting in general, did I just facilitate the gradual, inevitable degradation of my body? Sad face.

Author tags:

family, kids, summer, biking, aging

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