Short fall

I remember playing field hockey on a long gone October morning, a breeze on my legs as I chased the ball down the field. Low slung sun rays divided the grass into light and dark, wet and dry, warm and cold. My baggy school shorts showed thighs blotchy red with exertion. For years after the eighth grade, I hated running. I blame the shorts.


“Get changed into your shorts,” the physiotherapist said.

Each visit I explain I do not own such clothing and each time she says “Oh, yes. I forgot.” She pulled a pair from a pile neatly stacked like pancakes and handed them to me.

I would rather walk naked through the waiting room than be seen in public in these shorts, I thought.

Knee length with an elastic waist, they are black sacks made for moving and sweating. Baggy enough to hoist up my leg and tuck into panties so the damaged muscles, joints, and tendons can be massaged. Baggy enough to make my legs look slim. So baggy my bum disappears.

It’s a lie, of course. I wouldn’t walk naked through the waiting room. The mirror I stood in front of confirmed what a bad idea it would be. I focused on the recovering knee and did as instructed – bend, straighten, lift, straighten – a kind of goose step for an old bird. Alas, the shorts reveal all I would like to conceal. Where did those knobs of flesh at the sides of my knees come from? I felt like a tree trunk with knots conveniently placed for climbing.

Physio shorts look good on my husband. When he exercises, I avoid the grunting and sweating as he lifts weights, squats and lunges, elongating his muscles like pie dough. I feel like I’ve eaten fresh lawn clippings I’m so jealous.


Now, at the end of October, most of the leaves are off the trees. Today the wind is resurrecting the fallen ones. Sepia air fermented from rain soaked leaves brewing winter makes me thirsty for beer. It’s a limited time offer because the sky is thickening with snow-tire rutted clouds and soon I’ll be craving a hot rum toddy and a cardigan after a visit to the physiotherapist.


17 thoughts on “Short fall

  1. Cynthia Jobin October 27, 2015 / 6:20 pm

    You surely do concoct the most eye-widening similes….eating lawn clippings, having legs like a tree trunk with knobs for climbing….snow-tire rutted clouds….

    Actually, since I don’t give a fig for fashion or what others think in that realm, you had me liking the shorts in the end…with all the good reasons for their bagginess.

    I hope your knee is coming back to where you want it. Pull that cardigan close, for a hug, and have another rum toddy on me!


    • Susanne October 27, 2015 / 6:27 pm

      The shorts are comfortable, I’ll give them that and if someone gave me a pair I’d wear them around the house to clean or garden or something. Maybe recycle them into a dog-bed – the fun he’d have tunneling through the legs channeling his inner Jack Russell!

      I’m avoiding the knee question but here’s one for you. Do you make your rum toddy’s with butter? I accept your hug which, along with my over-sized cardigan, makes me feel good.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Cynthia Jobin October 27, 2015 / 6:38 pm

        Oh, yes…it must be hot, buttered, rum. ( But if the truth be told, I can make a hot toddy out of whatever happens to be in the liquor cabinet.)


  2. hilarycustancegreen October 27, 2015 / 6:32 pm

    My sympathy, I’ve, umm, lost all my pairs shorts (several years ago). I know, because my husband asked me if I wasn’t taking any on holiday this summer!


    • Susanne October 27, 2015 / 6:35 pm

      Let us give thanks to the fashion world for capris and cropped pants!


  3. exiledprospero October 27, 2015 / 8:00 pm

    Doctors and other charlatans, though well-meaning, can suggest the wackiest things, such as staying away from lard or going to bed before the dawning sun rouses sleeping dogs (which do get tired after tunneling ceaselessly through physio-shorts), but it’s all voodoo to me. Though I do find the idea of strolling around naked liberating. I guess it’s a matter of picking one’s poison–perhaps hot toddy cocktails.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Susanne October 27, 2015 / 8:05 pm

      Strolling naked has it’s charms as does eating lard and drinking hot toddy’s, maybe even all at the same time. Maybe even while tunneling in physio shorts where were big enough for small humans to get lost in.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. cheergerm October 27, 2015 / 9:20 pm

    Ah, physio sucks and so do those shorts. Walk naked and free but only after a dram of hot toddy Dutch courage perhaps?


    • Susanne October 28, 2015 / 7:43 pm

      It would take more than a dram of hot toddy to make me walk naked anywhere except in the bathroom!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Bruce Goodman October 27, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    As one who hasn’t worn anything but baggy shorts for the last seven years (I did put on longs once for a funeral) I wish to congratulate you on finally reaching the pinnacle of fashion. (Incidentally my shorts are very sexy. All that’s needed now is a new body). And keep up the goose step for the old bird.


      • Bruce Goodman October 28, 2015 / 10:00 pm

        We’re limited in our vocab. We don’t call anything “bermudas”!


      • Susanne October 29, 2015 / 7:27 am

        The concept of Bermuda is foreign to Canadians, too. We call them Capris, which come to think of it is another foreign place. What is it with short pants and other places?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Martha Lightfoot October 28, 2015 / 7:02 pm

    Oh I misread this – I thought you said ‘Psychologist’ rather than ‘physiotherapist’ and I wondered why she had a neatly stacked pile of shorts – maybe specialising in school-sports-related problems?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Luanne October 29, 2015 / 4:58 pm

    Well, since I can see from photos that you are very slim and fit looking, I can only conclude that you have body dysmorphia. Nevertheless, you could be describing me, but not objectively enough. UGH UGH AND UGH. Shorts showing knees? Never.


    • Susanne October 29, 2015 / 5:10 pm

      The knobs on my knees are there for all to see. Capris for all next summer! I’m sure you have lovely calves!

      Liked by 1 person

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