Law of Universal Gravitation – “Every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force directed along the line of centers for the two objects that is proportional to the square of the separation between the two objects”, better summed up in the equation:
Now, as legend has it, Sir Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell from the tree, and he suddenly exclaimed this law and quickly formulated the equation that led to the new knot forming on his head. I don’t know if that’s how it happened or not, and I certainly cannot even begin to explain the physics behind it, but I bet I can give you a different take on this whole ‘law of universal gravitation’ thing. My understanding of gravity was like the schoolboy who asked his teacher “Is it true that the law of gravity keeps us here on Earth?” to which the teacher replied “Yes.” The schoolboy then asked, “What kept us on Earth before that law was passed?”
I remember as a kid that one of the coolest things to do was to jump from things: roofs, trees, monkey bars, swings, bikes. You name it, and I probably jumped from it, and probably gave some near heart attacks to on looking adults in the process. The crazy thing is that as a kid, I didn’t worry about gravity. As a matter of fact, when I watched stories about astronauts in space, I remember thinking how cool it would be to jump, and keep going; I sort of felt like gravity hindered my potential as a masterful climber and jumper. I also relied on gravity when I was skating or skateboarding, or performing some sick wheelies and stunts on my bicycle. Gravity allowed me to be a really cool teenage boy in the eyes of the girls (at least in my mind), and when gravity wasn’t as friendly, gave me some really cool scars to show the girls as I got older. But somewhere, something changed.
As I got really older, I found out gravity was not just a law, but instead an enemy that needed to be respected. I am 6’1”, and by most accounts, I am pretty coordinated. I worked in high rise construction for several years, and was very respectful of gravity and falling. I also thought as I was older, I could still defy gravity. I called myself roller skating at a party for my son, and suddenly realized it is not something you ‘just remember’. Needless to say, I looked like a pine tree falling on the rink.
But as I was diagnosed with PD, gravity has become a harsh reality for me. I have found that my balance is horrible at times, stumbling from wall to wall like a pinball, thankful for furniture to catch myself on and restore my balance. I wear a medical alert bracelet that instructs first responders to see a wallet card which includes instructions for them to recognize me as a PD patient, and includes the words “I AM NOT INTOXICATED” in bold letters. It’s legitimate; I am not intoxicated. However, by far the worst thing is the inability of my brain and my right foot to talk to each other. I took a fall in my yard last week because my foot didn’t listen to my brain, and in a hurried fashion, I met my enemy ‘gravity’, and applied Isaac Newton’s equation in the wet grass.
Thankfully, I was just sore. But lying in the wet grass, I definitely understood the importance of moving, of strengthening, and of being patient and taking things a little slower. If you too have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, take your meds like your MD tells you, but definitely, most definitely, keep moving, keep exercising. While it is true it may slow the disease process, it also helps to keep you from applying the ‘law of universal gravitation’, and making new scars that nobody really wants to see anyway. Eat an apple as you ponder on exercising regularly.
#noquit #justbe #bike2live #litwithin #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons