My First High School Prom ever!

High School Prom.  59 years old and I’m finally able to scratch attending a prom off the list.

Raising my children has made for a lifetime of do-overs.

The closest I came to attending a high school dance in my teens was stepping just inside the entrance doors. A younger brother asked me to go with him. Earlier, he had stashed a bottle of peppermint schnapps. I had never tasted anything so good. I told him that I’d wait for him outside the high school doors.

The best part of this prom night was before the dance at a friend’s house where the girls were having their hair done.

“Well, since you’re going to be there tonight,” one of the moms said to me, “you can take pictures.”

With excitement in her voice, a teen spoke up, “You’re going to be there? Yeah!” Another girl quickly chimed in her delight.

My date.

This surprised and pleased me. As a Police Reserve Officer, I attended all of Juan and Crystel’s middle school dances, even when they didn’t go. I thoroughly enjoyed joshing with their friends. It warmed me that I continued to be welcomed.

Up until now my involvement with this high school prom was as an observer. I witnessed the teens’ enthusiasm and angst over what they were going to wear, who they were going to go with, and what they were going to do before and after the dance. I didn’t say a word. I watched. I asked questions. I raised my eyebrows.

I arrived at the dance fifteen minutes before it opened. This time I had no peppermint schnapps or alcohol of any kind. I walked through the front door, past the registration table.

A scattering of students were milling about. This was not like the middle school dances where students packed themselves at the entrance doors impatient to get in. Tonight, there was a deliberateness in the air. Like you had to time your entrance, not be too early, not appear too eager and definitely, not appear too much like middle school.

When my date arrived, we had our picture taken under the balloon rainbow. For us there wasn’t any angst about what to wear or how our hair was done. Once the doors opened it was our job to observe and escort students who returned to their car to change into shoes that didn’t hurt. A few times my date and I circled the dance. On one of those rounds a student was being crowdsurfed.

Crystel and Juan Jose’

Later, Crystel and her group of friends walked over to where I was sitting. I was near the exit, informing students that were leaving they wouldn’t be allowed back in to the dance. I leaned into the group and whispered, “Seems to me, it was more fun before the dance than the actual dance itself.” They expressed the same opinion. Picking outfits, getting hair done, pictures, and dinner at a friend’s house was more entertaining. They soon left for a sleepover.

For me, there would be no waking up the next morning with hives from poisoning myself with peppermint schnapps and I could scratch my first prom dance off my bucket list.

My MCL Sprain is Trying to Age Me

Years ago before I was a black belt and the children were young

Years ago before I was a black belt and before the children were 2nd Dan

It’s become this independent burning sensation on the inner part of my knee.
Oh, there it is, I’ll say, when I feel it. Then I’ll take an ibuprofen.
I’ve Googled, What is that burning? Does that mean my MCL is healing? Or, that it’s getting worse? An MCL sprain is a nag.
I didn’t listen to the nag in Tae Kwon Do even though I felt a twinge in my knee that told me to take it easy. I’m not that old, I said to myself. I’ll kick my way through it. And, besides, at that point it was just a minor annoyance. I didn’t ice my knee after class because my knee would be okay the next day just like it always was.

My former self.

My former self with Jody.

The next morning, I almost fell getting out of bed. I couldn’t bear my weight. Without warning I was transported to my chronological age of 56 year(s), 6 month(s), and 2 day(s).
I hobbled for weeks before I went to the doctor.
I wanted to know if I was injuring myself beyond repair for not listening to the nag and I wanted the medical term for what was badgering me.
An MCL injury is a sprain or tear to the medial collateral ligament. The MCL is a band of tissue on the inside of your knee.
I refuse to let my MCL age me.
11034339_10205241803538815_4078779682495764301_oI’ve continued to kick at Tae Kwon Do (just maybe a little slower, a little lower and a little more carefully).

I stood all night long as a Police Reserve Officer at a middle school dance (well, maybe I sat for a moment on the bleachers in the darkened gym).

I still walked 3 miles at lunch time, (okay, a few times I turned around because I didn’t think that I could walk through the pain).
Sometimes, I don’t appreciate my health until it diminishes. Then all I want is to be returned to my former self. And then I read a Facebook post about someone who has it a lot worse than me. That is where I presently am. Feeling the burn, taking ibuprofen. Putting it into perspective.