Something you may not have known about The Prude:
She was a cheerleader in 8th grade. She only achieved the cartwheel and sideways split stage, nevertheless a cheerleader with pompoms is a cheerleader with pompoms.
She could, in college, do that sideways Dr. Pepper kick.
You know those fender-trashing waist high yellow concrete posts that loitered in parking lots? They dared The Prude to leapfrog them, and she did.
She could get up to a standing position from sitting cross-legged on the floor without using hands.
And–oh the bliss– she could never see a hill without a burning desire to charge up it.
Those were the glory days.
Then she had babies, and her center of gravity shifted somewhere other than her center.
She discovered this in a most ignominious fashion one day when she demonstrated how to do a cartwheel for her young sons.
“Mommy,” they asked sincerely, looking down at where she was lying on the grass, wondering why so many stars were visible in a sunlit sky. “Mommy, are you sure that’s what a cartwheel looks like?”
Next to go was the Dr. Pepper kick, (and hot on its heels, Dr. Pepper, which did odd things to her stomach and often produced an affliction that in anyone but The Prude would be called a desire to burp).
She ignores the challenge of the concrete post because her mad leapfrog skills missed the leap into ‘maturity’.
She could no longer elevate to a stand from sitting on the floor. Though until recently she could sit there for long stretches, legs crossed, and rise gracefully with a minimum of grunting.
This drew admiration from all and sundry, who would say things like, “I can’t believe you can sit like that AT YOUR AGE.’
Thank you. Thank you very much.
But sadly, even those days are gone.
The Prude can head south to the floor but the trip back north is intervaled with creaks and groans.
And those hills. Will she ever be able to charge up a hill again?
The Big Three: mild arthritis, middle age and minimal muscle tone, have done their best to convince The Prude that her hill climbing days are over.
And almost, almost, she is tempted to heed that deadly siren call and lie down on the couch.
But, doggone it, she isn’t going to listen.
Because when she climbs high places, she gets rewarded with a smooch.