The sun shining overhead, and a soothing breeze stirring the morning can make a guy want to just take a walk.

Walking is good for the soul. The time outside in the sunshine gets you away from stale air and connects you to the earth. There’s freedom in a walk. Liberty in the communion that happens with the wind, the sun, and the open air.

It’s a good feeling.

Until it isn’t.

When older people walk, air can get in their way. Nothing but air. Stumbling and falling is a real danger. But if you’re alone, it’s worse. You may not be able to get up.

Losing your balance, being tired, or weak. Any of these things can bring you to the ground, and not in a good way.

If you fall, sit there a while. Find a comfortable sitting position and sit there until you reorient yourself with the surroundings. Note if anything hurts, or if you’re feeling any specific pains before you attempt to do more than sit up.

Then breathe. Calm yourself first. The fear of being on the ground is much worse than being there. Calm yourself first. Breathe, slow and steady.

Note again how you feel, if you’re bleeding, where you’re injured, and consider your surroundings. Is there something you can hold onto, or lean against if you do stand? Can you find a railing to hold, or to help you pull yourself up?

If anyone is nearby, ask for help.

If you’re alone, know that you can do this. You’re capable, and you CAN.

Then slowly get on your knees, on your hands, and stand up. Do this slowly, because the shift in position can push you to the ground again, and you don’t want to fall if you can prevent that. Holding onto something is a good idea, but if you have nothing to hold onto, remember to pause at each step and regain your balance.

Once standing, regain your balance and pace your motion to match what you can manage. Slow and steady wins the race.

James C Mulaney Book