Walking. Bring out your Dead!

It all started with an article Susan sent me. This one or something like it: 10-second balance test could predict longevity. “The inability to stand on one leg for 10 seconds in mid to later life is linked to a near doubling in the risk of death from any cause within the next 10 years, according to research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.”

I try to ignore it. Put it out of mind. Impossible.

So, it’s 4 am, yesterday morning, and I’m standing in the bathroom, trying to balance on my left foot. Counting down 10-9-8-7-6… I reach for the counter.  You have got to be kidding.

I go at it again.  Whispering the count down, 10-9-8-7… I reach for the counter again. OMG. I can’t do it.

I pause, inhale, and while balancing on my right foot, I reach down for my sock and put it on my left foot. No problem. I got this.

I’m brushing my teeth, and my attention is drawn back to the sock on my left foot.  OMG, I put the right sock on the left foot. 

I rush back to review the article, to see if the study found any connection to Alheizmer’s. Wow, thank God for that.

Later that day, I tell Susan the story of the balance-thing and the right sock on the left foot.

She knows that I have sh*t for balance, unable to stand on one foot for any length of time before toppling. Barely able to navigate on two feet. Can touch my toes, but no more. Not bendy. Nothing there. Not going to happen.

And after 38+ years of marriage, you know, you just know with certainty what comes next.

And you think that an adult, a defined term for what I am supposed to be at this stage of my life, I can stand quietly, watch the performance, listen, smile, and say something polite: “Wow, that’s so good.” “Or that’s nice.”

She starts her demonstration. She’s standing on one foot. Think Karate Kid.  You know the Crane Kick.  Then she moves to Yoga. The Tree Pose.  Warrior Three Pose.  Then she moves to the floor. Downward facing dog. Up dog. Before you know it, she’s gone through her entire Vinegar Flow or Vin-Damn-Something.

OMG. Sorry. I can’t take it. I’ve seen this performance hundreds, maybe thousands of times, or 300 iterations of it.  She’s a retired high school and collegiate gymnast. Now amateur yoga enthusiastic. I just can’t take it.

She’s on the floor, rolling around doing her Dog Sh*t —  I turn my back and start walking away.  I know it’s rude, but I- just-can’t-take-it-anymore.  She’s mumbling something about Hare Krishna, my back to her, her voice fading as I make my way up the stairs. My God, JUST STOP.

Fast forward…

Next morning, 4 a.m., I’m getting ready for my daybreak walk to Cove Island Park.  I’ve decided not to test my balance to start my day —  no Sir, I will not start my day in darkness, with a measure of < 5 years to Live.

I’m sitting on a chair putting on my socks, the same pair from the morning before.

I look down.

Wow. How do you manage to get through each day?

Post titled inspired by Monty Python and the Holy Grail: ‘Bring out your Dead


  1. Is it okay that I am laughing? Because, lordy, I love that you share your sh*t with us. Keep practicing… The balancing act, I mean…
    Still laughing…

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Mary Ann Gessner says:

    My socks just say Bombas! Who cares about right and left? Thanks for the chuckle…like in a row.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wait! socks come with right/left markings?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah Dave – sending sunrise salutations to Susan and a quick lesson in left and right socks for you – as long as you didn’t put them on your hands, I’d say you’re doing just fine.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. 😂 hilarious. Is it any wonder why you are stressed and in “knots”. Just keep moving, until you can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Keep after it, pal. It’s a skill you build. Before you know it, you’ll be standing on one foot with your eyes closed. 😉 And good on Susan for ‘dog doggin’ her way to health and flexibility. Namaste!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You know every single person who read this immediately stood up and tried to balance on one leg for 10 seconds. You may not be able to do it, but you have the power to make other people do it. That counts for something. Walk on!

    Liked by 3 people

  8. That letter is just for look, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    Very interesting … “Wow. How do you manage to get through each day?”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, if you’ve never had good balance, you are ahead! follow me? more than ten years without great balance… So Susan may live to 120… or more? I had to give up balancing I was doing every time I dried my feet after a shower in the bathroom when I developed a “lace cuff of arthritis around each ankle.” So, I’m not going to see if I still can’t do it. Maybe that’s the real grace or gracefulness–do what you can!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. LOL! The same-same may only be the beginning of a long overdue sock rebellion. *pictures a substantial sock-burning event on Day One of DJ’s retirement someday* 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I bet 99% of your readers got up and tried balancing on one foot after reading this. I admit it took me a few tries.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. PS I wouldn’t worry about putting the socks on the wrong feet. It’s the shoes that matter more.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Patti Nequette says:

    So funny, tragically I can relate.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Reblogged this on NANMYKEL.COM and commented:
    OMG yes!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. On some days, I wonder if you really exist?! 🙂
    How the heck can you care IF you can stand on one foot for any length of time – and of course you can only do that IF you wear the ‘right’ socks…. gosh, on some other days I’d like to have your existential problems! 😉
    I’m joking of course. I take an extremely deep interest on exactly How long you stand on one foot, honestly! And as every reader of your blog will do, I’ll have to test my standing power…. much later!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Right and left socks who knew? Mine are marked m for medium. Tried the ten second thingy. Right foot no go. Left foot 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8.9,10! Try with your dominate leg/foot.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Brilliant 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Christie says:

    Well, I first saw your title…”Bring Out Your Dead” I thought my Mom’s would be 95, Today !!! if she was still living (gone 7 years this summer)…and I had sent an early morning, email reply to some siblings with a voice recording of our Mom…it was well received!!! It started out as “This is your Mother” etc /// then I scrolled down and saw the socks & I thought oh, an answer to a recent question I asked about if “your sock life” has changed since you’ve been working from home? Some of us know about your history with socks…I am glad to see your socks with a trifecta of colors…/// I continued on with reading your share…as suspected Susan is well informed, smart women with your best interest at heart and she is limber…she is correct balance is important! of course like many of your readers I gave the balance exercise a try…I passed on my right foot and failed on my left…I’ve been treated for a balance issue and I know that my feet are damaged from a spinal injury…so my contribution is for all people is to work on balance & people to be aware of keeping one’s upper thighs strong -to be able to get up and down from a seating position…<<<those that sit around and loss that ability are said to die within the next 3 years…I make sure to stretch every morning – so I can walk with less pain…My cousin fell and she past away from that fall…my Mother in Law fell (down a flight of stairs) and passed away…so folks need to glance ahead scan for debris in your path and work on balance…thanks for the interesting read, today…

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Christie says:

    Oh, Dave you had no clue it was my Mom’s birthday….so no reason to say sorry, though thank you for your concern…she lived a long life -she knew her six children loved her…I’m so glad to learn more of your “sock life”! How is your summer weather? We went from wet cold spring to instant summer 3 or 4 days ago. temp swing a 42 degrees from night to day…it was 53 in morning & then later 95 in the shade yesterday and today a reasonable temp. no a/c required! Our Marion/Tay berries are ripe! Something keeps eating my strawberries! Our Peas have been so yummy 🙂 My birthday is Thursday…

    Liked by 1 person

  21. You should try comedy! You are very good at it ha 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. « As participants were all white Brazilians, the findings might not be more widely applicable to other ethnicities and nations, caution the researchers. »
    Thank goodness you are a white Canadian. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  23. LOLOLOLOLOLOL…you can’t die because we all need you!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. niasunset says:

    I am afraid to test myself!!! You made me laugh too dear David, you are amazing. Thank you, Have a nice and long life, Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 😂👌💕

    Liked by 1 person

  26. You crack me up 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I’m glad you are a walker. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  28. OMG Anneli. Sorry. Still laughing. I don’t feel so bad now!!!! All summer????


  29. So good! 1.5 years! Wow Anneli!



  1. […] again, I was inspired by a post by David Kanigan https://davidkanigan.com/2022/06/28/walking-bring-out-your-dead/ when he wrote about feet and balance. It reminded me that about 8 years ago I had done a post about […]

    Liked by 1 person

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