Help! At 81 Find I Have Lost My Bounce!

I have lost my bounce!

Don’t know when it happened. Don’t know how, but it has gone. I can no longer skip…Me, who used to pride herself on light footed Scottish dance steps!

I can’t even hop or jump.Rather disconcerting to realise that I didn’t spot it happening.

Being a Physio I have religiously checked strength and balance, and stretched all joints, daily. So far so good. If I pick up that anything has slid I know what to do. Though it is a permanent battle maintaining that last 5 degrees of knee extension. Soon sorted, once spotted, but vigilance is essential!It was much harder when I realised when travelling in Ethiopia that I could no longer sit cross legged on a floor. Hadn’t been checking that one! That took quite a few months to get back.


Made it! Well, still a bit more work needed on the right hip?

But what happened to the bounce? Only realised it was missing when we went to a Ceilidh and I couldn’t dance. Shock! What mechanism has failed? Walking on tip toe has been a daily routine along with balance, but I hadn’t checked on hopping or jumping. I rather suspect that was because having seriously rusty knees I had assumed that minimum trauma was wise. For that reason I do fast walking rather than jogging. Though I can run, I don’t.

I am writing this, because I would like to skip again. Skip along to a Reel or Strathspey tune when I hear it, or just for joy when it’s a lovely day: feel the Spring in my step, literally!

Do any physiotherapists out there working with older people have answers for me? My immediate thought is to begin on partially supported jumping and hopping and presumably progress from there.

( See PS for what happened)

What was this blog really about?

Feeling your own body going through the changes of ageing has been fascinating. It continually raises new questions. And actually experiencing the effects is certainly different from observing and questioning older patients. Quite enlightening….What dawned was how imperceptibly we loose bits of ability. Gone when you weren’t looking!

I started thinking about the British Olympic Cycling Team who achieved gold byfinding every marginal improvement they could.

 I realised  that maybe  in old age the gold is achieved by regular checking like they did, but in our case making sure we aren’t  loosing a multitude of small, almost trivial things.

PS. Good News!

Since I wrote this blog I gave been swimming. Absolutely delighted to find that in a pool with water around hip level I can jump and bounce! The water supports some of my weight and I can do balletic leaps…safely! Luckily no one around to see me, an 81 year old with beatific grin bouncing up and down with great glee and making equally great waves.

I shall continue with shallower and shallower water and see what happens ….







  1. July 22, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    Glad you went back to swimming! It’s excellent exercise, and will improve your strength and flexibility. Keep at it!

    • July 22, 2017 / 11:44 pm

      Sounds like a great plan! I’m mystified too that the precious bounce should just vanish like that, especially when you are both knowledgeable and aware. Hooray for water, and swimming, and aqua-jogging. And bring on the kiddies’ paddling pool.

  2. July 23, 2017 / 2:55 am

    I like to exercise in the pool too. You can do things that cannot be done in the air! And when there, I am often accompanied by some footballers who also do training exercises in the pool.

    • July 24, 2017 / 11:54 am

      Thank you for all your support. It has been such a help. Isn’t it all fun? So enjoying it and hope we are doing something useful!
      Water is so good for taking stress off joints so you can looses them. But need a campaign to make more pools Age Friendly! Far too many have ladder type steps…no good at 82 and I don’t want to be put in on a hoist!

      I feel a blog coming on.,…..

  3. July 23, 2017 / 9:52 am

    So sorry to hear about the loss of bounce and hope it comes back through swimming. At 71 I know I need to do more pro-active exercise. I walk a lot but somehow with the moving and selling of our old home I stopped a pilates class and really I have to go back to a regular class to keep supple. At the moment I do exercises on a mat at home (about twice a week) and walk a lot but that has been stymied somewhat by me stubbing a toe, easily done but you feel such a fool! And that has lead to more stiffness than usual. This ageing business is, I think, about a lot of upkeep and eternal vigilance to keep the stiffness at bay and keeping the bounce. All the very best x

  4. Joyce
    July 24, 2017 / 10:54 am

    Lovely to,get your comments. You are absolutely right about the eternal vigilance…can I steal that phrase? Probably can’t stop the slip, but keeping an eye on it and tackling issues quickly does help. Hope you soon get back to,full activity of the fun kind!

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