Fifty-something ... by Cindy Beck

© Cindy Beck, 2009
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, Cub Scouts, age, injury, ribs, humorous blog, funny, smile, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

The sun was shining; the grass was growing. On the lawn in front of the 4th ward church house, Cub Scouts ran and hopped like kangaroos on amphetamines. They expended energy without even thinking about it being a precious commodity. Probably because they weren’t fifty-something.

After a few minutes, the boys moved farther away and my brain said, “You’d better think up something for these little guys to do before they scatter to the four corners of the cosmos.”

Normally my body does what my brain says, and this time was no exception. My arms waved in a graceful, fashion model way and my mouth called, “Hey, boys, come over here.”

George* turned and said. “Gee, Sister Beck, the way your arms are moving makes you look just like a train-crossing sign. Cool.”

My body gave up on the graceful wave, put two fingers into my mouth and blasted out a whistle that could be heard in the next county. The boys came running.

“Okay, Cubs,” my mouth said, “let’s do something fun before we go inside and start the meeting. Any suggestions?”

Blond-haired Jeff scratched his cowlick and shouted in my ear, “Let’s do rooster fights!”

That is why God gave all women two ears … so they still have one that can hear after their scouting days are finished.

Little Billy scratched his armpit, made it burp, and then said, “Let’s race each other.”

And that’s where my brain abandoned me. It could have been the spring breeze that caused it to feel like a teenager once more. But then again, the lack of caution could have been created by a sugar high from the sixteen-ounce bag of Marshmallow Goobers that I'd just polished off. At any rate, my mind said, “Sure, races would be a lot of fun.”

My body shouted its objection with a vehement, “No!”

Suddenly, and without prior approval, my mouth said, “Come on, boys—last one to touch the tree is a dead skunk.”

“No, no, NO,” my fifty-something body hollered at my brain, while pumping adrenaline like there was an emergency about to take place. “Russ would not be happy if he knew we were out here running and playing like a kid—especially when we're pushing sixty-years old! He’d tell us that a broken wrist, broken nose, broken ankle … no, wait, two broken ankles … when we were younger should have taught us something. Not to mention that broken elbow last year that laid us up for …”

“We’re not anywhere near sixty. Shut up and run,” my brain said.

“Oh look,” my body said, as my feet tripped over each other while racing across the lawn. “Look at how fast the ground comes toward us when we bite the dust at fifty-something.”

The next day the doctor held up the x-rays. “There’s good news and bad news. The good news is that you didn't break any ribs.”

My brain beamed with a “nah-ner, nah-ner” attitude. “See, I told you we could still run,” it said to my body.

The doctor shifted the x-ray under the lamp. “The bad news is the ribs are cracked. There’s nothing that can be done except to let them heal on their own.”

My body puffed up with pride at being right. Or maybe it was with fluids from the cracked ribs. “See, I told you the ground was a lot harder at fifty-something,” it said to my mind.

“Not fifty-something,” my dirty-traitor brain replied. “More like pushing sixty.”

*Names have been changed to protect the good, the bad, and the one with a two-week-old bologna sandwich in his backpack.

What's playing in my head: When I'm Sixty-four by the Beatles.

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Anonymous said...

That was great!

My MIL was a den mother for years and years. I'll have to send her this.

p.s. Could a fox steal a dozen eggs? Just wondering.

Karlene said...

Oh my! I hope this is an exaggeration for comic effect and not a true story.

Here's a true story. When my son was born, seconds after he emerged into the world, my first thought was, "It's a boy!" immediately followed by my second thought, "Oh, crap! Now they'll call me to be in Scouts!"

Girl Tornado said...

Another out loud laugh from me... and like Karlene, I'm hoping this is not entirely true!!! :-0

I'm a late 40-something, and these days when I decide to break into a run (like this morning), I can't believe how uncoordinated my legs feel!

Nichole Giles said...

Okay, I admit to laughing--even though I know you weren't exaggerating.

It really isn't funny. Except you sure make it sound that way.

Feel better soon!


Cathy said...

I was a den leader for five and a half years, beginning when my kids were roughly ages 1 , 3, 5,6 and 8. The 8 year old was up stairs with the other 9 cub scouts, while I expected the 6 year old to keep the other three from going balisitic downstairs for 1 hour. It was an interesting time. I believe it was shortly after that period that I began writing. There was just so much to say. I have the feeling that you can probably identify.

Girl Tornado said...

Due to your cracked ribs, you've just won an award! :) Come to my blog to find out...

But it's also for your upbeat, humorous, and just plain positive blog! I love it and look forward to your posts.

Rachelle Christensen said...

I love the links! You are hilarious. I'm sorry it's true and hope you're on the mend!

Randall said...


I laughed and then felt bad. Sorry to hear about your ribs. Hope they heal quickly.


1womansbabble said...

Because I am reading this 3 and a half years later, and I am assuming that you are now healed and taking every precaution against anymore running experiences....
I am allowed to laugh...and I did...hysterically and with tears rolling down my face. I am going to send this post to my mother as I know that she will laugh hysterically as well, despite her always telling me off for laughing at other peoples pain, it is from her that I get my sense of humour.
Thankyou again for another great laugh. (And I really do hope that you are well healed and have not had anymore such incidents.)

Cindy Beck, author said...

Carolyn, Karlene, Oz Girl, Nichole, Cathy, Rachelle and Randall: It looks like I was remiss in thanking all of you for your wonderful comments. So many of them made me laugh ... I can see that being a scout leader is the nightmare of most women! :)

Cindy Beck, author said...

Hi 1womansbabble ... thanks for stopping by and being concerned about my ribs. They did finally heal but the hospital and I seem to have this cosmic link that keeps drawing me back there. At least I'd like to think that's what it is and not the fact that I'm a klutz! If you haven't read it yet, you might enjoy reading about my latest trip to the hospital, Too Young for Medicare Insurance.