Aging travellers

Once upon a time I could sleep anywhere. I could sleep in the backseat of a car. I could sleep on an airplane. I could sleep in a Greyhound bus. I could sleep in a Greyhound bus station. I could certainly sleep in a comfortable train seat. I could walk around all day in any shoe and not suffer for it.

But now? It’s a whole other story. Sitting still for too long, resting in a strange bed on a strange pillow, too much walking around on sidewalks in an appropriate shoes and just travel weariness in general start to take a toll on a body that is no longer as young as it once was.

Now, I must take along travel companions. No longer dies it suffice to pack a simple outfit, one pair of shoes and a few pairs of socks and underwear. No I now have to take tennis balls.


Yes, tennis balls. These are my new best friends. A pair of fuzzy balls that have seen better days. They have probably been chewed on by a Shiba, knocked about by one or two cats and – perhaps – seen a tennis court once or twice.

But they work.

When lying on one’s back and with the balls placed on either side of the spine, they release knots and reset ribs. When placed under a shoulder-blade, they shift stature. When rolled down the outside of the thigh, they just create pain. But the mobility afterward is somehow worth it. When rolled under feet? Ah, well, that’s a new luxury previously unimagined.

Now, I’m pretty sure that whatever I’m doing is not wholly medically, chiropractically, or generally physiologically appropriate – ie don’t try this at home, kids, unless your health care professional has okayed, authorized and instructed you to do so. Also, I am not your health care professional – however, it seems to keep me a bit more mobile between those regular maintenance massages and occasional yoga sessions.

Because I can’t afford enough of those massages and yoga sessions. But I can find – and travel with – two ratty tennis balls.

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