Gravity’s a jerk, just ask Newton
Gravity, it’ll get you.
I’m not talking about the depressing and overhyped Sandra Bullock - George Clooney movie. No, I’m talking about actual gravity – that force that bonds us all to the earth. The bane of every novice skateboarder’s existence and boon to band-aid manufacturers worldwide.
As parents we do what we can to keep our kids safe, but gravity foils us time and again.
Want proof? Just look at your kids’ knees. Hell, look at mine! I’m still sporting the scars of bike rides gone bad and, well, pretty much just living life for more than four decades.
Life and the gravity of the situation
The thing about gravity is that it’s acting on us from the moment we’re born to our dying breath. We may not know what it’s called, but it only takes a few years before we have a grasp of its effects. Fortunately, as young kids, our centres of gravity are so low its consequences aren’t typically too dire.
And gravity’s a good teacher. Between recurrent wipe outs and Coyote-Road Runner cartoons, most kids wise up to it by the age of seven. Most, not all. Epic fails on YouTube, where the laws of physics and the theory of evolution battle it out, may suggest otherwise.
But it’s not just a young person’s dilemma. Even when you don’t go out of your way to flaunt it, gravity’ll make you pay.
It works away on us compressing our spinal column, so we get shorter and stouter with each passing year. Flexibility is lost, circulation deteriorates, internal organs shift and function less effectively. Oh, there’s still plenty to look forward to.
Can’t live with it, can’t live without it
Of course, gravity’s not all bad.
It does keep us from floating off into orbit. And it helps to maintain strong bones and muscles. Not only that, it keeps fluids moving around our bodies rather than pooling in certain areas and generally keeps us upright.
In fact, without it we’d probably look and move a lot more like a jellyfish than a great ape. Which means skateboarding and mountain biking, even though they would hurt a lot less, would probably be way trickier. Think about it, when’s the last time you saw a jellyfish cruising around town popping wheelies?
Plus, until Elon Musk gets us all living in space, it’s not like we can do anything about it, other than keep a good supply of bandages on hand.
Gravity – it’s still a jerk, but don’t let it get you down.