Friday, March 1, 2019

Just call me Mr. Butterfingers

Pierini Fitness has generally had an above average level of hand to eye coordination. A historically decent table tennis player (think ping pong) and a retired karateka, over the years he has had much practice keeping his hand to eye coordination skills in peak condition.  Now, as an older middle-aged man, he’s noticing a decline in progress. 


By dropping things now and then; not necessarily constantly but, as I said, now and then.  Yet, with enough frequency to be a nuisance causing me to be ticked off at myself.  For whatever reason, not even known to me, I really get aggravated, when dropping something.  My most common “drop victim” is my car keys.

So, is this something I should be seriously concerned about?  And, what may be its cause?

Attempting to answer the latter, I wonder if years of training in karate and pounding my fists and subjecting my hands to excessive contact and collisions may have contributed to my malady?  And, could my more recent kettlebell training be an accomplice to my condition?  Finally, to what extent might aging middle-aged man eyesight be an explanation?

These are things I’ve pondered while holding tightly to whatever is in my hands, now, so it doesn’t become my next drop victim.

Doing a quick internet search on the topic, I stumble across the condition described as clumsiness, a state of being one has when bumping into furniture or dropping things.  I learn that clumsiness is defined as poor coordination, movement or action.

What a minute, this middle-aged man can chew gum and walk at the same time.  He doesn’t like this clumsiness word being used to describe who he is.

He also learns of a study done about a dozen years ago on 1,500 college athletes who were assessed for their visual and verbal memory, processing speed and reaction time.  Apparently, study participants with more injuries had significant slower reaction time and processing speed than other study participants.  And, they didn’t perform as well on memory tests, thus suggesting that brain function and how information is processed telling your body how to move, plays a role in coordination.

My quick and two cents reaction on learning this is: (1) I’ve always liked the athlete moniker in describing who I am, and (2) I don’t have a memory problem because I remember what I had for breakfast. 

But, seriously, could a diminishing memory, currently unbeknownst to me, be cooking and playing a role in my declining reaction time and processing speed; thereby contributing to these dropping episodes taking place in my life?

Perhaps, but there might be a much simpler explanation that I find more comfortable to accept.

Might I just merely be a modern-day middle-aged man version of the movie character Joe Early, played by actor Emo Phillips in the 1989 movie UHF, about a rather clumsy school shop teacher who accidentally saws his thumb off.

Like clumsy Joe Early, perhaps the next time I drop something, rather than be agitated and hard on myself, I'll privately acknowledge that I’ve just had another Joe Early episode and say, like Joe did, “Just call me Mr. Butterfingers.”

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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