I was running errands the other day and made two stops. The first was at the hardware store to get a few bags of mulch. When I pulled into the parking lot an elderly gentleman (I’m going to ballpark his age at somewhere in his 70s) was asking for one of the store clerks to put 3 bags of mulch into his car. My first thought was that if he can’t get the bags into his car, how is he going to get them out? Curious, I used the magic of the Internet to find out the weight of a bag of mulch (2 cubic feet). The Internet told me that it’s somewhere between 20 and 40 pounds per bag. By my best estimate I’d say it’s closer to 40 by the way it felt carrying it. If we split the difference and say it’s 30 pounds, it’s still not terribly heavy even if you’re lifting one bag at a time.
My second stop was at the grocery store. While I was standing in the checkout line the woman in front of me (also in her 70s by my estimation) asked the cashier to double bag it and split her items among the two bags. She was buying a few potatoes, a jar of apple sauce (which she asked for the potatoes and apple sauce to be split up to balance out the weight) and three other small items that I can’t recall. Either way, it wasn’t a lot of stuff or very heavy. A small child could put all of that in one bag and carry it.
At first I thought, well maybe she’s walking home and the bag might rip if everything were put into one. The woman left and as I was paying for my own things I looked out the window of the store to the woman putting her bags into the trunk of her car. I guess she wasn’t walking home.
This got me thinking. If either of these two people were to fall to the ground could they get themselves back up? I’m leaning towards not f*cking likely. When I look at my own training from a longevity stand point the two things that jump out at me are mobility and strength. Those are the two things that are going to get you off the ground when you fall.
You don’t have to be circus strong, just real life strong. Chop wood. Carry water. Don’t ever let yourself get to the point where you can’t carry a bag of groceries in one hand, load a bag of mulch into the trunk of your car, or pick yourself up when you fall down.