Corky Carroll

Oh, my aching back! Join a growing club

A few weeks ago I did a column discussing the trials and tribulations of senior surfing and the wonderful world of bad pain, face plants and gold teeth.

Well, I guess gold teeth are better than no teeth. Maybe not, I don't really know as I still have most of mine although I think just about all of them have patch jobs on them. Many are gold. Geeze, I could actually be worth more dead than alive. That's a scary thought knowing some of my friends. Or most of them really. Oh well.

Anyway, back to the story. A few weeks ago I did a column talking about this kind of thing and how it takes me more and more time to get to my feet when I surf these days and how sometimes I don't make it at all. The response to the story has been overwhelming. No, I really mean overwhelming, like hundreds of emails, some of them thousands and thousands of words long.

This one took me by surprise. It seems that there are tons and tons of other surfing geezers out there who share my pain. Especially lower back problems. The email ranged from other people saying they related to the story to suggested remedies and solutions. I got some great ideas and some that I am not so sure I am gonna try out.

Some of the suggestions for relieving the back pain include yoga, pilates, walking, not walking, hanging from a bar, hanging upside down, hanging out at the gym, hanging myself, reading a number of books including "Getting rid of Back Pain," not using a surf leash so that I have to swim more, swimming more, treading water, drinking water, salsa dancing, hot salsa on everything to make me eat less and poo poo more, the South Beach diet, the South Bay diet, the Grapefruit diet, the Grape Nuts diet, eating lemons with every meal, vitamins, medication, meditation, surgery, liposuction, chiropractic care, geriatric care, taking naps, sleeping positions, body pillows, a bowflex, a trampoline, eating nothing but meat, eating everything but meat, eating rare Himalayan mountain beets, eating tons of onions, eating tons of garlic, eating only grapes, drinking a half a glass of oil and vinegar salad dressing before every meal, physical therapy, mental therapy, hypnosis, hip transplant, getting hip, skinny dipping, ice cube baths, salt baths, laxatives, creams, lotions, the egg ceremony cure, witchcraft, black magic, astrology, joining the Jehovah Witnesses, jumping jacks and crawling on my belling like a reptile.

Oh yeah, and eating iguanas instead of having one for a pal. There was more but these are all that I can remember right at this moment. Another part of getting riper is not remembering stuff. I like using the term getting ripe instead of old, it makes me feel better. I told my wife that I was feeling nice and ripe the other day and she said, "Yeah you are, maybe it's time for a bath." Geeze. We have been having a contest to see who can forget the most stuff in one week. I can't remember who is in the lead

Some of the other emails were kind offers of help. A chiropractor, a nutritionist and a physical therapist offered to save me. I appreciate this more than you know. Also I got one mail stating that I should, "Quit your whining and lose weight." This was sent by a dude who owns a gym and did offer to trade me personal training for a surf package. All good stuff.

But my favorite email came from a dude who is 77 years old and just started surfing. He said he looked to me to be an inspiration and that he has enough aches and pains of his own without hearing about somebody else's that is decades younger than him. The part I liked best was the "decades" comment.

So what I am taking from all of this is that we, as surfers who are ripening, all seem to share some form of back problems. We should form an association and have meetings. BBA. Bad Backs Anonymous. "Hi, my name is Corky. I'm a surfaholic."

Thanks to all of you who wrote in and I am going to use many of your suggestions. Just this morning I fell out of bed and had to crawl on my belly like a reptile to get into the shower because I couldn't get to my feet. It's a start.