Published on February 22nd, 2011 | by Ann Rickard


Column – Springing lithely out of a deep sofa

Springing lithely out of a deep sofa is a thing long forgotten for me.

I’ve tried to hide my sofa affliction since I first became aware of its sneaky takeover a couple of years ago, but the unladylike grunts I make as I heave my creaking bulk up from a conformable sofa are the giveaway.

The smart aging woman eyes a deep couch with suspicion when a host guides her into the home.  She fakes a girly laugh and says:  “I’d prefer a dining chair if you don’t mind.  Back injury while bungy jumping after my water-ski session last week.”

And never let anyone offer you a beanbag if you are over 50.  Lower yourself into one of those enveloping monsters and you’re trapped like a turtle on its back.

Swimming pools must be carefully inspected for easy-to-manage exit routes before the woman of a certain age dares to get in.

I say this from humiliating experience.

In a new ultra-modern resort in Bali recently, I slid into an infinity pool (and immediately swam up to the underwater bar for a mojito, but that’s not what this story is about) without having an ‘exit-the-pool-gracefully’ strategy.

When it came time to get out (after two mojitos, but that’s not what this story is about), I realised with heart-sinking dread that there were no steps or hand rails on this state-of-the-art swimming pool.

There was just a submerged ledge that you had to stand on and then do a trampoline-like spring to the top ledge as though you were a Cirque du Soleil acrobatic performer.

It might well have been a ledge up to heaven as far as I was concerned.

To add to my ‘how to get out’ dilemma was the close presence of about 100 young glamorous people sitting around the pool in tiny swimwear sipping cocktails and staring at me.

After one particularly ungainly attempt to get up to the top ledge, I fell back into the water trying to make it look as though I meant to.

“Think I’ll just do a few easy laps of elegant backstroke,” I said in a loud voice as I whaled myself backwards through the water, pathetically telling myself the beautiful staring people would believe me.

I had to resort to swimming over to the children’s wading pool backing on to the main pool and doing a discreet flop over the ledge, before finally standing up in ankle-deep water and shamefully wading my way between babies to the tiny ledge and stepping out.


Now, I’ve just had my first yoga lesson and I’m traumatised all over gain.

Getting down on a mat on all fours like a dog and stretching a leg up towards the ceiling is something the senior should never attempt unless she’s been doing it all her life.

For an hour I endeavoured to bend, bow, turn, twist and coil my body into poses that caused it grim alarm.

The shame at my saggy and wilted muscles and my disgrace for so long thinking a half-hour walk in the morning was exercise enough for the mature body to toddle comfortably through to old age, has buoyed me to make 2013 the year I get fit.

So, watch out fellow yoga enthusiast – I’m there.

I might even spring up off a couch again.


About the Author

is a Noosa (Australia) local and author of six successful books, all humorous travel narratives. In 2005 Ann won the prestigious ASTW’s Australian Travel Writer of the Year and in 2007 she won the ASTW Travel Book of the Year. Ann takes a culinary tour to the South of France in June every year . Ann writes travel, dining and columns for the Sunshine Coast Daily and is the Life editor of the Noosa News. Ann also maintains a well read and popular blog site. Ann’s travels have seen her explore cuisines all over the world.

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