“People need to understand that for the average bunch of us who don’t have those special booster-rocket genes, we still have a remarkable set of genes that would get us to our mid-80s in good health. However, instead of taking advantage of those genes, we fight them with bad habits, obesity, and bad diets.”
—Thomas Perls, Harvard researcher into longevity
Your body is an incredible gift horse. Start looking it in the mouth.
On October 23, 2002, a column about women’s hockey caught my eye. Hayley Wickenheiser, one of the stars in the Canadian women’s hockey firmament, is having difficulty finding a team to play on because of institutional rules about playing with men. One comment in particular was noteworthy:
“There is, and long has been, a simmering hostility against women in hockey. The more boorish attitude is… that they’re just a bunch of lesbians anyway — a sad prejudice only reinforced when former hockey Olympian Nancy Drolet married her partner, Nathalie, in a Quebec civil ceremony.”
Woah woah woah. Waitaminit. The grrls get hitched (BTW high fives for social progress, Canada!) and it’s THEIR fault that sports is homophobic? Well that just makes me want to throw a Joan Crawford hissy fit.
This weekend I was shopping at the local market. I got hungry and wanted a protein bar. I popped into a health food store which I know sells them. I was confronted with a floor to ceiling rack of bars. I stood reading the labels. Soy. Soy. Some weird grains and shit. Soy. Nuts and twigs. Soy. Carb-A-Lot. Soy. Soy. Soy. Can’t a woman get some plain whey any more? I left without buying anything. As we were leaving, I said to the friend who was with me, “Dammit, all they have is that soy crap!” She shrugged and said, “Soy is the new hemp.”
People talk a lot about time. They have time, need time, waste time, wish there was more time in a day, and so on. As a result we live in a physical time frame which cheats us from fully experiencing our bodies. We deny them what they need and give them what they don’t want. Our goal, then, is to live more fully in our physical present, in the here and now.
What can you do for your body right now?
It’s a lazy Sunday and I’m eating lunch, flipping thru TV channels. I stop on an infomercial for Pilates. As usual it promises all sorts of things: “longer, leaner muscles” (shyeah right), dropping dress sizes (fine print: if you follow their “suggested eating plan”), better posture (this, at least, is plausible), etc. But the part that makes my jaw drop and bits of tuna dribble down my chin is the chat with the Spokesmodel Du Jour…
So I’m sitting there in my jammies with a nice cuppa joe on Saturday morning, reading the paper, when I come across this article. It discusses the rise in plastic surgery among young women. Young white girls are getting their eyes done to look more “catlike”. Young girls of Asian descent are getting their eyes done to look more white. And everyone is getting new noses and tits. What the hell?