Altogether and to the tune of “I Feel Pretty”- “I feel icky, oh so icky. I feel icky and blecky and gray!” Okay, that is all I’ve got. I am sure there is some medical condition that goes along with my symptoms. WebMD says either appendicitis or a strained muscle. Now if I had stools that looked like little fingers, it could also be colitis, or something like that. Regardless, it is totally my fault, I am certain, and is definitely a result of the prescription I’ve given myself to create a bigger and bolder me.
As I mentioned in “Serving Size, My Ass” some months back, I’ve been doing a bit of an experiment. Though not stuffing my face with quarter pounders, mostly because I am terrified of eating at establishments where they have to remind their employees to wash their hands after wiping their asses; oh and I don’t consider “beef product” to be acceptable for human consumption (Yeah Andy, I hope you are reading this!), I have been eating as much and exercising as little as the average American 45-year-old woman. I’ve reached two conclusions: genetics and lifetime habits give us the bodies our personalities inhabit. That works for me but some of you poor suckers out there are doomed. Best to kill yourselves now. Oops, just kidding. Unless you are nearly 100, you still have the lifetime habits thing to work for you. So get on it!
We don’t choose to whom we are born, though Hollywood and uber rich people, who have the good sense to know that they are entirely unattractive and ought not to procreate filling the world with mini-me’s, have introduced sperm and egg discrimination, an unnatural selection, if you will. For the rest of us, we’re stuck with the couple who fucked each other. In the memorable words of my then 6-year-old, “The daddy put his penis in the mommy’s vagina and his sperm chased down her egg and got it.” And if they were fat, knock-kneed, and hairy, good chance you too will look like a troll. But as I said, lifetime habits… and a good wax job will help a lot!
And what are some of these habits? Well Grandma Leone taught me to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning, which I do, as does my daughter. At some point that habit will affect genetics, I am sure. (I just had a very disturbing vision of a kangaroo pouch developing where biceps are that collects water. Don’t ask me where the water will come from but you must admit that the placement of the pouch is handy because immediately after drinking you can wipe your mouth on your forearm.)
And Grandpa Nick was a lifetime gardener who taught me the indispensable worth of growing a home garden from which one can harvest the vegetables at the time they are ripened with all of the delicious micronutrients and enzymes at their peak. My mother and her parents insisted that salad is something to eat in addition to cooked vegetables, as well, reinforcing the habit of eating raw and colorful foods daily.
And let’s not forget the importance of moving the body. I have seen firsthand what not doing that will do as my mother has become quite sedentary the last ten years. She actually broke her foot getting up to turn off the tele. And to think that our neighbors thought it dangerous for us to be skateboarding off the roof! But truly that has been the most painful part of this process for me. Sitting still is an art form; being slothful is gross. So upon my return last week to what would have been an hour a day of exercise, something anyone can do, even if in increments throughout the day, I thought I’d jump right in. Well let me tell you, moving a body that has not really been moving for six months is a bit of a chore. But if you’ve always been an athlete, it is relatively easy to get back on that horse. Which is what I did and most likely the reason I have now been laid up doing nothing for three days. My strength and muscle memory did not account for the stiffness and rigidity of my ligaments. Damn! Hello 45-year-old body, you suck!
Persistence and perseverance are key. Blown ACL and meniscus, broken leg, broken foot, torn hamstring, dislocated shoulder, broken tailbone are injuries I’ve rehabilitated from and other than being a human barometer, I’m no worse for the wear. However, after this little injury and the last one, oh yeah the one when I broke my nose the first day back after breaking my tailbone, I am going to try walking the horse before galloping or even trotting. After all, there is still plenty of time to jump fences for all of us. We just have to get there one step, habit, and sometimes faceplant-at-a-time.
But in the eternal words of Rob Schneider, “You can do it!”