Friday, February 29, 2008

The Body Electric, with Short Circuit

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Is your body a temple? So what do you do when the roof leaks?

I've always enjoyed very good physical health, a delightful girlish figure, few aches and pains except those we all get from time to time. But just lately, as Fidel Castro steps down from the position he's held since the year I was born, I find the old bodily temple getting some cracks in its columns.

Gosh, ya wonder why? Count the years that Fidel's been at the helm on his little island. That dude must have an iron constitution.

Recently a very nice doctor stuck a largish needle into my hip and sent me to physical therapy, better known as "rehab." If anyone had told me, back in my 20s, that I'd be in rehab some day, I'd have given them large odds it wouldn't be for a bum hip.

Like everything else in my life, I thought I had rehab figured out before I walked in the door. I figured the place would be brimming to the plimsol line with aging geezers like me trying to get a few more years out of the corpus delecti.

I was wrong.

Aging geezers are there, to be sure, but on the evenings when I go the place is dominated by little girls. Yes, readers. Little girls. Last night there were three girls there in rehab for injuries, and not one of them needed a bra!

These are not wayward tots who fell while climbing trees. These are gymnasts and soccer players injured during their chosen activities.

I'm sorry if I step on any soccer mom toes here, but if you're 13 and already in rehab, icing your bad ankle on the gurney next to the 89-year-old great-granny with osteoporosis, don't you take a peek at great-granny and wonder what the fuck you'll be like at her age?

I'll bet you that when great-granny was 13, she could dance all night long, ride her bike up steep hills, and hopscotch right through school lunch break. No one encouraged her to hopscotch to the exclusion of all else, until her good hopping leg went bad and she found herself on a gurney.

Hey, come to think of it, I would win that bet. My mama did gymnastics (they called it acrobatics in those days). She didn't pursue it until her wrists snapped. She just did it for fun.

You know what else I see when I lug my finely-aged tush into rehab? I see Gen Xers out in the gym, going hog wild on the exercise machines. Swear to the bored gods, if these people were in real-life situations, they'd be exerting themselves vigorously enough to escape that bull rush in Pamplona. Except the bull rush only happens once a year, and these yuppies are in there burning the machine cables to bits every night of the week.

Chill it on down, folks! Especially you little girls! Before you go betting your bones on Olympic fame, call up some footage of Muhammad Ali. Then look at some footage of Fidel Castro. Castro was born in 1926. Ali was born in 1942. You'd never know it to see them side by side. And I know for a fact (or maybe for a legend) that Fidel did some boxing in his youth. So that there's a rock-solid comparison. Sort of. Because maybe Fidel played baseball in his youth. I'm not going to spend the evening sorting it out.

The point is, you're only given one body at a time (nod to the Druid notion of reincarnation). Bodies wear out. We at "The Gods Are Bored" recommend not exceeding the speed limit and keeping after those essential oil changes every 3000 miles. You shouldn't be in for repairs before you've made the first investment in supportive undergarments and the final payment on your friggin braces.



yellowdog granny said...

as the late great waylon jennings said:'If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself."....or in the words of the greater Willie Nelson:"They're more drunks than there are old Dr' lets have us another beer."...

Emily G. W. Lilly said...

The peer pressure (among parents) is crazy! I guarantee that those little girls don't even _like_ their chosen activities, as they are no doubt being pushed into them.

It's so sad, too; gymnastics and soccer can be really FUN, if it's only a couple of months per year and you really want to do it. Or if it's all through the school year, but only once per week.

Sheesh! I am SO GLAD that I can resist peer pressure! My 9, 7, 5, and 3 year old kids are NOT going to be sitting there, contemplating how they'll look when they're 89... I hope they eventually understand how difficult it is for me! :-)

BBC said...

At almost 65 I'm still slim and trim and holding up very well considering all the things I've done in my life.

But I stay pretty active and don't eat a lot, often only once a day. And seldom see doctors.

Getting old and dying isn't a problem with me, I'm just going to get old and get dead rather than have doctors try to keep me alive.

I'm sick and tired of this planet anyway. In my omnipresence I have to put up with it but at least I can start with a new body and new hopes.