Thanks To My Body

1. It occurred to me recently that I spend so much time focusing on the fact that I dislike the shape and proportions of my body that I forget to be thankful for the fact that, despite all the things I loathe about it, it is strong and healthy. Which is, afterall, its most important function* – no matter what our perniciously pervasive media tell us.

I mean, really, I don’t remember the last time I was ill. Even with a cold.

So far, I have been extremely lucky and have not had a major health-scare. One case of a moderate allergic reaction to an antibiotic and some issues with my skin which are now well under control. Other than that, all the bits may not be quite as good as new, but they nonetheless seem to be in decent working order.

And not only is my body healthy, but it is also strong enough to allow me to do things like canyoning, scuba diving, kayaking and running without any problem. Okay, so its sometimes tough at the time and my muscles ache a little the next day, but its discomfort rather than pain. And with no lasting damage as far as I can tell, other than natural wear and tear.

I take reasonably good care of it, mind you. I eat a pretty balanced diet and I don’t smoke or drink alcohol, apart from a very occasional glass of shandy. Plus I’m sure the yoga helps, even if its not practiced as regularly as it probably should be.

When I consider all the people I know who have serious health issues such as cancer or chronic back pain or who are on constant medication for diabetes or asthma etc, I realise how grateful I should be.

So, anyway, thanks Body. Good job. Well done and please keep it up!

2. On Saturday night I went to the Bondi Short Film Festival with some girlfriends. While there we met another group of people, among whom was a single chap. Β We’ll call him Tall Pilot Guy. He was good looking and obviously (I thought) significantly younger than me, so I mentally consigned him to the ‘Probably Never See Him Again’ file and was friendly but made no real effort to engage his attention.

We chatted a little and it turns out he lives on the same street as me. Β The others went on for a drink after the films, but it was late and I had to be up at 5.30am to go canyoning the next morning, so I jumped in a cab and went home (I believe I mentioned that I’m a Nana?).

Well, colour me surprised as hell, but apparently he asked after me the next day. And wants my number.


3. Then, on Sunday, after canyoning and while I was still un-showered and wearing the grimy shorts and top I’d gone up the mountains in, and with my hair pulled back in a ponytail, I visited my friend in hospital. The one with the new baby. And there was a friend of her husband there when we arrived. A handsome friend with smiley eyes. Holding said baby and looking very comfortable. Let’s call him Twinkly-Eyed Guy.

Again, I thought, “okay, he’s bound to be married or attached or gay or dead or all of the above, so let’s not get interested here. Just be polite.”

We had a nice chat about motorbikes (he has one, I like them immensely and miss riding pillion on one), and about great TV shows (he’s a fan of The Wire which I’ve recently been enjoying on DVD).

Then I toddled off home, after taking some pictures of the proud parents and baby.

I emailed the pics to the Mum on Monday… and then got an email from Twinkly-Eyed Guy (to whom she had forwarded them). After I replied, he sent another and now he has friended me on Facebook.


Of course, neither of these guys is probably remotely interested in me romantically – they never are – but still. Its nice.

* Which reminds me, I once told a school Games teacher that I wasn’t interested in making my body fitter because “as long as it transports my brain around from place to place, that’s all I ask”. How times change!

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17 Responses to Thanks To My Body

  1. modestypress says:

    It never rains but it pours. Or, it never pours but it rains. Unless it drips.

    I am glad you are nice to your body. I am glad it is being nice to you.

  2. A body is very useful for transporting your brain. It is just that sometimes your brain wants to go somewhere where it is necessary for the body to be fit.

    (Bother – I missed my chance to go astronauting. Although that may be because I was born too soon πŸ™‚ )

  3. Fugitive Pieces says:

    Yours is a pretty damn excellent body, both in form and function. If it’s merely a form of transport, it’s a …*wracks brain for sporty, yet classy, yet not classic and therefore vintage, nor stately and thus cumbersome car*… Either a Jeep or a Jag XJ in racing green? Note to self: avoid metaphors I can’t substantiate with a light smattering of knowledge.
    And both those men sound undrippy, interested and interesting. Regardless of romance (I could give you the pep talk here, but there are others better qualified than me who will certainly weigh in) – if they’re worthy of your attention for longer than a summer afternoon, then huzzah for good conversation and a shandy toast to the possibilities!

  4. doctordi says:

    Hear, hear, Woo, hats off to your body, and mine, and everyone else’s, and long may they flourish, because even the bits we don’t like are kind enough to do their stuff with a minimum of fuss. As a non-ailing type myself, I have come to understand what an extraordinary gift a hardy frame really is – we won a lottery there, make no mistake. Both men sound like good sorts, and whether there’s summer romance afoot or not, I agree with the Fugitive, and wholeheartedly rate the good lads just for their fine company, and it’s the more the merrier on that front. Also, most guys find girls fresh from the canyon wearing nary a scrap of slap far more appealing than someone orange whose eyelashes look like eyebrows. Fact.

  5. Pete says:

    Hi, I’m just visiting because you’re a friend of Di’s and David’s and I was curious. Agree with Fugitive and Di on the wholesome guys. Romance or not, a friendship would definitely be worthwhile.

    • woo says:

      Hi Pete, I’m very glad you popped by. Romance is unlikely, so I’m whole-heartedly embracing the possibilities of new friendships instead πŸ™‚

  6. David says:

    It’s always lovely to be noticed, regardless of how likely a romance may or may not be. Very cool. I think the entire male population of Orstralia should be grovelling at your feet on a pretty regular basis.

    And yes, a healthy working body is something to be thankful for, even if one isn’t always delighted with it aesthetically. I too am amazed at how many people who aren’t even yet forty are beset with all kinds of problems. Even *I* am healthier, as far as not being on meds and crap, than a lot of folks I know, and that’s a scary statement.

  7. I don’t have a lot to add. Except, I’m not the least bit surprised that someone found you interesting when you were fresh from an activity you enjoy, no matter how you are dressed. The best and most worthwhile friends don’t really care how you are dressed and whether you have the “right” makeup on.

    And I join you in the “Thanks to my Body” paean of praise. I am now closer to 60 than I am to 50 and yet still I am strong, and I have no chronic problems, require no medications. It is great! Eat right, exercise, stretch, sleep well, engage in interesting pastimes. Seems to be the recipe for long term health.

    • Ouch – in 15 days I am closer to 70 than 60! A few bits are showing wear and tear but on the whole I still function reasonably well – even if I can’t go into space as an astronaut.

      • woo says:

        And Archie – I hope you have a wonderful birthday planned? With plenty of things which are probably bad for you but taste good?!!

    • woo says:

      “Eat right, exercise, stretch, sleep well, engage in interesting pastimes.”

      Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. I hope I can say the same about being free of chronic problems and requiring no medications when I’m closer to 60 than 50.

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