amazing bodies“You have an amazing body,” a complete stranger said to me last night as I sat in our local bookstore listening to an author give a reading. Okay, I did have a moment of schoolgirl giddiness to hear an opening line I haven’t heard since I was in my 20’s. However, my response was curt: “Thank you,” I replied sounding strangely like a PE instructor, “I work at it every, single day.” “Well, it sure shows,” he gushed, as he stared long and hard at the full length of my anatomy.

As I sat there trying to keep my attention on the speaker, I wondered what on earth about me had caused him to say that. I wasn’t wearing anything provocative, simply Bermuda shorts and a T-shirt. Truth is, I didn’t even have an ‘amazing body’ in my 20’s. I had then what I do now: a small-headed, long-necked, flat-chested, short-waisted, knock-kneed and pigeon-toed one. The only difference is that all of it has now shifted a bit south and gone surreptitiously slack.

Of course, it has had 40 years to get the way and I have put it through labyrinthian gyrations in the process. I suppose it began with those awkward gymnastic stunts in high school like doing the splits on the balance beam. Then there were hours of wild dancing and limbo contests in night clubs. This would later segue into dirt races on my motorcycle and culminate with a series of sky diving escapades in college. Oops. I almost forgot the broken collarbone in that car crash, a series of sprained ankles and now arthritic knees which doctors say I still need to replace.

After two pregnancies and 6 solid years of nursing things toned down a bit. Although there was a spate of 6-mile a day jogging, ridiculous step-classes done to pumping music and that time I was thrown off a gym treadmill backwards and stuck against a wall while the moving belt continued to lacerate my knees. I’m sure that I am leaving something out here but you get the picture.

These days I can still do a cartwheel, handstands against a wall, hot yoga, swim and play doubles with gals my age—but not all in one day! Come to think of it, I DO have an amazing body! It still gets me around. I’m still breathing and above all, I am grateful to still be in it!!!




  1. You had an amazing body in your 20’s Helen, because you were into nutrition and holistic health back in the mid-1970’s when you started teaching me what you knew!!! And now I have an amazing body in my 60’s, because of your kind advice many years ago, and the 21 year old women are chasing me on the beach here in Naples, Florida!!! Doug K.


  2. Started doing long morning walks and got told today the pain is a degenerating hip joint. Bit depressing. But I can lean against a wall, do cold yoga and sleep 10 hours without trying. So all is good, as long as I’ve got my hair slicked back and those Wayfarers on….


  3. Right on! Genetic mutations and advanced age aside, our bodies are programmed to heal and rejuvenate given the proper support. Like Grandmother Jo, you’ve respected this too! It’s so sad to see so many advertisements for powerful pharmaceuticals that usually create more health risks than benefits when healthy holistic living would often address those health issues much better. I haven’t seen the movie/documentary ‘Fed Up’ about how the sugar industry advanced their product from condiment to dietary staple now a major part of the western diet. Oh well, don’t get me started.

    PS We’re on vacation in the Utah mountains and I saw an ad for trial ride on Paso Fino horses for advanced riders only two hour minimum. I though what the heck, go for it even though I haven’t ridden seriously in over 20 years. It was fabulous and I was hardly sore. Don’t think many 20 year olds would have accomplished that hahahaha. All that working out at the gym pays off.


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