Friday, October 17, 2008

Health Freaks

My friend, M, is volunteering at an orphanage in South Africa for 3 months. She's doing an incredible thing with her time - she's only 19, and is already cool enough to know that this is way better for everyone than the modeling and acting she was doing in LA - and there's no doubt about it. Every week or so she sends out a mass email telling everyone what she's been up to lately, and we all wait with bated breath to learn vicariously about South African customs and every day life at the orphanage. Reading about her experiences has been really edifying, and I wish I had the moral fibre to do something as beneficial as what she's been doing - helping orphaned babies get the advantages every child deserves in life: shelter, clothing, good food, education, and love.

But her most recent email was all about how she just hiked up the side of Table Mountain. "I hiked over 2,100 feet UP HUGE ROCKS! It was insane! It took us as a group of 7, about 2 hours to complete. But it was so worth it!" Followed by twenty pictures of her ruddy little cheekies and sleek, piston leg muscles bounding up the 75 degree angles of an unidentified crevasse.
Do you guys have friends like this? AWESOME YOU ARE A PARAGON OF HEALTH AND VITALITY and I just had Chipotle for the third time this week (granted, it was one of's top 5 healthiest food chains, but...). You will probably outlive Mr. Burns and I am going to die tomorrow out of sheer ill will, embarrassment, and social smoking. People who love the outdoors make me retract. That's the best word for it. Retract. I pull back into my hoodie and try to disappear behind my sunglass lenses when you talk about all your Hardy Nature Adventures. Stop making me feel bad about my mental and physical decrepitude: your bright attitude gives me a hangover.

The last time I did any physical activity for 2 hours straight was...never! Think about someone else for a change. OH WAIT, I'm drinking out of a Fiji water bottle and ranting on my blog about Britney Spears - AND YOU'RE IN SOUTH AFRICA LITERALLY SAVING THE LIVES OF TWO HUNDRED BIAFRAN ORPHANS.

Well...fuck. Oh, did I mention she never curses, either?


L said...

My great-grandmother lived on cigarettes, coca cola, and mountains of chocolate. And it's important to note that she was not in the slightest overweight due probably to the sheer number of cigarettes she smoked. She passed away (without serious illness, mind you) at age 103 a few years ago.

What really breaks my heart is when I hear of people who forced themselves their entire life to be as healthy as possible and get bone cancer anyway, and then are so upset that all their effort amounted to zero protection against the unforeseen. In the end I think the best bet is to not kill yourself over exercise or diet but just live sensibly and be happy.

Priya said...

Well, I think any advice whose main point is "be happy" is probably worth listening to.

I also wanted to point out: M isn't being healthy to prevent any future disease - she just legitimately enjoys eating only raw foods and saving babies and in general being wholesome. She has no motive!

It's all just as delightful as it should be and that's strange to me; usually I can quickly make a sarcastic joke out of whatever people put in front of me, but she requires no deconstruction. She's just...exactly what she seems to be. No pretense. All good.

L said...

I think perhaps to continue this discussion would not turn out well, because when I communicate online I tend to come off poorly and just make people mad. I just disagree. Maybe we can just talk about it somewhere else.

Priya said...

Wait, what is there to disagree about?

L said...

Pretense, motives, the existence of true altruism, things such as these.