Sometimes I think what a waste it is to have a perfectly healthy body and not to treat it like that. We use our muscles to climb our own stairs, to wash our dishes, and to transport ourselves from here to there – we stand up and walk just to get to somewhere else where we can stop and sit. We eat shitty food because it tastes good or it’s convenient, disregarding what it does to our bodies. We have these amazing machines that we live in every day that can do unbelievable things, and we just use the most basic functions of them.
If I think of all the people who aren’t blessed with these healthy bodies – all the people with diseases or disabilities or missing parts – I think of how we without any ailments are living without restrictions and have the health they wish for and what are we doing with it? Eating hamburgers and flipping through the channels. If I were one of them, I would hate all of us. I would be sitting there, confined to my chair, dreaming of hiking a mountain trail or maybe just walking through the neighborhood. And the people around me who are completely able to do what it is I was dreaming of are just sitting around like me anyway. What a waste.
Just like youth is wasted on the young, health is wasted on the healthy. We take health for granted because it’s something we’ve just always had where there are people unlucky who have never had it. Sometimes I guess you have to lose something to realize how much it matters to you. And those of us who haven’t lost it just forget it’s even there.
I’ve seen pictures of those marathoners who run with prosthetic legs and think to myself, “they get it.” Because they realize what it is like to live without something they once had, and they determine to make the best of what they have now and not to waste it.
We tell our kids to get outside and run around because their bodies need to move and burn off energy. They need fresh air and Vitamin D. But so do we. And while most of us would never let our kids spend all their free time in front of the TV, knowing that a healthy person needs a variety of activities, we can often find ourselves doing the same thing we forbid our children to do. We can spend entire days without doing anything creative or cardiovascular or social. I hate to be a waste. So now that I realized that’s what I was, I have stopped being a waste. I’m taking advantage of what I have, because advantages should never be taken for granted.