I’m in this endless pursuit of this mythical idea of health, and I’m not even sure what that means. I picture myself hanging by my legs upside down from a 20ft tall geodome as a teenager with no fear of falling, of my body when I was a dancer and could see the muscles beneath my skin. I picture being able to climb a tree without a second thought. But what I don’t picture is how much time I had back then, how I climbed that geodome during a summer where I worked and played outside all day every day. How I was a dancer in high school where walking home from school, between classes, to the metro to go hang out with friends, was the norm. How I had time every day once school was over to do 200 cruches each morning and night, and how there was really no stress constantly looming because fuck ups were inconsequential and slipped off the glassy surface of my mind without leaving large jarring scratches. When I climbed trees with no second thought I was carefree, and time outdoors was plentiful, weekends were jaunts in the woods full of energy that didn’t require caffeine or a sugar high. My ideas of health are all colored by the backdrop of childhood, lack of stress, abundance of free time, everything falling into place with no schedule. My ideas of health are colored by an absence of trauma responses and chronic pain. My ideas of health neglect to remember that half the time I was obsessed with numbers on a scale and numbers of calories burned and eating less then 200 calories a day when I could get away with it. My ideas of health forget the years where I could go the five days in the school week subsisting on mountain dew and nothing else, and the weekend living on two taco hell burritos and feeling like that was too much.
I want the energy and exhilaration I had in childhood. I hit puberty so early, so I was this tall and at my healthy adult weight by the time I was a teenager, even a little bit before. So my whole idea of what this shaped body I have now should be able to do, is based on a concept of a thirteen year old with no cares in the world. When I try and imagine fitness at this age, I can only picture the lean muscular elderly folk I see running the trails at the park. They’re in their seventies and eighties and probably in better shape then I’ve been in for over a decade. I think about the ideal of mental health. I don’t know anyone mentally healthy. My generation is all people who are traumatized and fucked up beyond belief because we give voice to the problems of the world and they weigh on us like bricks. How can you be mentally healthy when watching the rise of fascism and the death of your peers for loving a different gender then expected or being a different gender then expected? How can you be mentally healthy when you see the earth that you want to reach to for sustenance, becoming a ticking time bomb counting down to the extinction of your species, because of the greed of corporations and the wealthy few in power? For that matter, how can you be physically healthy when there are another hundred cleanses and fad diets birthed each day? When you are constantly told that health looks like photoshop lies, and comes from on of the thousand one true ways to decrease in size that is marketed violently and splashed all over any physical or virtual environment you step into?
So I wish I had a conclusion to this, but I’m not there yet. I’m just at the -the world is fucked and my brain is too, but I need to get to a better healthier place, and that’s hard and I have no idea how, but I’m gunna do it anyway- point. I do hope to offer more insight if I get there though.