Summer vacation at the Jersey Shore. Hot ivory sand, rolling olive-white waves, endless cerulean sky. Black headed gulls glide downwind and beat back against the breeze. Sandpipers dart nervously at water’s edge. Brilliant sun bathes all. Is there any place more beautiful? We are blessed.
I am oncologically prepared. Long shirt. Wet suit. Broad rimmed straw hat. SPF 183 (Coppertone + zinc oxide + silver paint). Dark Coke bottle sunglasses. Tent sized umbrella. Gatorade 2 gallon jug. Iodine tablets. GPS Locator. Swimmies. Kindle with 2000 book capacity. Beach goers give me a wide birth. Good, no germs. Let the good times roll.
I am distracted from my electronics by all the bodies. I thought only Steven Spielberg could create abs like these. How do they breath? They left six-pack, two cases ago. For me to equal these bellies would require more then a plastic surgeon…. we’re talking general contractor.
Alas, I am disturbed to see future patients. There is a guy 50 feet to my left who is sunburned, smoking, drinking soda and whose body mass index exceeded ideal 25 many digits ago. The only good news is his Vitamin D level. Sadly, as I look around, I count more sunbathers with these vices, then those with abs of steel.
I am tempted to stroll the beach giving out advice. Perhaps put a rack of my cards on the ice cream truck. That would make friends. Probably be staked out for the crabs and gulls. No, I will cower under my umbrella.
Still, the beauty of nature and the beach bodies of summer do teach a lesson. Something we can take home other then sand in our shoes.
We can prevent cancer my taking care of our bodies. We can use sunscreen (SPF 15+). We can quit smoking. We can exercise (30+ minutes walking 5 days a week). Get plenty of sleep. Limit alcohol (1-2 drinks a day) and soda (none?). Eat more fresh fruit and roughage. Limit red meat (twice a week) and fats.
Cherish the frail corpus in which we reside, as the only one we shall ever have. Just as our families love us and want to be with us, we need to love and care for ourselves so we may be with them.
Now, how does one read 2000 books?