Man was made, we can all agree on that. Man grows old, we can all agree on that. Some say we were made out of a lump of clay, some say we swung down from trees to walk upright. In any case, here we are. What is our image, how do we present ourselves, and is presentation important? What should we present as we move into our Senior years? Is that important?
Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo both studied human anatomy – they were studying form and function. These men were artists and scientists. They understood that form and function must go hand in hand. Their artistic creations of the image of man are considered perfect. Perfect in the sense that every limb is in proper proportion to the torso.
I stepped out of the shower one day last spring and caught an image of myself in the full length mirror. My reaction was normal, I wondered what had happened to my mirror. Had someone played a joke on me? Had someone replaced my mirror with a carnival by-product, something that distorts the image imagined by Michelangelo?
How do I say this, my legs and arms were not in correct proportion to my torso. Clarity struck in an instant – I knew that I must either grow longer legs and arms, or somehow shrink the diameter of my torso.
I tried googling ‘longer legs and longer arms’ and found very little of use. A trip to the local library also produced poor results. It seems there is no accredited fitness program that guarantees longer arms and legs for people in their Senior Years.
I have to admit that Michelangelo never really used my body as his standard of perfection. Even if he were alive today, if he had been around when I was twenty years old, I doubt that he would have used me as his prototypical man. I am a Senior – but does that mean that I cannot hope for the body of Mikey’s statue of David? I don’t know.
I do know that I can aspire to be better than I have been. My regular workout is now beginning the fourth month. My belt is two notches tighter. The scales report a ten to fifteen pound decrease in mass. I like to think I have lost twenty pounds of fat and gained five to eight pounds of muscle. People who know me admit that my head looks larger.
Is there anything more important than to have a properly proportioned body? My doctor laughed at this notion. He thinks measurements of cholesterol and triglycerides and blood pressure and heart rate are more appropriate. And who said that Michelangelo was right? Who granted an artist the right to define perfection? It must be some liberal conspiracy to crush the corporate interests of Hostess Cup Cakes.
My neighbor down the road balances his extended mid-section with a shotgun over his shoulder. Those liberals are not going to deprive him of his God given right to support Hostess. He has a personal relationship with Little Debbie and will not be deterred by some dead artist.
I guess that is what makes the United States so great. We can love the artist or the corporation. We can believe what the doctor tells us, or we can believe what we see in the mirror. Ain’t America great.