Despite 85 pounds of lost body lard I am still a fat man. The bathroom mirror and the scale don’t lie. You and I both know that I was a much, much, much larger guy before but that does not negate the fact that at 250 pounds, I still easily fall into the morbidly obese category. However, I never let myself forget that I am much less morbidly obese than I was before. You have to stay positive.
When not using the mirror-scale method of self scrutiny, I easily slip into my normal state of mind. In my head I look like Michael Phelps, just stepping off of the gold medal rostrum; glowing from hard won victory, supreme health and radiating kilo-joules of youth. I easily fall into the role of Captain America and Thor when my internal movie theater plays the myriad of mental mini-films it creates during the day. In short, I am a stud.
The incredibly positive self image that I allow myself to walk around in is such an easy skin to wear now. I slip into it each morning when I wake before my alarm and literally bounce out of bed. In fact, this bouncing is one of Shannon’s arguments for buying an incredibly expensive Sealy Posturepedic mattress. I’d be glad to oblige but that would force me to sell one of my gold medals and I am not ready to do that yet.
Throughout the day, my 85 pound lighter body seems to float about 2 inches off the ground. When walking through crowds I can slip between the small gaps without brushing against anyone or knocking them over. I find myself able to twist, bend, leap and move more than I thought humanly possible.
I’ve gone from feeling like the bull in a china shop to being a ninja.
Several days ago, long enough for the scabs to fall off and become pink scar tissue, I had a pretty spectacular ninja fail.
Our kitchen has a blissful amount of counter space. It wraps around most of the kitchen and comes together at the entrance with about as much room as you find between parallel bars. You might not know this but parallel bars are very attractive to ninjas. When we see a set we are drawn to them like Paula Dean is drawn to butter.
So there I was, minding my own business in the kitchen, filling my Grazing Box (patent pending-pending) with foods for the day. Bursting with my now standard morning energy, I spotted the before unnoticed parallel bars. They taunted me with their even spacing and comfortable height. As a ninja, I was unable to resist their siren song. Acting on pure instict, I grabbed the counter tops and lifted my body off the ground. After finding myself successfully hovering over the hard ground I raised my legs quickly in front of me forming the Deadly Dragon Pose.
This all happened in about five long seconds, but it was the next fraction of a second that reminded me I am still just a ninja in training. It was in that fraction of a second that the slick counter and my damp hands decided to part ways. With gravity now acting as it must, my hands shot out over the counter top and I fell the three feet to the linoleum. My forearms scrapped the counter’s edge, valiantly trying to slow my fall. To make matters more exciting there was an open dishwasher door conveniently located where my head was heading.
I laid on the floor for a while running system diagnostics on myself. When the final reports came back from the nervous system I was amazed to learn that no major bones or organs had been crushed. I heard my family fearfully asking if I was OK so I raised a bleeding arm in a victorious thumbs-up. Nothing was seriously injured and since ninjas don’t weep or moan I just stayed down there for a few more moments.
Later in the bathroom with the mirror, scale and first aid supplies I reflected on what had just happened. My mind and body had not coordinated the event as well as they could have. I blame my very positive self image. In my mind I was not only capable of the attempted acrobatics, I was capable of much more. Without involving physics, my next move would surely have been to swing up into a single armed handstand followed by a triple somersault dismount. And I would have stuck that landing like a champion.
Accidents are for learning. Scabs are understanding and scars are wisdom- but here is an instance where I have no desire to learn from my spectacularly broad and purple bruises. I am done being the tired, slow, fat guy. I am finished knocking people over with my belly when I try to walk down a crowded sidewalk. It is over.
I feel like a super hero ninja Olympic swimming champion, and dammit, that’s what I am.