Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Defying Genetics (& the final word on the price of my soul)

I have a personal mission to overcome my body’s natural inclination to be a certain size. To prove that we are all more than the sum of our parts, not simply limited by our genetic code, to show that I am in control.

Yes, friends, I’m on a mission to prove that just because I’m naturally inclined to be skinny I too can be overweight.

Okay, okay. You’re all rolling your eyes, right? But what is it about getting to a certain age that makes weight that much harder to lose?

Oh, and that’s what we call a rhetorical question. I do not want a scientific explanation. I just want to complain. What’s that? Rolling your eyes at me again? Hey, at least I’m honest!

This year has officially sucked on the whole ‘treadmill commitment’ thing. Some of you will remember I put my back out a few months ago. Shoveling snow. Yes, that’s right, that’s what it really was, not anything else.

I actually put my back out just over a year ago. I decided to dig out a flower garden. The soil there was nearly dead, and I knew I had to replace it. Not only that, but I dug up a dog skull and a few other bits and pieces and decided it was deep enough. Then I started moving bricks… Well, you get the idea.

This all goes back to something that happened when I was a kid. I was running along the beach and landed on broken liquor bottle. I screamed bloody murder across Lake Muskoka that day, and it was bad. It was 1980, and in Canada that means we were just heading into the tainted blood scandal era. Of course, I had no clue about that at the time, nor did a lot of other people. But we’d walked to the beach, a good 15-20 minute walk for a kid from our house, and it was another 20 minutes driving like mad on the highway to the hospital. We flagged down a ride to our house, fortunately, or I would have had a blood transfusion for sure.

As it was, it was touch and go. I still remember the lovely doctor, Dr. Daniels, who walked in, looked at me, sighed and said, “IF you don’t stop screaming, I’m going to cut your foot off.” I thought then it was a threat. I suppose he might have been pointing out that when a man with a sharp instrument is performing delicate surgery and someone screams in his ears, anything can happen, but that didn’t register in my brain then.

All I could do was grip the bed rail as hard as possible and clamp my mouth shut and cry. (This all happened just before my 9th birthday, btw.)



My scar curves up the outside of my right foot, about an inch. It goes across my foot on the bottom, about 2/3 of the way across. I even had disintegrating stitches used inside on the muscle to help in mend.

And after what seemed like a very long time, I had to relearn how to walk.



Of course, I didn’t know anything about blood flow to injuries back then. But my body was pumping all its natural goodness to my right leg, because of the injury.

So, guess what folks? My right leg is a bit longer than my left leg. Just enough that occasionally, I trip over my own two feet and look like a complete idiot. Other people need something to get in the way to trip them up, but no no, not me. I can fall flat on my face without any assistance! I’m special that way.

Are you starting to figure out where this is going? Yep, the inevitable repercussion of having one leg longer than the other and not knowing for a few years. My spine compensated too, bless it. I have minor scoliosis.

Kevin always says I’m defective and he’s working on the warranty. Damn, if I were him, I’d want my money back. We haven’t even talked about the time I was hit by a car and the scar on my head as a result.

So, now that I’m in my 30s, I find my body is protesting a bit more. My knees are grumbling about a strike. My butt is insistent that it prefers a double cushion because it’s taken enough falls.

I got thinking about this yesterday. Because when we sprain our ankle, for example, it is often weakened for life. But if you break a bone and it mends, it’s usually stronger.

There was something that happened that prompted yesterday’s post. I’m not going to talk specifics on it.

I already knew what I was going to do before I put the post up. It was a process of getting to that point over the weekend, but I had someone who talked some real sense to me, who put my head on straight, who showed how wonderful and compassionate they are. And someone else reminded me, again, of why I think he’s a great guy and... Well, let’s just say I’m lucky. I’ve got great friends. Wise friends.

Still, I tried to check my “I don’t give a fuck” attitude at the door when I wrote that post. Because it is always possible that, in your own natural desire to defend yourself, you overlook legitimate points about your behaviour. I’m not perfect, and I figured that if anyone who knows me from here had something to say on it, I should be open to hearing them. I can be self-righteous with the best of them, but I was trying to keep an open mind.

At the same time, I felt like it wasn’t bad for everyone to consider. It may have happened to you already, it may never happen, or it might be just around the bend. Even Stuart recently blogged about getting a critical letter from someone inferring he was too full of himself. (Puhleeeeeze. I mean, if you’ve ever met Stuart, full of himself? That’s pretty damn funny.)

Yep, as Amra pointed out, I care too much. But if you know why you’re blogging, what you’re doing here, then you’ll be okay. What matters is that you can look in the mirror and know that you’re good with yourself.

Everything after that is just gravy. And I’m really lucky, because I’ve got friends who give me so much encouragement and support. You’re all beautiful.

Except Brett. Brett’s post gives a glimpse to life inside Killer Year Clubhouse that you won’t want to miss, but I’m not sure I was prepared to flash everyone week 2…It is my crisis day, right? Or is Toni after that again with her breast problems?

Giving Birth To A Blog!

And this one’s special! Because it’s mostly Canadian! Welcome Vicki Delaney, Alex Brett, Rick Blechta, Michael Blair and Charles Benoit to the blogsphere with Type M For Murder! You’ll see Vicki’s name in the special Canadian issue of Spinetingler, out in July, and Rick Blechta is the president of Crime Writers of Canada. Go over, meet the gang, say hi!

And talk about a news flash…

21 comments:

S. W. Vaughn said...

I'm first! HA-hahahaha!!!

Hey, Sandra. :-) I won't ask what the comment was, but I reiterate what others have said: you are neither pretentious nor snobby. You're one of the nicest damned people on the Internet, damn it.

YOU rock!

Brett Battles said...

Except Brett??? What the...? Fine. Let the blog wars begin.

Nah, just kidding. I embrace my evil self. :)

Sandra Ruttan said...

SW, wahoo! You should get a prize, being first. And you're so sweet, thanks!

Brett, you aren't beautiful. You're handsome and charming.

(Good recovery, Sandra, good recovery...)

Eileen said...

I like people who have a touch of snob. It implies some discriminating taste. Loved the pictures.

DesLily said...

I find that anyone who takes a moment to acknowledge another, especially a busy person, would be someone I would hope to have as a friend or neighbor.

those who walk a straight line right over anyone in their way is no one i would want to know.

I've seen you take the time for someone you don't even know... nuff said.

Trace said...

There are some really shitty people out there, but some really awesome ones too. It takes all kinds to make a world go round, right?

Bill Cameron said...

Sandra, I can't tell ya how pleased I am to have discovered my long lost twin, separated at birth and all that (though I'll leave it to larger brains than mine to explain the ten-odd year gap between us). All I can say is, shucks, what a great sis to have discovered after all this time!

Steve Allan said...

Sandra, I'm glad you're realizing everything is going to be OK. But as to the article at the end of the post - the average person has sex 103 times a year! Man, I wish I were average again. I'm giving new meaning to turning Japanese. I really think so.

James Goodman said...

That news flash may be the saddest thing I've ever read...

Sandra Ruttan said...

Yes Eileen, just a touch. Not to be completely full of yourself, but not to be wishy-washy either.

fwiw, I'm not a fan of Shania Twain.

See? Discriminating taste.

DesLily, I'll tell you a beautiful story. There was once a very naive, small-town 18-year-old who went to Europe. She was on her way to Austria, via Luxembourg (tracking down family geneology stuff) and then traveling through Germany. She didn't realize it was Oktoberfest, didn't give it a second though.

A guy on the train started talking to her. He realized she was as green as grass after the spring rains. He postponed his trip to the north of Germany, took her out for a beer in Koblenz, and then went with her to Munich and stayed with her until she was on the train to Salzburg.

Now, I don't remember his name. He never gave me his address. I thought he was a bit silly, honestly. Until I got to Munich and saw the party in the train station alone. The only time (of many) I went through Munich that it was quiet was New Year's day, but it was never rowdier than that first time.

That is a person who goes out of their way for a stranger, and a person who made me think about what it meant to have a generous spirit. I can be selfish as hell, but what a great example to me.

Trace, it's the old thing, isn't it? Without the bad there'd be no good - without the sorrows of life, the joys would not exist.

Bill, we're defying genetics and temporal laws! I'm thrilled to have found you too, bro!

Steve, oh to be average! I hear you! (Where do they get those stats, anyway?!)

Andrea at Lochthyme said...

Sandra you are a kind and generous person and whoever said an unkind word to you obviously doesn't know you. There will always be people like that out there but shit just makes your garden grow bigger and better! :0

Sandra Ruttan said...

James, yeah isn't it? I'm restraining myself from saying more...

Andrea, I think you're one of the most generous people out there! All you do for authors and for me with Spinetingler - you're amazing! I just consider myself fortunate to be surrounded by great, giving people.

angie said...

People are often idiotic. I have accumulated several thousand frequent flier points for my multiple trips to Idiotville, and am considering purchasing a second home there to cut down on hotel costs. Hey, the Idiot Inn ain't cheap.

We all have our own little agendas and backgrounds and hot buttons. Welcome to being human. Sometimes folks lash out at others because it's easier to point the finger at someone other than themselves. So rather than dealing with their own insecurities, jealousies, etc., it's much more satisfying to knock down someone they think has what they deserve/want.

Yuck and oh well. Do you really care about this? Is the person/s making these comments someone you respect or know well? No? Then make like a duck and quack, er, let it roll off your back. No big.

JT Ellison said...

I love the pictures, and the message behind them. Nice job, S. You're always going to be at the top of my list.:)

JamesO said...

Nearly bleeding to death from a foot injury, being hit in the head by a car... jeez, it's a wonder you made it this far!

*rolls his eyes*

Sandra Ruttan said...

Angie, I've just got to say that story you told me off the comments, it's sad. You've got it right when you say everything's got their hot buttons.

JT, glad you liked. It's the nice thing about having a scanner, all those old pictures can become digital too.

James, I wasn't hit in the head with a car. I was riding my bike home and an 80-year-old gentleman ran into the back of my bike. In the process of landing, I cut my head. I'll show you the scar at Harrogate.

I swear, as a kid, I was a walking disaster! Not nearly so bad now, though!

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I agree with all.

I especially liked, "...my body’s natural inclination to be a certain size"

Be who you are, and let the world....take a break...LOL

Toni McGee Causey said...

Well, we're triplets, then, you and Bill and I.

And the breasts are not loaded. I swear. That wasn't me that did that thing in the movie room. It was..., er..., JT. Yep, JT. I'm completely innocent.

JamesO said...

Showing off scars is it? Can I show you the one where I managed to shoot myself with an air rifle?

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