Body type doesn’t reflect person’s value

Somatotypes — body types — there are three and most of us are a mixture of two of the types.

Ectomorphs are slender and angular, endomorphs are round in shape, and mesomorphs are muscular. You can see why most of us are a mixture of two of the above, though I am not sure how one could be a mixture of endomorph and ectomorph.

The theory is that your body type is largely determined by nature, and having served in the military with more than one round shaped person who could run tirelessly, do endless pushups, and situps all day, I believe it. Your body type does not necessarily reflect how good a shape you are in.

This comes about in response to an email received from “Mens’ Health” magazine: “How To Have the Body of a Hero.” Our corporate obsession with the body is not new, but it does seem to deepen as time goes on. I found this particular tag, however, somewhat offensive. No, actually it was highly offensive, or should I just say, naive.

Oh, I guess I should mention I deleted the email unread.

Don’t get me wrong; for about 45 of my 55 years I have made sure that I participated in an exercise or fitness regimen. Often enough, these include getting ready for a specific goal, like the current one of wanting to participate in a Sept. fundraising hike up Pike’s Peak. It just works better for me.

Thanks to Coach Cusha, our fourth grade P.E. teacher who had the teaching methodology to laugh at, and publicly humiliate, the 10-year-old me who could not do a pushup. Some kids would have wilted; my response, given my personality type I guess, was — That’s never gonna happen again.

Nonetheless, I have known people with the bodies of professional athletes who were abject cowards, and I have known others who — well, let’s say it, couldn’t do a single pushup — who had the hearts of lions.

Ergo, I found the implication offensive, especially in light of the unlikely heroes who have stepped forth on occasions such as Sept 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, and, I am sure, the recent Japanese earthquake.

You, my friend, are not your body. However young you may be, there will be a time when your body will age, will weaken, and will die — as will mine. You, however, will go on.

Especially on this day when we Christians celebrate, in whatever way our tradition describes, the Resurrection of our Lord, it is good to be aware of this