The Clean-living

My mother has never been drunk and never smoked a cigarette. She is regularly complimented on her youthful appearance and at the age of 60 (and nearing 61), people often mistake her for someone 10 to 20 years younger. She shrugs her shoulders, cocks her head with a smile, and utters these words, “Clean-living”.

She always wears a hat in the sun, and applies 40 SPF sun block liberally 365 days a year. She takes care of herself, and watches what she eats. She avoids saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, salt, dairy, starchy vegetables, and pork products. She maintains her current weight with a strict diet of apples and celery.

She competes non-competitively in amateur sports, such as weightlifting, discus, and sprinting. She regularly wins in her age category, as she is often the only competitor. She enjoys lifting my father over her head for ten seconds.

Mother’s hobbies include bowling, skeleton, downhill skiing, snowboarding (half-pipe), speed skating, bobsledding, and watching television (Oprah). Most of her hobbies include the force of gravity. She does not use steroids.

My mother’s doctor told her that her heart rate is that of a teenager in love. She lifted her doctor over her head for ten seconds. He didn’t think she could!

My mother enjoys a challenge. She enjoys winning. She enjoys the feeling of free-falling from a plane at 13,000 feet. She also enjoys when Oprah has Doctor Oz on the show so she can learn how to maintain her cardiovascular health.

My mother said that in all fairness to the integrity of this document, she should disclose one incident of indiscretion. She was at a wedding once (in 1972) and forgot to ask if the fruit punch contained alcohol. She drank several glasses before she noticed the room spinning. She said that is as close as she ever got to intoxication, and she isn’t proud of her behaviour that night.

My mother has been selected as an alternate for the Canadian women’s Luge team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is very hopeful that there will be an “accident” so she can participate. Her Olympic dreams were dashed in 1968 in Grenoble, France when my sister came down with the croup and my mother had to stay home to take care of her. She still reminds my sister of this instance, and they both hope that 2010 can and will heal all wounds.

My father is very supportive of my mother’s physical and Olympic aspirations. He bought her a pink tracksuit for her 60th birthday, and had her initials embroidered on the lapel. Mother changed into the tracksuit then and there, climbed up on a table, held a bouquet of flowers in her arms, and waved to the crowd. As she stared off into the horizon, a tear rolled down her cheek.

Maybe this year.

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