Vanity -- 12/28/00

I'll be the first to admit that I can be a vain person. I sometimes get very self-conscious about how I look (even at the beach). Hey, I'm human too.

Being fit and tan does have its advantages, especially in a lineup where you wear your look like a badge, proof that you live a beach lifestyle. So it was sort of embarrassing when (one of) my "haole" friends told me that I was getting whiter than him. And the buggah no even surf!

My skin tone is only one of the many things that my achilles tendon injury has made me acutely aware of and concerned with as far as my body is concerned.

Of course, there's the "cast-factor" of having to deal with a hairy, skinny appendage once the cast is removed. I broke my wrist back in the 9th grade and vividly remember seeing my arm come out of the cast for the first time--it looked so pathetic and frail that I wanted to cry.

I've already noticed how loose my current cast has become due to atrophy of the calf muscle. Even though it's inevitable, I still wish it could be avoided. (Anyone remember that Nike commercial?)

Then there's the overall physique issue. I like to think that my weekly surfs help keep me a bit toned. I figured that without exercise and it being the holiday season, I was bound to go soft and fat.

Well, although I am spongy around the midsection, my body has maintained at least some musculature. Think the heavy use of crutches has helped exercise the upper body. Although my pecs and shoulders have pulled back a bit, at least it's not a total loss.

Then there's the attention that crutches and a cast draws. People tend to back off and make way for injured folks. Children oftentimes gawk at the sight in wonderment. It's more than a bit embarrassing.

In less than a week, the cast will come off, and I'll probably begin the slow process of rehabilitation back to normalcy (I hope). I'm really looking forward to this, so I can get back in the water, and so I can get back to looking normal again.