Tuesday, July 21, 2009

How is Jason Mitchell healthy?

When I think of the question, “How am I healthy”, I automatically flash back to grade school health and Biology class definition of homeostasis. I suppose it’s the science geek that will forever reside in me. In some ways, I equate being healthy with homeostasis by reflecting how I’m currently feeling, my body is reacting physically, and how well my mind is working. Others would just describe this as me being acutely aware of my mind-body-spirit connection. I can’t disagree, but I don’t think that paints the complete picture of how I am healthy.

In general, I think of the human body as a complex machine – constantly needing routine oil changes and data reconfigurations for reaching its most optimal level of health. The machine of me consists of feeding myself small meals with the best nutrients (organic, free-range, supplements, etc.) on a frequent basis daily. For the sake of argument, every 3 awakened hours is when my machine gets fed. A well-fed machine is a happy machine.

The nutrients are consumed to taste, push, drive, contemplate, feel, think, strive, and any other countless verbs to keep my machine from becoming stagnant and rusty. One other rust preventative strategy I use is fun exercise that engages and challenges me for 5 – 6 days each week. My exercise comes in two main forms of physical training: cardiovascular and strength. And yes, sex does count as exercise! Holidays and vacations are no different from this either. In fact, those are great times to try new ways for keeping my joints, ligaments and muscles well oiled, lubricated, and stretched. You can get your mind out of the gutter, err, I mean, use your wildest imagination.

Unlike most personified machines, my machine is human and has feelings, emotions, and a constant stream of thoughts. Often, they intersect with one another, become inseparable, cause trouble, create positive change, move others, uplift me, and on and on. My mental core is more than just mechanical; it’s a whimsical instrument painting vivid colors to a future palette of life. The key to balancing my emotional and intellectual creativity is my interaction with my support networks that are often hard and difficult to find and create. I say difficult because it takes a lot of time and energy to create them let alone maintaining them. My close family members, boyfriend, friends, co-workers, respected individuals, heroes, and role models are all key components in my support network. They play an integral role for reconfiguring my data and thereby, constantly upgrading my machine with the latest version of OS X.

Now that I’ve covered how I keep my machine fed, oiled, lubricated, and my core mechanically sound, I truly believe my health is correlated to my happiness. My level of happiness is what makes life worth living and in turn, my machine keeps going and going and going. So I ask all of my fellow gay men, are you happy? How are you happy? And in what ways can you improve your happiness and others?

In solidarity,

-- Jason Mitchell
Portland, Oregon

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