Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mobility

I recently travelled to America with my wife, including a cruise from Mexico to Hawaii.

I don't know if it was an American thing, or a cruise thing, but there was a much higher proportion of people, not all of them old, using those electric scooters, walkers, and walking sticks. Some in wheelchairs as well, though able to stand for short periods and walk short distances. There were no lightweights among them, and a fair proportion were morbidly obese.

In fact, I've never seen so many fat people in one place in my entire life than I saw on the cruise ship. Men who looked like they'd shoved Swiss Balls up their polo shirts, women with asses large enough to have a system of moons orbiting them.

It's unfair to accuse people who are infirm or sick as having failed morally or personally, but you have to wonder why there seem to be so many such people from what is meant to be the richest country with the most advanced healthcare in the world.

I love the fact that I can walk, run, jump, climb. Speed, strength, agility, grace, poise and similar qualities are worth fighting to hang on to. The best things in life are free. You don't use, develop and maintain them, you lose them.

When the Segway first came out, something inside me reacted with alarm. Of course there were cars, bikes, trains, skateboards, etc. but the Segway was something else If we stop walking, it seemed, we stop living. A step (no pun intended) too far.

Are we devolving into a species that in the future will only be able to move with technological assistance?