pours out some liquor for Nate Dogg I want to take this unfortunate opportunity to talk about something else that came (back) to mind and that is the sobering reality that my generation has turned an all important corner. Some of the joys of youth is the bliss that comes with ignorance, the false feeling of immortality, and the ability to rationalize unfortunate and untimely passings. In hip-hop, we readily discuss B.I.G. and Pac's murders, along with countless other artists who met violent deaths. Trouble T-Roy's death was a freak accident that spawned a hip-hop classic. Same goes for singers like Aaliyah whose plane went down before a couple more terrorist manned planes took thousands more people down with them on 9-11. Even Big Pun and Buffy from the Fat Boys deaths can be attributed to them being morbidly obese. If you think hard enough you might recall many "unlikely" set of circumstances that lead to someone's death. However, as our generation turns the corner of reality, now comes the time when life begins to keep it really real.
Mortality is the reality I'm talking about as well as how we think about our health in general. My co-worker and I were discussing Nate Dogg's death and the fact that he suffered two strokes prior to his death. I started talking about eating habits and maybe passing on them damn honey bbq wings I recently got addicted to. Her response, "you could walk outside tomorrow and get hit by a bus," which is true. "Life's a bitch and then you die...because you never know when you're gonna go." However, my thought process is that while being hit by a bus is tragic, it's a quicker route to death that doesn't allow for witnessing or enduring a slow debilitating sickness and subsequent death. The "anything can happen," mantra is another way to try and justify eating what we want and not exercising, etc. I'm guilty of it myself. I was quick to point out that Dr. Robert Atkins, whose diet was a revolution during the 90's and the early turn of the century, slipped on some ice, hit his head, and died shortly after he fell. So there it is, anything can happen, no sense in worrying about health and quality of life; right? Wrong! Once you witness someone endure illness that slowly takes away one function of life, and then another, and then another, you start to realize that this ain't a game. We'll talk about BIG and Pac but we must keep in mind that Nate died from "natural causes", as did Guru the year before, and we can even go back to Too Poetic who also lost his battle with cancer and that's just to name a few. There is absolutely nothing glamorous or sensational about their passings.
Alright, so we're mortal, what now? Shoot, I don't know. I'm still navigating this thing called life same as y'all but I do think more attention needs to be given to at least increasing our chances of having a better quality of life. I get it Chico, no guarantees, but still with all of the attention we give to Teabaggers and media pundits who give minority leaders a hard time, surely we can direct some attention inwards to focus on some grassroots problems like diet, exercise, physical and mental health issues and how piss poor we handle it or rather don't. When I was younger, none of my friends went to the gym unless they played a sport. We rode bikes and played basketball, that was exercise for us. If you were fat (like yours truly) that meant you were one of the unfortunate few to be born with snake eyes in the form of fat genes. My dudes who were skinny, weren't skinny due to diet and exercise, more like luck. So, we got older and started driving instead of riding bikes and don't even talk to me about playing a game of basketball that doesn't involve some type of game controller and an internet connection. Holla at us when basketball can be played with grocery store scooters, a reach-it-thingy, and a shuttlecock. I know the FLOTUS is taking on childhood obesity and there have been other initiatives targeting minority communities but I'd like to see Al Sharpton picketing outside of Checkers and addressing the issue of food deserts. Reality bites and this getting older stuff is no joke. I'm not holier than though; I am in shape but sadly it's the shape of a swole up angry red bird. We all gotta go sometime but the quality of life one enjoys on that trip to the inevitable is where I want to channel some of my focus. When people who are in my age bracket start passing away I am reminded of the undodgeable bullet and I am reminded that I'm entering the phase of my life where the sand starts falling faster and health is EVERYTHING.