Health | Opinion

Gyasi Ross: Staying healthy for the New Year in Indian Country

Chelsey Luger staying fit. Photo by Thosh Collin / Facebook

Gyasi Ross shares his struggle to maintain his New Year's Resolution to get into shape:
My little sis Chelsey is the one who writes about wellness and fitness. She should—she knows a whole bunch about it. Me? My family has a history of diabetes and heart problems (so I always lie on those questionnaires that you have to fill out when you go the doctor’s office, as if that will make that family history disappear). I mean, I’m healthy, but I’m not that healthy! I don’t drink organic water or eat spirulina sherbet or anything like that.

No, I’m simply a middle-aged, mixed-breed Native man who loves bad food yet isn’t quite ready to give up on seeing his private parts yet. Last year I got particularly out of shape for the holidays. (And before the holidays. And the summer time. And…) So I was kinda in triage mode when New Year hit; here’s a few things that I tried last year—my efforts to answer the question, “How does a Native on the rez, without a ton of access to facilities, get into shape?” If you all have any suggestions about how I (or anybody else) could do it better, please share—I’d love to run them in a future Thing About Skins column.

So I tried running. Running on the rez is a dangerous game.

Statistically, we have wayyyyy too many car accident fatalities per capita. Natives don’t seem to like seat belts. Anyway, after almost getting run over four or five times (and also having seven or eight cars generously offer to pick me up, assuming the only reason I’d be on the road is because my car had stalled), I figured this probably wasn’t going to be the most effective way to get in shape. Plus, “Running Brave” I am not—when you’re overweight, running can be pretty harsh on the knees and cankles, especially when you have chicken legs. So that didn’t last long.

Get the Story:
Gyasi Ross: Rooster Topsky, Chicken Legs, and New Year's Resolutions: Getting Healthy for 'Regular' Skins (Indian Country Today 1/16)

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