The Myth of Genetic Unfairness

genetic unfairnessThe accompanying graphic to the right is from a comic strip called Living with HipsterGirl and GamerGirl. I took a look at some of the content and it’s obviously targeting an audience much younger than I am.

I just happened to find the specific strip I posted here by chance and it spoke to a topic I wanted to pass along. Yes, I believe it’s true that some people have certain genetic advantages over others as far as general health, body type, and metabolism are concerned. For instance, a number of news articles were published recently about a 104-year-old women who says she’s consumed three cans of Dr Pepper daily since she was in her 60s. Normally, long-term consumption of soft drinks is pretty bad for you, but assuming she’s being truthful, she may be predisposed to resist Dr Pepper’s deleterious effect. Of course, there’s no way to really know for sure unless we put her under a great deal of medical scrutiny, and even then, we might not find the “secret” to her longevity.

Having said all that, I still think we have at least some control over our health, particularly as we get older. Eating right and exercising definitely makes a difference. It absolutely made a difference to 91-year-old Virginia “Gus” Rizen who put her walker away after weight training gave her some of her muscle and strength back. I believe it made a difference to 54-year-old Mark Jordan who recently set a new world’s record for most pull ups done in 24 hours, and by his own admission, it did wonders for 95-year-old Charles Eugster who’s just set a new world’s record in his age group for the 200-meter indoor sprint.

For the vast majority of people, there are no short cuts to improving health, energy, and vitality. There’s dedication and hard work, just like you see in this comic strip. Other people, especially those who aren’t willing to put in the time and effort, may say that we are just benefiting from good genes, and in some cases, heredity does help out. But even great genes can only take you so far. To go the rest of the way, you have to walk, run, crawl, and drag yourself over the necessary terrain to get to a place where you are living healthy, eating healthy, moving healthy, and reaping every possible reward.

When you finish a hard workout or notice when you buckle your belt that your waist size is getting smaller, take a moment and pat yourself on the back. Good job. Keep going.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.

Hannah More


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