Balance Beam

May 3, 2010
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When I’m not worrying about being healthy, I am fretting over last week’s bio test. If I am not doing either of those, I am probably freaking out about my imperfect social life. As a teenager, there are more than enough flaws in day to day life. What I’ve realized is that to succeed, you’ve just got to find the right balance. If I spend all my time trying to eat right, exercise and avoid all causes of heart disease and cancer, my grades will fall and I will bore my friends. In almost fifteen years of life, I have only met one person who had ideal, nutritionist-approved eating habits. He was strictly vegetarian and munched on whole grain Fig Newtons for dessert. Yum. To be honest, the poor kid was a complete weirdo. He eventually moved because nobody really appreciated his presence, therefore, people made fun of him. On the other hand, people that thrust themselves into their social lives have pitiful grades and terrible health from sleepless, partying nights. I have a friend with virtually no after school activities. Zero. She doesn’t seem to have any real interests and because of that, she spends every single day chatting with friends. She’s sweet enough, but we all secretly think that she is pretty boring. All she does is socialize and the friend’s she socializes with think she is pathetic for that. Finally, teenagers completely absorbed in schoolwork are often without friends and in poor health. Fatty, processed foods are easier to grab before long nights of studying. Not everybody will have to work with the same elements that I try to balance. As a fourteen year-old girl, body image and health are concerns of mine, as well as my grades and my social life. However, everybody has their own issues.

Keeping everything balanced is like walking across those long, skinny balance beams that gymnasts use. Leaning too far in one direction will send you flying downward. The key is to center yourself and keep all your weight in the middle. Just when staying balanced becomes too strenuous, the balance beam ends and you may have a day like I had today. A day where everything seems to work out on it’s own. A day where balancing suddenly becomes incredibly easy. That, of course, is because once you have traveled the length of the beam, you get to climb down and stand on solid ground for once. It’s fantastic while it lasts, but life goes on and pretty soon there will be a new balance beam, another struggle and more relief.

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