Things I Do to Look Younger

This post is not about how to take selfies in flattering lighting conditions while wearing glasses to hide eye bags.

Get ready for some awesome advice about how to defy the ageing process. This post is aimed at people who are rather old, like me. Don’t worry. I will not be talking about face cream, chemical injections, or how to improve your pathetically thin eyebrows! My advice is simple, easy to follow, and gender neutral. Plus it just makes sense.

ONE. Public Transportation Door Straddle  While riding the LRT (light rapid transit) or bus, I demonstrate my youth to a stunned audience in the following way: When nearing my stop, I head to the exit with confidence. As the vehicle comes to a halt, I shift my weight over a stable core, making it clear that my hands remain free and are not desperately clinging to any rail. I descend the stairs and leap through the door swiftly, smug with the knowledge that everyone is suitably impressed by my vigour.

How to do it: keep legs spread far apart and adjust your weight back and forth. Avoid lurching or grunting.

TWO. Repetitive Child Lift   This age-defying activity can be done almost anywhere. I recently performed it during a field trip to the zoo with my son and his classmates, though having a child of your own is completely unnecessary. Picture this: A large group of five-year-olds struggles to see the zebras over a fenced enclosure. “Would you like me to lift you up?” I shout, addressing everyone present. “No, don’t do it,” warn the teachers, possibly fearing a lawsuit. “These kids are heavy, like bags of wet flour.” “Ha ha,” I chortle, hoisting each child up in the air, holding them there for a very long time, with a bemused expression on my face. I do this to every child, whether they want to be lifted or not. Even that 65-pound new kid. All I can say is, mission accomplished.

How to do it:  Keep your eyes peeled for gigantic children in need of levitation. Amaze others with your upper body strength, not to mention your selfless generosity.

THREE. Race Unknowing Strangers  When taking the stairs or escalator, I never walk or, god forbid, stand still. I ascend as if effortlessly. My pace will pick up rapidly if someone attempts to pass me. Think you are stuck behind an old lady? Think again. The race is on, whether the young whippersnapper realizes it or not. I also do this on sidewalks. I will keep pace, however desperately, with anyone in a hurry. If we are racing up the stairs, once at the top I will turn my head to demonstrate that my breathing has not increased in any way. I am not breathing at all.

How to do it: This anti-ageing trick involves listening skills. If you hear anyone behind you, get ready to spring into action. Pro tip: Do not make any visible sign that you are aware of their existence. Non-chalance is key.

I made strawberry shortcake and forgot to brag about it on facebook, so I will just do that here. Yes the biscuit is made from scratch using a recipe from Louisiana.

FOUR. Quad Press Magic  This method works best on airplanes. I never drag myself up from an uncomfortable airline seat to a standing position by gripping the headrest in front of me. I rise surely and steadily, as if by magic. My arms might rest comfortably by my side, or else wave gently over my head, visibly demonstrating their lack of weight bearing activity. Ideally, this leg propulsion is done in order to leap across the aisle and hoist a heavy bag into the overhead compartment for someone under the age of 40.

How to do it: Be sure to clench you buttocks with a theatrical flourish during this movement, for that will please your captive audience.

FIVE. Surprisingly Awesome Soccer Mom  My five-year-old son takes soccer lessons, and at the end of each session there is a “parents’ participation” class. I am in heaven as you can imagine, with a full 45 minutes in which to humbly reveal my otherwise hidden youthfulness. I start by sitting cross legged in the circle, keeping an optimistic expression on my face despite the horrible strain in my tight, already-rigour-mortis hips. When the game starts, I stratetically “spring” into action, without turning to one side and using my hands to push myself up, vocalizing the effort to lift my bulk in a way that Sophia Loren would despise.[Aside: feel free to look up that interview in which Ms. Loren describes what disgusts her]. Then I compensate for my slow running and utter lack of soccer skills by dropping to do 20 solid push ups in the middle of the field without warning.

How to do it: This sporty demonstration is a bit challenging, so just treat it like an interview where you don’t answer the questions asked but instead say whatever you already wanted to say. In this case, you play to your strength moves.

Site of my humiliation and then quick-thinking recovery.

I was going to add a sixth anti-ageing method, which involves slipping through those tiny squares cut into school fences, like a nimble fawn. These small openings are meant to enable the passage of children while keeping perverts off the school grounds. A few weeks ago, I attempted to exhibit my lithe body by going through the fenceless square after my son had already done so. I first shoved my purse, bag of library books, and another bag of water bottles and shoes through the hole, and then found that only my head and shoulders could fit. I was pinned in the fence like an unlucky koala, though the result was not as cute. I nevertheless made a youthful-seeming recovery after extricating myself by running as fast as I could around the entire fenced area to reach my son on the other side before he was snatched by pervs who might also steal my purse. I sure was quick like.

How to Do It: Well, you don’t really want to do this at all, but if you must try such a humiliating manouevre, at least follow it up with a senseless burst of physicality.

In conclusion: You only wish I was making this up.

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About feministfiguregirl

I am a 51-year-old professor named Lianne McTavish who receives as much satisfaction from working out at the gym as from publishing my academic research. About eight years ago, I decided to combine my two primary identities (scholar/gym rat) to create "Feminist Figure Girl," a fictional character who both analyzes and participates in bodybuilding. I competed in my first figure show in June of 2011, and then wrote a book inspired by the process, published by SUNY Press in February 2015. In this blog I will write about and consider my ongoing research on the body, while regularly making fun of myself. I recommend that you start reading my first post from August 2010 (available on the home page), instead of backwards from the most recent one, in order to get the full FFG effect.

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