Reading a post on one of my colleagues’ extraordinary blog Behind The White Coat set my mind on a thought exercise. I realize that I am quite desensitized to nudity, largely as a result of my profession- medicine/surgery. There are few visual surprises as I examine dozens of body and body parts over the course of a day in the emergency room, clinic and operating room, sometimes, from the inside but mostly from the outside to inside. This examination process is part of what I do.
I entered medicine from the world of research. I was a biochemist/analytical chemist before medical school. I relished asking questions, making observations, designing experiments and seeking answers to my questions. Much of my enjoyment of surgery comes from my work in research and study. As a woman of ideas, I thoroughly enjoy a brilliant mind (lucky to have one or two nearby sometimes) but I enjoy the sheer joy of looking at the wonder of humanity around me too, dressed or undressed.
My profession demands of my observational experience, that I find what is out of the realm of normality as I solve problems. My profession allows me to see the sheer beauty in humans of all ages and body types in their natural, make that nude state. As I look at the physical presence of a person, I see the results of a life lived, a life being lived and a bit of life to come perhaps with changes.
I have a very high level of comfort with my nudity as I frequently join a group of like-minded women who frequently go topless in public, generally in warm weather. As a person who spent plenty of time on the beaches of Spain and the French Riviera, being topless is not a big deal for me and certainly not sexual. I hate tan lines of any sort as a matter of principle and love the feel of sun on my bare chest.
The variety of body types that I observe is a great source of wonder for me, a student of humanity at all times. I have an amazing marathoner friend who was fortunate to be born with an amazingly thin frame, exquisitely compact musculature that is a true gift from God. To watch him walk is a sheer treat much the same as enjoyment of the ideas that come out of his brilliant mind. He’s a complete package and quite beautiful in a very classic manner. I hope I will get a chance to run with him one day as he’s a thorough professional. I have asked this friend if I can photograph him as I see him because he is totally amazing.
My own body is changing into the very thin frame that I seek for my long-distance running. As much as my early morning runs are changing my mind, my body is thinning out. For me the changes in my conditioning and musculature are great fun. My running coaches have changed my food intake, yet again, for me to lose another 30 pounds. At last, I am getting close to the form and frame that I love in myself. I am the most surprised that I can change my appearance at my advanced age.
I have another friend who is a natural body builder who does not have anything of a small frame. He has large but chiseled muscles with the best legs I have seen in anyone. He’s been teaching me to pose as I lift with him on some days. I love that he envies my cardiovascular conditioning as much as I envy his quadriceps and hamstrings. He is a joy to watch in the gym these days even though he admonishes me not to lose any more weight. Trust me, I am far from thin and do have another 30-35 pounds to lose for my upcoming marathon. Yes, my colleague’s post on Exposure has my mind contemplating my exposure on the beaches of Europe this upcoming summer after the marathon.