Garrett (garote) wrote,

Birkel body owner's manual:

(For nephews (and niece) - think of this as one half of a map, to help you as you learn about yourself.)

* Watch the movie The Court Jester with Danny Kaye.  It's great fun.  Now, think of yourself as a mashed-together combination of Danny Kaye's wily, crowd-pleasing romantic, and Sir Griswold, his hulking, iron-chested rival who can punch clear through a shield.  You are lucky!
* We tend to be introverts, with complicated inner lives.  We're not necessarily made to thrive in public positions of power, but are a huge asset to the leaders we choose to be of service to.
* We also have a genetic predisposition to some form of ADHD, probably the inattentive subtype, as well as some form of cyclical depression.  Hopefully it will be mild for you - but it might not be.  Search for the coping mechanisms that work for you.  Practice them.  This will not be a fair or easy burden, but bearing it will make your life more meaningful, more varied, more valuable.
* Very are very responsive to exercise, and do best when we get a lot of it.  I mean a lot of it.  Every Birkel is potentially a world-class athlete.
* We like to sweat a lot, and we tend to have oily skin.  This is embarrassing as a teenager, but it pays dividends later on - with care, we'll look like we're 25 when we're 35, and 55 when we're 70.
* The most important factor in avoiding illness (after getting enough sleep of course) is keeping our core well insulated.  We have long shallow torsos, which bleed away heat if we don't take care to add an extra shirt, a base layer, a sweater, or a jacket when it gets cold.
* We're pretty cancer-resistant relative to other folks.  Barring accident, and with care, we can expect to live at least 80 years.  (If I could point to one external physical reason for this, it would be our legs.  Those big chunks of muscle and bone are the equivalent of a camel's humps for our immune and circulatory systems.)
* Our Achilles Heel seems to be a very aggressive immune system.  It can lead to mysterious or chronic allergic reactions, and we have a family history of thyroid issues.
* We have well-constructed lungs.  Try sleeping near someone from another family and notice how you breathe at almost _half_ the rate of most other people.  On the other hand we react more intensely to air-pollution, smoky rooms, allergens, et cetera.  We feel it impairing us and we don't like it!
* If you're a guy, you'll start to lose your hair way too early.  Wear a hat, and try not to let it bug you.  You'll still be plenty handsome.  (The hat is for sun protection.  If you decide a shaved head is your look, keeping the skin on the top of your head young will be essential!)
* If you're a girl, you'll probably be envious of petite women.  As you grow up, you'll realize all the advantages of your shape, and the envy will fade.
* We don't seem to have very good night vision, but we don't tend to need glasses either.
* We're not the loudest singers, but we've got very good pitch and rhythm.
* Our adult teeth often end up larger than our jaw.  You'll probably need braces, and probably need a few wisdom teeth extracted. 
* We get a nice set of bacteria in us when we're young.  Years later if we're dealing with an infection, we should try to avoid wide-spectrum antibiotics.
* Watch for thyroid problems when you reach your mid-30's.  A yearly blood test is a good idea.
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