Don’t leave home without your exoskeleton

Got any skeletons in your closet? Any exoskeletons? You know, beetles and lobsters have them. That hard outer shell that protects and supports. They wear their skeleton on the outside. What if we wore our skeleton on the outside? Our underwear as outerwear, so to speak.

exoskeleton liftingI’ve got exoskeletons on the brain because they’ve been in the news. Matt Damon adopts a personalized version in his new movie “Elysium.” Apparently Damon’s character has his electro- mechanical exoskeleton implanted, permanently affixed and brain-circuit controlled, so he can fight his way to another planet in pursuit of the cure for the illness which, otherwise, is depleting his strength. Great plot!

While that’s cool science-fiction, it’s also not that fictional. Clever engineers are currently designing all sorts of devices to allow the human body to carry more than they are physically able. This is especially cool for people with nerve and spinal cord injuries because it’s allowing them to stand and walk and have use of their bodies which, otherwise, are weak or poorly responsive. Great stuff!

But wouldn’t you know we’re thinking about how they might make us super-human? Has anyone considered what our lower backs are gonna feel like after we have hefted 500 pounds thanks to our helping exoskeleton? That poor spinal column with cushy disks supporting our weight. Its curves are evolution’s best effort to support our upright posture. Skeletal support on the outside…interesting.

Got me wondering why God created us with our skeletons on the inside. Mere bones to support us and hardly any protection at all. Did he really think a rib cage could protect our lungs and heart? The cranium does a bit better with our brain, but it’s not even shatter resistant and no help at all in concussion-force collisions. No wonder ancient warriors donned armor and today we drive armored tanks. These bodies are rag dolls in the battle field.

God made us soft. With layers of intertwining muscle so we can move gracefully and intricately and with force and speed. Our outer coating? A skin barrier stretched overtop in a rainbow of hues which fends off the sun’s rays and deflects the world’s germs. Then He offered another layer, a clear coating at no extra charge. He clothed us with His righteousness. Talk about an exoskeleton!

But unlike Matt Damon, my exoskeleton is not surgically implanted; it’s removable. I can hang it in my closet and choose when to put it on. In some seasons it may get pushed to the back. I may even forget I’ve got that old thing. Clear like it is, I may not even see it until life gets downright unmanageable. When it’s a war zone out there and someone’s got to do the heavy lifting.

Imagine. A fortress of strength, power, agility, and flexibility left hanging in my closet. Why would I not put it on to face my regular days?

I wonder if it comes in designer colors or maybe multi-colored like Joseph’s coat. But then it would clash and I would have to do the matching thing. Nope. Probably better to have the sheer version. Of course, then people can see what’s underneath. That, I am responsible for maintaining – the physical barrier and all the moving parts. Because what good is an exoskeleton if what’s underneath gives way?

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About wlebolt

Wendy is a health and fitness professional and coach who specializes in helping young athletes dig deep to reach high. Her business, Fit2Finish, LLC, serves the Washington DC metropolitan area.

Posted on August 29, 2013, in Body, Cool Science, Life and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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