MAVIS BECKLES:Who say Bajans ain’t healthy?
I GINE TELL YOU something now, fuh as many people on this island who don’t do any form of exercise, duh got just as many or even more who does. And look, I aint talking ’bout the young wuns alone ya know; I talking ’bout people of all ages, sizes, colour and according tuh my mother, from evah strata.I was reading somewhere the other day where somebody was saying dat Bajans ain’t healthy and dat is just because o’ some people especially women, who got on a li’l more fat ’pon duh bodies than they should. But dat ain’t tuh say dat ya should lump evahbody in one barrel and say dat Bajans ain’t healthy.I could argue dat a lot o’ the people who would make a statement like this doan really go nuhwhere; duh need tuh roll down duh tinted windows when duh driving tuh notice the amount o’ people who does be pon the roads walking, running or riding all over the island.I would also like tuh tell these people tuh stop off by the beach, any beach fuh dat matter, and let ya eyes feast ’pon the amount o’ humans who does be out there ’pon dem doing duh own ting.First of all, leh we take a look at the beaches ’pon a morning. Now I cahn speak fuh all the beaches ’pon the island but I am sure dat as long as there is a stretch o’ beach somewhere pon the island, ya have tuh find humans walking or running up and down ’pon it, morning and evening.Listen, evah morning from as early as 5 o’clock or earlier, people does be in the sea getting duh morning dip. Duh got groups dat does meet faithfully at Brownes Beach – one possé does meet between 6 and 8, and duh does be singing and praising God while soaking up the beautiful refreshing water and watching the sun come up. The beautiful thing ’bout it, is dat all o’ dem belong tuh different churches across the island but duh praising one God. Hallelujah!Then ya got the hot pot possé where, like all the rest o’ possés round the island, does know evahbody and does be having a great time talking ’bout evah single topic under the sun while soaking in the hot sea water.Then there’s the Brandons possé; another group o’ men and women who does be meeting there evah morning tuh enjoy each other’s company, this time not in the hot water but in the calm, cool and refreshing water; and look, all o’ these people does be mostly oldsters ya know.But dat ain’t all dat does be happening ’pon these beaches in the morning; ya does see the walkers, the joggers, the runners, the exercisers and the people walking duh dogs. Even the li’l children does be in the early morning do at times.Now on evenings it does be a different ball game, a whole different atmosphere. This time ya does see a li’l younger crowd playing all types o’ games pon the beaches. Who ain’t playing racquet ball or paddle ball does be playing volleyball or running or walking or doing Reiki or exercising ’pon the sand or swimming or playing cricket or just plain relaxing and this time, duh does got a lot more children in the mix. Most o’ this socialising does go on ‘til the sun go down; and now dat the summer months are here, the schoolchildren out and the parents could get a li’l break from flying home tuh prepare fuh the next day or trying tuh get children tuh lessons in the evenings, some parents does take the opportunity tuh take a li’l breather at the beach wid duh children when the evening come.Another place ya does see real people exercising is the Garrison. Who ain’t pon the road going all ’round the outside o’ the track, does be inside ’pon the walking track itself, running, walking or just chipping along trying tuh get duhselves in shape, lose some unwanted pounds or just keeping fit. And tuh top it off, ya does see the cyclists. Dem does be all over the place both morning and evening in duh li’l groups and ya say we aint healthy? I ain’t even mention the gyms but whedah one backyard or upscale, people does be in dem working out.Wha’ I muhself does be out there doing my ting like evahbody else, wha’ I is people too, get wid the programme.• Mavis Beckles was born and raised in The Orleans and has an opinion on everything.