Robin Gaudette

Remember West Side Story … the Sharks and the Jets?

In 1957 there were two New York City gangs, as long as they do their own thing on their own turf and don’t get too full of themselves, their world is relatively peaceful. In present time we have a West Side Story playing every day on our own personal stage, imagine the box-office receipts!

Just like in our Broadway story tempers flare and truces in the gangs dissolve quickly. In West Side Story, Tony a former member of the Jets falls in love with Maria, the sister of the Shark leader, ultimately leading to the death of Tony.

Today our story takes place in Our Town … our body.

The cast includes Atoms, the townspeople and the rival gangs, the Free-Radicals and Anti-Oxidants. Our play has a similar plot line — unlike the original play we are capable of creating many different Final Acts. A disclaimer on the bottom of our playbill states that this is a fictional story — there are no proven facts that what you are about to experience are entirely true.

Here’s the tale of Our Town Story. The Atoms are the building blocks of Our Town. They create strong bonds with communities in organized pairs. They build, learn and manufacture.

Like in any town, there is always a group that wants to challenge the status quo. The nonconformists gather in the Outer Ring of the Atoms clan. The new group is different from the other Atoms as it lacks a full complement of pairs. Calling themselves Free-Radicals this unstable, very reactive group splits from the general population of Our Town, deciding to cause havoc instead of doing good. The Free-Radicals may lay claim to any of the following: inflammation, arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease and age-related changes.

The Anti-Oxidants, the knight-in-shining-armor gang try to check the numbers of the Free-Radicals by selflessly offering them one of their very own members to complete their Outer Ring. By becoming a complete paired unit, a Free-Radical can return to a stable lifestyle. Usually Our Town polices itself and is quite good at it. The Free-Radicals aren’t all bad — they can actually help the Immune System when it has problems with infections.

The happy Anti-Oxidants love color and keep their ranks healthy by eating fruits, vegetables, plant-based and whole foods, foods rich in vitamins A and E, coffee, dark chocolate and green tea.

However, the Free-Radicals numbers can be increased by air pollution, smoking, fried foods, alcohol, viruses, bacteria, excessive sun and toxic chemicals.

When the Free-Radicals outnumber the Anti-Oxidants a gang war breaks out called Oxidative Stress. To win the battle the Free-Radicals go right to the heart of Our Town and attack cellular DNA (enter Tony stage right). The damage to the powerhouse of the cell is thought to accelerate the aging and cellular reproductive processes, thus the nucleus of Our Town.

What is your end of Act II of our story?

We have all the toolbox to rewrite the play to have desirable, positive outcomes. You can change yourself or you can influence your Outer Ring.

Environmental modifications such as healthy habits, dietary improvement and exercise are your tools to write the end of your story.

Not everyone gets that chance.

Robin Gaudette is the aquatics wellness coordinator at the Redmond Area Park and Recreation District. Contact her at robin.gaudette@raprd.org.

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.