I don't have any STDs.
Or, for that matter, I don't have any major diseases or illnesses which would lead me to death before my 24th birthday (party).
That's not exactly what my doctor told me today, but the words "clean bill of health" and "tip-top shape" weren't nearly as eyebrow-raising.
Some of you may not be familiar with the history of the STD, blood and urine testing processes, but I first had one early in my college years. Back then, you could hike Mt. Everest quicker than you'd get those results. It was a pressure-packed couple of weeks.
Thanks to modern technology, it was only a three-day turnaround. The only problem is that you still have to climb Mt. Everest, only you do it in three days instead of 14. In other words: I was still thinking about all (insert uncomfortably high or unexpectedly low number here) times I've had sex since my last test.
But you see, my awesome friend Jen is right when she said, "you're like the healthiest person on the planet, you're extremely athletic, weigh like 100 lbs, don't do drugs or engage in any risky behavior." This is all true, well I actually weigh 155 pounds, but that's neither here nor there.
So highlighting the STDs, notably my lack thereof, is not to say I have made a habit of not making sound decisions with my sex life. It is simply to say that, at least for the first (nearly) 24 years of my life, I have not brought myself closer to death thanks to sex. What's that saying? Oh yeah, "close, but no cigar."
As for those other diseases and illnesses, one can never be sure beyond the date of the test. For example, my test were fine this time, but in a few weeks or months who knows. I could get a tumor tomorrow. And no matter how many 10-mile runs I go on, cancer is no less likely to attack me. So I'm almost always spending an extra few seconds in the shower checking the boys. Just in case Dr. T missed something, you know.
This may be way more information than you care to know, but dying young has been something I've feared for almost 20 years. I've believed two things since childhood: 1) I'd live to accomplish great things (I read about Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin as a six-year-old, mind you) and 2) I would die young (think MLK and Kennedy). That may sound all-too self-aggrandizing (or just plain foolish) to even think I'll be considered in the same breath as those aforementioned "greats", but I'm serious when I say I fear dying young.
All that I've worked for and everything I aspire to achieve - from informational and inspirational books to having a positive (lasting) impact in Austin, Texas and beyond - would be jeopardized, or at least cut short, if I were to die young. And I consider young to be anything before 50. After 50, I'll re-evaluate my definition.
So, in the pursuit of preventing as many of those diseases and illnesses as possible, I try to stay in great shape. I don't drink more than a few sodas a week. I eat plenty of fruit and drink juice. I don't avoid veggies. I've never been one to drink myself into oblivion and I've never tried a drug that you couldn't get in the Garden of Eden. I've even made it a point to drink eight cups of water a day. And I hate drinking water.
All this to experience the 2040s.
Obviously I could get hit by a Metro bus on my way to work in the morning - as happened to some poor guy outside of my building a few weeks ago. I could contract some rare disease from something I eat or a vacation I take this summer. Or I could slip in the shower and break my neck.
But I'm pretty sure, having made it through the "peak" years of my sexcapades, STDs won't be the death of me. At least that's what my doctor told me on February 27, 2007. I'll keep you posted if anything comes up. Or not.