Your point is very powerful. To support it, I offer my disabled veteran buddy who had lost his legs. Until we lose something, and have to come back from great loss, we assume so much, don’t we? Fitness is just that- how can we develop the ability to move the best way through life?

I have a very similar story. Three or four years ago in my local gym I used to see a tall, older man in his seventies punching it out regularly on the bike or treadmill. One day we got into a conversation. Turned out he also had MS. His diagnosis was brutal. What he had found was that by pushing himself VERY hard every single day for a while, he had far greater control over his body. I wrote an article about him. He later went to live in South Korea for a a while with his wife, then to Spokane. I see his entries every so often. What I loved about talking to this man was his enthusiasm, positive attitude, and determination to live as fully as possible with the highest quality of life he could in the time he had. That to me is far more admirable than ruining your body with steroids and chemicals just to have bragging rights for the biggest biceps on the block.

Most of us ARE very privileged to have four limbs that work without spasming. Four functioning working limbs, a functioning brain, all our faculties. It has always fascinated me that those who don’t — and that includes disabled folks who taken on huge mountains and summit them on their stumps no less- have so very much more to teach us about life, living vividly, and making the most of what we have. Again, to your point- we operate on foolish assumptions. I punch iron not only because I like the results but also because after twenty concussions, I HAVE to exercise to help mitigate the damage I’ve done. In many ways I’m damned lucky to be alive. Working out helps me stay sane, focused, in shape and healthy. I am forever deeply moved by those people- including an enormously obese woman I met in the Spokane gym two years ago- who have decided to take on the monumental task of getting fit again. I’ve been there. Bravo to them- and again, to support your point, in some case far more so that those gifted with near-perfect genes.

Finally, this also reminds me of a number of scenes from my favorite sports movie of all time: Rudy. Short, light, and most certainly not a talented athlete, in the early 1970s Rudy ended up trying out for Notre Dame. The gifted scholarship athletes were in many ways angry at his extreme determination and work ethic. What they had was a gift. What he had was limited, and he worked his ever loving butt off. That culminated in all of seven seconds on the playing field on the very last game of the season, but which he turned into a full time speaking career. Rudy’s example, at first ridiculed by his fellow team members, ended up in their carrying him off the field on their shoulders. He is the very last player to enjoy that honor. For my money, that says volumes about an example, our character, and showing us that working with what we have can be ever so much more powerful than enjoying being born into Superman status without having to actually earn it. Thanks kindly for your comments.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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