How we honor our body, what God has given us.

I have a beef with the medical care system. We have way too many people who, at the slightest twinge, run off and expect someone to give them all sorts of care and miraculously expect every twinge to go away. I have bad news for you, there’s always going to be these weeney little booboos. Get over them. But we also need a medical system that first, knows what it’s talking about and doesn’t just pop a pill at the slightest whimper and we need to be much more knowledgeable about our bodies and quit the whining and whimpering.
I had a tightening in my left foot. Found out it was plantar fascitis. I run a lot, I do triathlons. One writer describes plantar as the “common cold” of runners, it’s going to happen. I know another individual, had the same symptom. Without a second thought runs off to the doctor, who prescribe some therapy, and, of course, pills. This takes up time that someone is going to have to pay for, that is all of us, all for something that I went to Walgreens, checked around, found something that goes around my foot and months later, still have not had the least problem with that.
Was playing basketball (bear in mind I’m in my fifties. I’m not some twenty -something smart guy) all of a sudden I just went down, my right calf seized up so badly and quickly I really thought I had done something really bad to the achilles. I realized it was a bad cramp and it wasn’t the first time I got cramps in my calf. I could have rushed off to get the medical attention that I am just so entitled to (he says sarcastically) or I could have used a little sense. The answer? Eat fruit, I started eating an apple before working out. This gives us a little hydration and minerals that support our muscles and keep them from cramping. By the grace of God, it’s been a year and I haven’t had any leg cramps whatsoever. In this case. an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Unless of course you go running off to the doctor.
Yea, I’m getting older, the sciatic on my right side was causing real pain and limiting mobility. Again this is something that is a common complaint of runners and bikers, I’m both. Instead of running for my all vitally important medical care and attention, I read that this is common and is the result of an imbalance in the conditioning of the muscles. Something doctors, who are frightfully ignorant of nutrition and conditioning would not deal with, “hey, just take a pain killer.” Yea, great unless you’re concerned about carcinogens and the affect these pills have on your heart, liver, kidneys and even pulmonary system. I start doing dead lifts, it’s been three months, no pain and much better mobility. Not because of pills or some treatment, but better conditioning. Well we can’t have that, now can we? No one really makes any money off of me if I do these things. Fact of the matter, I’m stronger, have better nutrition and can continue to be stronger without a lot of medical nonsense messing up my body.
As to conditioning and diet. I’m in my fifties, I continue to do short distance triathlons, I continue to train for them and other events. I continue to do weight training. I’m probably as strong as I was in my twenties. That is because while the normal aging process breaks down muscle, especially in a man, you can compensate for it by reasonable, regular exercise.
Now, of course comes more whining, but of a different nature. I can’t exercise. I’m too old, or not athletic enough. People will laugh at me, my dignity is all important. I have news for many of you. People are kind of laughing, behind your back, because you have become obese. You have diabetes, you make a joke out of the fact you couldn’t run around the block. You stuff whatever you want in your mouth without a second’s thought, because well you’re entitled to eat what you want, to have someone fix the damage you do (a very expensive and frankly not effective medical system) and, to top it off, to have someone else pay for all the attention you get. Frankly I’ve seen some people who crave the attention they get more than the treatment. You want attention? That’s what a church is for, your pastor is for, your brothers and sisters in Jesus are for. They will listen, they will empathize, they will try to help. Doctors and nurses etc try, but they’re not going to give you the attention your church family will and your church family is a whopping lot less expensive to all of us, then these new cathedrals of it’s all about me, usually referred to as health care facilities. We always make huge monuments to the things that we care most about. In this day and age, those monuments are hospitals and the new priesthood is doctors. Why? Because it’s all about me, make me feel better, give me attention.
People have to get real about conditioning. I’m not suggesting you do a triathlon. I’ve been swimming since I was six years old. I’ve been doing triathlons regularly for thirty years. You’re not going to be able to do what I do next week. However, anything you do proactively, starting now, will be a huge health benefit. Yes, go to a doctor and tell him/her that you want to quit fooling around and start living a strong life, not dependent on someone pushing pills on you and causing a myriad of other physical problems. The only thing a doctor can do is tell you whether or not you are able to do it, i.e. you don’t have a heart you’ve abused so long that it won’t fail if you raise your pulse about 80 beats per minutes.
Assuming that, then go to another professional, someone who can show you how to live life and not just take pills. I know what you’re still whining about. “I don’t want to look silly!” Yea, well that ship’s already sailed, maybe you want to start to actually feel and look a little better and quit fussing about your precious dignity. Now, even if you get a rudimentary idea of what to do, get up, go out to a gym and start devoting at least three/four days a week. “I don’t have the time.” Yea right, I’ve been getting up at 5am since I was in boot camp. Get up an hour earlier, pray, then do some exercise.
Again, get over your dignity and go to a gym. You might not like that others are there too, oh well. Those who are there are now brothers and sisters. They know what you’re going through, they’ve been there and they actually respect that you’re there. They respect you more than the average sloth who thinks he’s entitled to abuse his body and make the rest of us pay for it. if anything they will be happy to help, feel free to ask. If they do make a suggestion, they’re not doing it to make fun, they’re doing it because they care enough for you to not get hurt. If you let them, they may work out with you and give you some coaching. You know what? People pay big bucks for that kind of thing and the guy or woman next to you is giving you an immensely valuable gift. I’ve seen a few people in the weight room who obviously needed help. One younger kid was lifting weights wrong. I didn’t want him to hurt himself and I started giving him some direction. I may not be much of an athlete, but if I’ve been doing this for almost fifty years, am still in decent condition, can still finish a triathlon, am decent looking and without any, real, physical issues, I must be doing something right. I may not be doing it great, but I’d bet that I or someone else in that gym will help you, gratis, and do you far more good on a day to day basis then any doctor. You’re choice, but maybe it’s about time, a lot of people, again, got over themselves, stopped running off to the doctor, started eating reasonably, did some aerobic, resistance and flexibility training and all of a sudden they’re not a lump on a sofa. They are now a reasonably conditioned person, whose body feels better, who have a much better mental and emotional condition and, oh yea, because you got up earlier and did some praying, you’re feeling a much closer bond to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And you’re also showing Him that you are caring for the great gift or your body and life that He gave you.
So put the phone down, do us all (except maybe the medical establishment) a big favor and resist the urge to run off to the doctor and start giving yourself the care you should have been doing since you were six years old. Or, the people who really matter, they’re not going to laugh at you, but they’re going to feel pity that someone could let themselves get into such a deplorable condition.

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