We all know the importance of daily exercise and all the benefits that it can bring. For people who are over 50 years of age, like me, the following exercise regimen might be one that you may find attainable!
Stand on a comfortable surface.
With a 5-pound potato sack in each hand, extend your arms out horizontally and hold that position for one minute, then relax.
Each day you will find that you can hold this position a little longer.
After two weeks, move up to 10-pound potato sacks.
After one month, try 60-pound potato sacks.
Eventually, you will be able to lift 100-pound sacks in each hand, holding your arms out for one minute.
After you feel confident at this level…put a potato in each sack!!
Bad news folks…we are all getting old. Every day that passes by is another day “in the books.” The most important thing that we need to remember is that there is a BIG difference of growing old and growing up. You can decide to be a person who will be forever “young at heart” or someone who just sits around and grow “old.”
The following story that I found on The Life of Hope is a heartwarming tale of a special young lady and her exploits in an environment where most people her age aren’t normally found. I trust that this story will brighten your day, bring a smile to your face, and maybe, bring a change to your life.
The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn’t already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.
I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that that lit up her entire being.
She said, “Hi, handsome. My name is Rose. I’m eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?” I laughed and enthusiastically responded, “Of course you may!” and she gave me a giant squeeze.
“Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?” I asked.
She jokingly replied, “I’m here to meet a rich husband, get married, have a couple of children, and then retire and travel.”
“No seriously,” I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.
“I always dreamed of having a college education and now I’m getting one!” she told me.
After class we walked to the student union building and share a chocolate milkshake. We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months, we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this “time machine” as she shared her wisdom and experience with me.
Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.
At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet. I’ll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor. Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, “I’m sorry I’m so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I’ll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.”
As we laughed she cleared her throat and began: “We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing. There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. “You have to laugh and find humor every day. You’ve got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die. We have so many people walking around who are dead and don’t even know it!”
“There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up. If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don’t do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight. Anybody can grow older. That doesn’t take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding the opportunity in change.”
“Have no regrets. The elderly usually don’t have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets.”
She concluded her speech by courageously singing The Rose. She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the years end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those years ago.
One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.
Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it’s never too late to be all you can possibly be.
I read the following short story a little while ago that reminded me of my days of childhood. I am sure that for some of you, it will conjure up similar emotions. Sometimes I think that if parents disciplined their children more like they did “in the days of old” our country would be a lot different than it is now.
The other day, someone at a store in our town read a newspaper story that a Methamphetamine lab had been found in an old farmhouse in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?”
I replied that I did have a drug problem when I was younger: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter what the weather was like.
I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, bought home a bad report card, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher, or I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me.
I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profanity. I was drug outside to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower beds and told to pick out the cockleburs out of dad’s fields. I was drug to the homes of families, friends and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline, or chop some firewood, and, if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the woodshed.
Those drugs are still in my veins and they still affect my behavior in everything I do, say, or think today. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin: and if today’s children had THIS kind of drug problem, America would be a better place today.
I grew up with practical parents. A mother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen before they had a name for it. A father who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones and would et all of the food on his plate (even the scraps) because otherwise, it was a waste of food.
Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away.
I can see them now, Dad in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Mom in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things. A curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that re-fixing, eating, renewing, I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there would always be more.
But then my mother died, and on that winter’s day, in her bed at home, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away…never to return. So… While we have it…..it’s best we love it…. care for it…fix it when it’s broken………and heal it when it’s sick.
This is true. For marriage…….and old cars….and children with bad report cards…..and dogs with bad hips….and aging parents……and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it.
Some things we keep. Like a best friend that moved away or a classmate we grew up with.
There are just some things that make life important, like people we know who are special……..and so…we keep them close!