Moultrie Observer

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November 24, 2012

And a man must know his limitations

MOULTRIE — Recently in a column I mentioned that some of the emails I receive are engineered to sound very personal, like the sender actually knows me and my issues. But in fact, the same message gets sent out en masse.

So today I’m advised to “be the man you used to be, guaranteed.”

Well first off, I looked around to see if someone was looking through my window. This message sounded as if someone had been keeping tabs on me.

And how about that word “guaranteed?” How easily that word is tossed about. I’ve noticed that very little in this life can be guaranteed. Guaranteed is a 50 cents word applied to million dollar propositions.

I’ve often heard someone say in reference to a sporting event: “That’s a guaranteed win.” And my guess is that someone uttered those very words prior to those bad Baylor Baptists kicking the snot out of undefeated Kansas State. Who would have thunk it.

And has anyone actually gotten their money back from a “satisfaction guaranteed” proposition? I mean you do have to factor for return shipping costs.

Now back to me being “the man I used to be.” I made pretty good grades in physics and biology. And I cannot be the man I used to be. I can do a lot to help keep the wheels from coming off too soon, but life is an adversary system and eventually it happens ... if the wheels don’t actually come off, the bearings certainly get worn.

Now I know this was a marketing ploy. And it was about selling the concept of natural products in the vein of “fountain of youth.” Well I’m convinced that you can gnaw all the roots and eat all the bark you want to, and at best it will help you lose a little weight and make you regular.

Now don’t think for a minute that I’m pooh poohing exercise, healthy eating and using sensible supplements. I do these things on a regular basis.

There was a time when I had a goal set for my bench press. I got there. Then I set a higher goal, and I began to realize that my joints were not intended to withstand that kind of pressure. That’s why God gave us forklifts and pickup trucks. So at that point I set out on a new strategy of just trying to keep the moving parts moving and keeping the fixed parts where they should be. And, to be able to go from Point A to Point B without having to make two trips.

I think one has to realize that the human body does wear down. The goal should be to stay as healthy and active as possible once we’ve passed our peak. It’s about pacing ourselves. Statistically, we are living longer these days. The question then comes to be, is it quality life?

Now I must admit that I did not “go quietly into that good night” on this issue. There was that period in my life when I was convinced I could still be as physical as I ever was. So one day I bulldogged some calves for a fellow  so he could tag and vaccinate them. After all, I worked out regularly at the gym and I was full of spit and vinegar. This should have been no big deal. Just another workout.

The next morning I had to crawl to the shower. At that point I was willing for the Rev. Benny Hinn to lay hands on me. I think that might have been the very day that I decided that no, I wasn’t the man I used to be.

My dad used to say as he got into older age, “I can still jump as high, I just can’t stay up as long.” And then there’s that notation from Clint Eastwood as “Dirty Harry.” “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

Strangely, with everything that people are trying to sell these days, no one seems to packaging common sense in a mass marketing effort. And Lord knows there should be quite a market for it. You would think there would be roots and herbs for that. Or maybe an app.

Just an observation.


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