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Major Mitchell

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Seeing Clearly

I woke to a chilly, foggy morning here in Oakdale. The damp air made me zip my jacket snugly around my neck while walking Molly. Funny how some dogs don't seem to mind damp, cold air or even a light rain, but when you show them a tub of warm bath water and a bottle of sweet smelling dog shampoo, they run and try to hide. We humans are like that at times. Not so much with taking a hot shower and shampooing our hair, but show us a gym or some exercise equipment and that's a different story. Oh, we'll readily give our assent to the idea of exercising, or talk about how we “used to do that,” but doing it now is a different idea.

I didn't realize how far I'd let myself slip until yesterday. I had a chance to join two other men in doing some volunteer work, doing a little maintenance work for a lady who needed a hand. I woke this morning feeling sore muscles where I didn't realize I had muscles. This coming from a guy who always took pride in what good shape he was in. I “used to” walk five miles a day, and “used to” do a half-hour workout every day. Maybe choosing to sideline the routine for the winter wasn't a good idea. Getting back into the routine seems to be the problem.

Evangelist Rick Davis once said, when things seem insurmountable, that's when you need to reach down inside your gut and pull the courage and willpower to the surface. Sounds easy … right? No, it's never easy, but sometimes it is exactly what is needed. If you want to stay in physical shape, you've got to exercise. And no, eating a large bag of french fries one at a time doesn't count as exercise. If you want to play an instrument, you've got to practice an hour a day. If you want to learn something, you have to look up the information, and probably read a book. And, if you're actually going to write that award-winning novel you've been planning, you need to actually start writing.

Most Americans will be making New Year’s resolutions in a few days, only to break them rather quickly, some within an hour or so. Most of us will step back and laugh at how fast we forget about our resolutions, simply because we did not take them seriously in the first place. But when it comes to the more important things in life, things like our physical, mental and spiritual health, we do need to reach down inside ourselves and pull up the resolve to actually do what's needed. Without it, we'll continue as we are, or maybe even regress a little each day without knowing it. Kind of like looking at ourselves through a fog.

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