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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)

TITLE: I meant to exercise
By Roland Mann


I was going to exercise.
No, really. I was.
I’d even plugged the treadmill in.
But I was about to play for the national championship on NCAA ’07. I’d already spanked Florida in the league playoffs. It wasn’t something that could wait. Sure, I could save the game and continue tomorrow night. But the team was limber and ready to go.
My thumbs were a little stiff. But I hadn’t tossed the controller.
I couldn’t do that anymore without feeling any guilt. I’d hollered at the kids when they did that. The apple doesn’t fall far and all that.
Granted, the kids weren’t playing for the national championship when they tossed the controllers. It was just some silly worm game that the four of us played together. Family time. You know how it goes.
But Doc had said that a cholesterol level of 270 wasn’t a good thing. Less than 100 was what I wanted.
I’ve never been sure if I appreciated the Doc telling me what I wanted. All my life I’ve been told we can’t tell others what they want. We can tell them what we think they might like, but how do you know what I want?
You don’t.
Of course, now I want a chocolate chip cookie. But I can’t have one because it sends the bad cholesterol up.
Why didn’t we know about bad cholesterol and good cholesterol 20 years ago? I never heard of cholesterol at all until a handful of years ago.
Do the bad cholesterol and the good cholesterol fight? Are more than one called cholesterols? Is there an ongoing war on my body and the good guys are losing? Kinda like the Christians and the Muslims? Forever fighting until the end when Christ returns and sets the record straight? Does the cholesterol war in my body cause my aches and pains? Or are the aches and pains caused by the big 4-5?
Doc also said that I didn’t want to eat fried foods.
I turned to see who he was talking to. I was a born and bred person of the Southern persuasion. I drink my breakfast milk fried. Fried is one of the four food groups in the South and I was one who did actually enjoy eating fried food.
Doc also said that I wanted to exercise more. Said I wanted to lose weight.
I wouldn’t mind losing a little of that weight, but I wasn’t too excited about exercising.
Truth was that he wanted me to lose weight and my wife wanted me to exercise. She’d failed to see the humor anymore in my “before-after” routine in front of the mirror each morning. It has become harder and harder to do the before part of the routine anymore. I can’t suck my gut in that far.
Doc did say, though, that if I failed to do all these things that I would actually have a stroke. There’d been members of my family to have strokes. They ate fried foods and I don’t think they exercised either.
I tried to tell that to the nurse as she took my blood pressure. I wanted to tell my kids that, but the words wouldn’t come to me.
I was going to exercise…but I couldn’t get up.
I wanted to exercise now, but I couldn’t.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 02/22/07
A very vivid look at wanting and not doing, but wanting still. Good job.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/24/07
To be more Reader Friendly, I'd suggest spacing between paragraphs - making for an easier read.
Kathie Thomas02/24/07
Good reminder that we all have things we should be doing. I'm not sure many of us enjoy doing exercise (except my husband, that is) but one of the fitness guys at our church explains that it's one of those things we need to add to our routine so we can enjoy the outcome.