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©2010 Charles Plesums
Austin Texas USA
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I recently heard a true story about an 88 year old farmer going to his doctor. His energy just wasn't where it used to be. What was wrong with him?
As the story goes, after a thorough physical exam, finding nothing wrong, the doctor asked why he though something was wrong. What was a typical day like?
"I get up at 3:30 in the morning, just like I always did. Do the farm chores, even though the size of the farm is smaller now. But that gives me time to help at a neighbor's farm. Work a full day, but climbing to the top of the silo is getting harder - leaves me winded. And I don't have energy to do my usual workout on the exercise machines after 8 pm."
I'm not 88, but just hearing about that schedule makes me tired. And I have climbed to the top of silos (for my city-friends, inside that little bump on the side of a silo) and it even made me tired as a healthy teen-ager.
"Yup," the farmer continued, "all my friends who retired and got a recliner died within a few years. I won't have a recliner in my home. They can kill you."
This story impressed me so much (or hit me so hard) that I couldn't wait to share it!
A wooodworking friend, John VanDerwood M.D., who still has his day job as a practicing physician, wrote to me...
"I have been telling my patients this for years. This is exactly what happens to a lot of men starting in middle age and forward - they sit down in that recliner, and never get up again. Ask any man if his wife fusses about him sitting in their recliner, and you will get a positive answer. These women know intuitively that it is not good for a man to sit and do nothing.
"I have seen a lot of men waste away in a couple years time, from sitting down in that chair. Men who want to live past retirement need to do something, and of course woodworking is a great alternative to the "death chair".
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