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A Healthier Lifestyle

by Matt Hicks

Matt says: I'm an Indiana native that managed to escape to south Florida where my partner and myself are raising our grandson. I have worked in healthcare my entire life, so a healthy sense of humor, and an appreciation for the ridiculous are pretty much part of the job description. I've always been a voracious reader, and I've written many short stories over the years. I've just not had the courage to try to publish anything before now.

I'm trying to live a healthier lifestyle. According to those that know about these things I needed to make some changes in a number of areas. I started with my diet. I would no longer dip chocolate chip cookies in vanilla ice cream.I dip them in cottage cheese now instead. I read somewhere that avocados were very good for you too. They apparently have a healthy form of fat! Even though that sounded suspiciously like an oxymoron,  I tried using guacamole as my cookie dip, but that just didn't work. I also replaced the two cups of gravy I used to have in the morning with two cups of coffee. 

With my diet issues solved, I then embarked on an Activity and Exercise program, (I capitalized those two words because they are so important). Activity and Exercise would be my ticket to living a longer, healthier life.

I promptly purchased a bicycle. My partner Jon, cognizant of my alarming ability to injure myself doing the most mundane tasks, suggested a stationary bike. He followed that suggestion up by also suggesting that I place pillows around it and only ride it when someone with some rudimentary knowledge of first aide was home with me.

After making some suggestions of my own I threw caution to the wind and purchased a racing bike. On wheels scarcely larger than a human hair I began my journey to a happier, healthier future. I jumped on my bicycle and took off for the neighborhood park, a clear image of myself 3 months in the future, my bike shorts tight against my newly lean, muscular thighs. My chiseled body leaning into the wind. 

The other people at the park said I flew at least 15 feet over the park bench when I hit it. Over the course of my three month convalesce from three broken ribs and a broken arm I gained ten pounds. It was obvious even to me that I needed to rethink the whole "Activity and Exercise" theme.

I take a number of magazines, some of them health related, so I scoured a couple of them for health related articles. Most of these magazines, still unread, land in the employees lounge where I work. My airline miles were about to expire, so I bought magazines with them instead of letting those dipsticks at Delta keep my hard earned miles. 

I came across an article espousing the long, fruitful lives of humans that practice Buddhism and other eastern religions that emphasize the concept of "mindfulness". Being mindful apparently means being "in the moment", a phrase that means putting aside past and future to simply experience the present moment in time. To grasp what a foreign concept that is to me you would need to know much more than I'm comfortable revealing to you. I decided to give it a try anyway. 

As soon as my ribs healed enough where I could take deep breaths I embarked on a journey of the soul. I walked early every morning, down the street to the park. I'm pretty easily distracted, and there are a lot of people out there walking in my neighborhood. On some mornings I share the trail with another jogger, and I spend most of that walk coming up with fantasies involving my health conscious friend.

On those mornings, meditation doesn't stand a chance. I find myself imagining scenarios that would throw me and jogger guy in close proximity, like maybe joining forces to rescue some frail, elderly lady and her equally frail dachshund who are being threatened with spray paint cans by a couple of sneering, unkempt, miscreants who are angry at having their graffiti creating interrupted. Jogger guy and I would be all up in their faces, and when they left in shame, we would turn to each other and fist bump before going over behind some shrubs and making out.

It's at this point in the fantasy that I realize that jogger guy would probably have run away from any such situation, and I would have proceeded to get beaten up and spray painted for my trouble. 

Maybe I should get a treadmill?

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