Childhood imagination leads to healthier lifestyles

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you want to be a couch potato?

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Did you want to be a couch potato? Overweight? A junk food addict?

Probably not.

Me neither.

It seems none of us adults living in the big people’s world with jobs and bills and responsibilities ever wanted to grow up and live in a world ruled by stress, high blood pressure, heart attacks and just, overall, being in really bad physical shape.

But, according to statistics, which are sometimes, but not always, correct, being overweight, physically inactive and eating crap, which ironically all fit together like a big puzzle, are huge issues.

And, another missing piece to the giant jigsaw, is, of course, having an ungrateful heart and lungs.

And, as a final piece is the worry of bad things happening, really bad things, like a heart attack or stroke.

It appears being overweight, not active and eating crap is like an invisible ball and chain hooked to lots of people. And, instead of taking the initiative to get free of it, some of us decide to lay the blame somewhere else.

I, personally, kind of like the idea of blaming someone else for my lifestyle as I lay on the couch, crunching my way through a bag of chips and listlessly pressing the remote.

In fact, at our house the other day, a crisis occurred. We could not find the remote.

It was a sad day; a very sad day And as I hung my head in despair I knew I should go walk around the block so my heart and lungs would thank me for it, but I simply couldn’t.

I was too depressed.

Seriously, a recent survey I read shows that lots of people are stressed out about being overweight and inactive.

Weird how the two are connected.

Anyway, a collective SOS call went out to the universe about this little problem that was immediately picked up by this mysterious force and tossed it back to the powers that be. And, quicker than the demise of the penny, the powers that be went into action.

And formed a committee!

There’s your answer.

And, of course, some seed money was handed over to the committee so the deprived age group, who apparently has nothing to do, can quit being part of the “gap” in recreation.

It may or may not work. For some reason the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink,” comes to mind, but time will tell.

For me, as a kid, and now as a big kid, I have learned that, unfortunate as it may seem, the shortest route to a healthy lifestyle lies right inside my own head.

I was fortunate enough to grow up as one of those poor, underprivileged kids who lived on the wrong side of the tracks. As such a kid, I learned that as long as I had my brothers to hang out with, a tin can could become a football, a front yard a baseball stadium, and an unplanted garden a broad jump pit.

In short, I learned there’s nothing like a little imagination to pick up the slack if I wanted to remove my derriere from the chesterfield.

And, because I am convinced there is no age limit on imagination or choice, I’ve decided that fact still holds true.

So I’m going to quit looking for my remote.

And go for a walk!

— ON THE OTHER SIDE

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