Climb

Climb: (v) to ascend, especially by using the feet and sometimes the hands

Everyone understands the choice but no one discusses it. It is an unspoken piece of information that is decided in the internal workings of every human being.

You have to find out if you would like to go to a gym and sweat four times a week so that when you climb a flight of stairs, you won’t sweat.

There you go. I don’t know why nobody talks about it.

People working out in the gym are not thinking about how they’ll feel when they’re sixty-five or seventy years old. They just want to make sure that if they’re on a date and there’s a half-mile walk to the auditorium, or a two-hour wait standing in line at the restaurant, or four flights of stairs to ascend to reach the destination, that they will be able to do it without looking like they’re flirting with death.

Also, nobody wants to be the one panting the loudest in the bedroom after sex. If you’re a man and it sounds like you’re going to have a heart attack because you made love to your woman, it may just discourage her from trying again.

It is our vanity that presses us on to bench-press.

And for those who think to themselves, what do I care if it takes forty-two seconds for me to recover my breath after climbing a flight of stairs?–well, you will never catch those individuals stomping, dancing or doing a Pilate.

Do people live longer because they are aerobically able to climb without much difficulty? There’s no evidence for that. They just look prettier and healthier doing it.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s much to be said for reaching the top of a mountain with your clothes undrenched.

But unless it is a major concern, or you’re just bound and determined to convey that your tight pecs, flat abs and muscular legs make you more sexy, I think you will probably join the ranks of those who file away from the gymnasium.

 

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Cholesterol

Cholesterol: (n) a compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues

She told me my cholesterol was a little high–“she” being my doctor.

She didn’t seem terribly concerned, but she still had a pill she thought would be jim-dandy to use. I took the pill, came back for my next visit
and my cholesterol was down.

She clapped her hands. She was glad.

I, on the other hand, felt no difference whatsoever.

I’m not trying to put forth the theory that there needs to be a physical or emotional pay-off for every good deed, but it sure helps. For if your cholesterol goes from 212 to 108, you should have some sort of bell that rings.

Maybe your eyelashes get fuller. I’m not asking for much.

Effort and reward. It’s the basis of the theory of human habitation. “If I do this, then I get that. But if I do THAT, then I’ll get THIS.”

I buy into the concept like everyone else.

Supposedly, cholesterol gums up your arteries and increases the possibility of a heart attack. But in a moment of true candor, may we state that what the medical field insists is beneficial in this particular season, will be completely out of fashion by the time autumn arrives.

Being a veteran of “oat bran,” and more recently, “gluten free,” I realize there are things that may be good, but not necessarily essential, and their worth is not equal for all humans.

I wonder why more doctors don’t encourage good cheer. It certainly does give immediate results, and may very well be good for your health

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Chilblain

Chilblain: (n) a painful, itching swelling on the skin, typically on a hand or foot, caused by poor circulation in the skin when exposed to cold.

A series of the number 24:

I was 24 years old.

It was 24 miles.

It was 24 degrees.

And I had been up for 24 hours.

I was desperately trying to start a music group that possessed enough solvency that the aggravated adults around me would stop bitching about my lack of a job.

I was failing.

Every time I got twelve dollars at a coffeehouse gig, I had fifteen dollars of bills.

I also had begun a family–mainly because my wife and I had not yet figured out the intricacies of birth control. Delaying this education led to two very quick
pregnancies.

I had not been home for five days, and even though there was a blizzard going on, I decided to take my old beat-up 1958 Chevy, with bald tires, and drive the 24 miles from Westerville, Ohio, to Centerburg, my home.

As I drove north, the weather got worse and I couldn’t see the road, which had disappeared under a blanket of white-carpeting ice.

Suddenly I felt a pain in my chest, then in my head, an itching in my leg (could have been a chilblain, right?) and the deep abiding notion that I was in trouble. Yes, I was only 24 years old, but thought I was having a heart attack, a stroke and a physical collapse, all at the same moment.

There was no place to stop, no houses to drive up to, seeking help–just more road and more and more snow bullets bouncing off my windshield.

I was scared.

I didn’t want to die.

I felt I was conjuring many of the symptoms due to my fatigue, loneliness and apprehension. Still, that didn’t make them go away.

As if on cue, the heater in my car, which had been offering some comfort, stopped working. Now all it was doing was blowing cold air on my frigid body.

Was I going to succumb on the 3-C Highway somewhere between Westerville and Centerburg, to be discovered tomorrow by a snow plow driver?

At that point, I did something I have done thousands of time since. I talked to myself.

“Buck up. If you’re gonna die, make it overtake you. Don’t give into it. Keep your eyes on the road. Be grateful that nobody else is traveling, so you can swerve around a little bit. And get yourself home.”

When I finished my little speech–my soliloquy, if you will–I immediately felt better.

I had calmed the storm in my own soul.

I had rested my own anxieties by admitting I was scared shitless.

A half hour later I pulled up in front of our old apartment, cautiously inched my way up the stairs, took off my clothes and climbed into bed with my wife, who had not seem me for some time.

I was so grateful.

Even my chilblain was gone.

I was humbled.

I never want to forget that sensation.

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Brussels Sprout

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Brussels sprout: (n) a vegetable consisting of the small compact bud of a variety of cabbage.

I was thinking about tough jobs:

Being the promotion agent for O. J. Simpson.

How about this?

Social media guru for the Facebook page of Adolph Hitler.

Or …

The marketing representative for Brussels sprouts.

This is a vegetable that has a public relations problem at nearly every turn. (Or turnip, for that matter…)Dictionary B

It is often described as a very small cabbage–not that cabbage has a great following itself. So being deemed a smaller rendition of an “also-planted” vegetable is not a “heady” proposition.

Brussels sprouts are fussy about being cooked. Some people like to keep them crisp and others, well-done. For those who like them kind of soggy, crisp is inedible. Likewise, the crispers choke on the “softies.”

Brussels sprouts also suffer under the dubious honor of being healthy. It would be a wonderful world if people were actually concerned about their health. Most people become interested in their well-being just about the time they grab their chest with a heart attack.

So it becomes an issue of taste. It’s gotta taste good. To accomplish that, we cover them in butter. Butter can make almost anything taste good, including snails.

But the problem is, when you put butter on Brussels sprouts, it’s like sending a choir boy to a maximum security prison to hang out. That which was good will certainly be tainted. The butter turns the Brussels sprouts into liquid death.

Do I like Brussels sprouts? Yes.

Would I serve them at a party? No.

Why?

Because deep in my soul, I really like people.

 

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Broken-hearted

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Broken-hearted: (adj) overwhelmed by grief or disappointment.

Research.

It is something every writer should learn how to do, and if pursuing the profession, it might need to become a favorite side-bar.Dictionary B

I wrote a book on the life of Jesus. I think indirectly every author writes his or her “Christ” book–a volume where the novelist pens thoughts about the sacrificial nature of love.

I entitled mine “I’M…the legend of the son of man.”

I did some research on the crucifixion–the execution, as it were, of Jesus of Nazareth.

Even though the Gospel writers knew nothing about the circulation of blood, which was hundreds of years from being discovered by a guy named Harvey, they described the fluids which drained out of the deceased, hanging corpse of Christ, as the sword pierced his side, confirming his death.

“Water and blood.”

That was their report.

The writers had no idea what that meant. Only in modern-day medicine do we understand that this particular gathering of fluids is a sign of a major heart attack.

As I sat back and read the information on the physical condition of the human heart of Jesus, I concluded that after all the strain, the pain, the disappointment, the betrayal and the denial he suffered–that the Prince of Peace, the lover of humanity and the Son of Man … literally died of a broken heart.

 

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Broad

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Broad: (adj) an ample distance from side to side; wide.

We are a peculiar people.Dictionary B

Every July 3rd in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, we commemorate Pickett’s Charge, where thousands of Southern gentlemen attacked a wall of cannon at the bequest of an aging general who was in the midst of having a minor heart attack due to the summer’s heat.

But for some reason we call that brave.

We paint the picture of humanity with broad strokes.

We weep over acts of patriotism or occasions in which hundreds of thousands of us merge into a common trough.

But I am personally stalled by the warning from a Nazarene from two thousand years ago, who stated, “Broad is the way to destruction.”

It is shoulder-to-shoulder that we march to hell–unaware of our destination, but satisfied that we are right…because we are not alone.

What foolishness.

The best decisions of my life always happen absent human hovering.

When I’m on the “strait and narrow” of my passion, angels of authenticity are prompted to whisper in my ear.

If not, I am inundated by the bad breath of baffled Bohemians.

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Blockage

Blockage: (n) an obstruction that makes movement or flow difficult or impossible.

Dictionary B

Sometimes I forget how it works.

I mean, I understand when I take my car to the repair shop, that there will be a whole list of things presented to me, that need to be done to the vehicle because the mechanic is:

A. Trying to restore the car to good shape, and

B. Attempting to make as much money as possible.

But when it comes to the doctor’s office, I can’t seem to convince myself that they, too, are practitioners who want to make things perfect–while also acquiring a profit.

Every human being needs to be aware–especially males–that eventually you will go into your doctor’s office and be told that you have a blockage. Yes, there’s some buildup in your arteries that forewarns of a heart attack.

You see, the first time I was told this, I freaked out. Matter of fact, I had a minor anxiety attack, which simulated the heart attack they promised would eventually come due to my blockage. Then, when it turned out to be nothing, they kind of treated me like I was stupid for getting so upset.

So what you have in the medical field are people who will make extreme statements, assuming you know how to filter them to realistic interpretation.

If you do not know how to do that, you will listen to them and be afraid to leave the parking lot … because you are convinced that you’re very near to having a stroke.

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