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Preaching to the Choir Lest They Slept

September 19 , 2001

Each 24-hour period has been tougher than the last, yet this morning, Laree and I managed to laugh, something we refused to do in the past week. I wish I could remember what caused the spontaneous display of cheerfulness so I could pass it on but it's gone.

We're no less stunned nine days after the initial WTC impact, and its magnitude has only been reinforced by its multifaceted consequences. We stand alongside the rest of the world, anxious, angry and sickened.

Limited common knowledge of international relations, logic and common sense, American patriotism, sufficient faith and essential Godly compassion comprise my stock of references to guide me from this day forward. Of course, I have a 32" Sony. I'm amongst the spoiled and self-centered of the world who need to slow down and be aware, thankful and more gracious. My country, The United States of America, with its flaws and smudges has been aberrantly wronged, brutally wounded. And I am pleased with the direction and speed at which we are moving, though I haven't seen the news since three and things change moment to moment.

We will not submit to terrorism by relinquishing our freedom, denying the formidable reality, adopting random violence, cowering or otherwise preparing fertile ground for the weeds of oppression to grow. We are ready for personal commitment and compromise in the development of national safety and the fortitude of our brothers and sisters around the globe.

I have a suspicion that we (you and me) who seek health, strength and improved performance and take the dusty road toward achieving them have a slight advantage going for us. That's not a proven statement or an arrogant assumption; it's just a notion.

Looking good — stomach in, chest out, shoulders back — is a fair objective but our cause is nobler than that. We are compelled by our endeavors to experiment with compromise and commitment, and have therefore become familiar with their fundamental components, patience, discipline and steadfastness. You and I have come to appreciate these qualities, recognize their importance and notice their slow but sure development in our lives.

I know, a weak connection to make in light of the excruciating trials that loom before our free world. No argument. Nevertheless, we fitness fools are thoughtful in the foods we eat, how much and when. We are regulars at hard exercise when a late morning in bed or an early evening before the TV are sometimes very appealing options. Our focus is on physical condition and ability, endurance and strength. Determination accompanies us in our pursuits and I submit a bit of grit penetrates our skin. Another kind of bond is established within the body, mind and spirit of the serious trainer (of any level) and it relates to instincts, resourcefulness and inward trust. Diligence and moderation position themselves to replace laziness and excess.

The elements of which I speak will not necessarily make us heroes or special-op forces, but they might serve us to endure a longer line at the airport, to walk and run, climb and jump and carry a load if we must. We might be less inclined to view simple compromise and cooperation to assure a smooth running system of a hearty people as the surrender of our freedoms. I'll bet we muscleheads will be amongst the first to release and resist the fear that supporting the governments in their efforts to secure the nations is a threat to our liberty and broad manner of living.

It's not uncommon for me to refer to the unhealthy and unfit condition of society as a reflection of its apathy, complacency and ignorance. My references are not insensitive comments on the undesirable fitness level of the people on the streets. They are not condemnations but instructive pleas to set the dormant into motion. They are not intended to ridicule the overweight but rather stir the sleeping. They call the weak to strength with no tone of mocking in the voice. The mocking, rather, is in the ear.

Exercising and eating right regularly prepare us for the tough days ahead. Exercise is a constructive diversion that relaxes and reduces stress, strengthens the body, mind and spirit, establishes confidence, builds brotherhood and sisterhood, adds considerably to the resources of the country and prepares it to win the good fight.

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