Thursday, September 25, 2008

Always take the stairs

The comforts and conveniences of life in America are so numerous they’re hard to count. No wonder we have to exercise and eat healthy to stay fit and lean.

How about the automobile for starters, capable of taking us both long and short distances - distances so short that we could walk there faster. I’ve been guilty of that even though I make a conscious effort to walk in the pedestrian-friendly community in which I live, like when I drive to the local Starbuck’s only 5 blocks away for a quick-fix early morning cup of coffee.

Or how about the television remote control unit, the one that made all of us surfing experts – channel surfing that is. Imagine all the "exercise" we would get if we got up to change the channel every time we wanted to change the channel? We’d either burn a lot of calories getting up to change the channel, or we wouldn’t burn a lot of calories because we wouldn’t be changing the channel.

Venturing into the kitchen, electric can openers give us the comfort and convenience of quickly opening a can of chili beans to pop into the microwave and get back to the television before the commercial is over. Our unfortunate ancestors from yesteryear never knew such ease.

Automatic garage door openers give us convenience and comfort in rain, sunshine, day or night. We don’t have to get out of our car to open that heavy garage door. They also eliminate differences between men, women, young and old as all can open that heavy garage door as easy as the other.

Well the list goes on and on, but it would not be complete without the elevator. I’ve been in some nice elevators, some nicer than homes in which most people live. There’s a person I know who sells elevators. Not the kind you find in office buildings but elevators for homes. I asked him who buys them, expecting he would tell me that old people do. Was I surprised when he told me most of his customers are people like me. “Wait a minute”, I tell myself. If I’m not old that means young people are buying them. That doesn’t sound right either. If I am a middle-age man that means middle-age people are buying them.

Well I live in a two-story home with a basement. It is 11 stairs from the sidewalk to my front porch, and inside my home it is 16 stairs from the first floor to the second floor. I take the stairs constantly as all the bathrooms and bedrooms are on the second floor. I could use one of those convenient elevators as I go upstairs and downstairs at least twenty times a day.

Then in a moment of clarity I catch myself being mesmerized by another comfort and convenience of modern life. I should be grateful that I have my health and fitness, capable of taking multiple flights of stairs dozens of times a day without being breathless at the top. It is then when I remind myself to not be lazy and always take the stairs.

Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum

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