I’ve no technical training in the matter of resolving some muscular and joint issues, though I’ve suffered from each over the past three decades or so. But I have received help from professionals. Added to that is the more serious issue of being a diabetic that nearly ended my life a few years ago through complications involving plaque buildup in some major arteries. That was cared for by one of the world’s best who implanted five stents. And, of course, I’m on dietary changes and pills for all sorts of issues as the body insists on slowing down with ageing.
All of that in an uncomplaining mood… I want to add that the most important physical aspect of maintaining and restoring a healthy life style, in spite of and in addition to professional help, has been a life full of physical activity to this day.< Wolf hunting in February
I’ve always loved the outdoors and had an adventurous spirit. Since we lived on an island at the mouth of The Bay of Fundy, (and on the border of Maine) our house was perched at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. There were ten acres on a rocky shore line where the drop-off from the property behind our house was about forty feet straight down to the rocks below. That was a concern to my mother, so she kept me “locked up” on the full-length veranda to the west side of the house (away from the rocky ledge). I hated that, especially since my two older brothers could roam freely wherever they wanted! When I was finally “let loose” from those confines – I fully explored those ten acres, plus whatever “acres” dad’s cousins owned on the other side of the municipal dirt road.
Like my father, who passed on the genetics that included arthritic “material” that he got from his mother, and was an inveterate researcher, I too discovered through research that my dibilitating arthritic attacks were caused by a malfunction of the autoimmune system (that can cause a lot of other serious medical problems as well). I’m treated for that by a lady specialist (who is also a university professor). And my diabetes was passed on from my grandfather via my mother who didn’t get it!
So, many of our physical problems have been inherited, not caused by ageing or accident – though often worsening as life passes.
In the meantime we can, and must, do our part in maintaining and enhancing our physical (and mental) wellbeing through physical and other activities. Several years ago my wife had a knee replacement. Immediately after, she had to endure physical therapy that was VERY painful! She was sixty at the time, today she’s eighty-six and that knee works as well as it did twenty-six years ago… but now it’s her other knee that needs help! Being a retired nurse, she tells me that those who didn’t do the therapy have had serious problems since!
The point? Doctors, specialists, professionals and pills can only do so much, the rest depends on our self-discipline that includes keeping fit physically! How do we do that? As hunters and sportsmen we should already know! BUT, as we age and have some health problems (real or imagined), the TENDENCY is to say home, go online and/or watch TV for hours on end!! And, for a bit of change, jump in the car or truck/SUV, etc for shopping and “eatin’ out”! And that becomes the extent of “working out”!
< Checking a bear bait site in October. I was in my seventies and the rifle was my 1895 Marlin in .45-70, loaded with handloads.
My wife and I “eat out” quite a bit because: 1) It’s not fair to her at this stage of life to have to prepare a “full” meal for dinner each day, 2) I can cook a basic meal, but I’m no gormet chef by any stretch, and 3) It gets us out of the house for a few hours and we experience new venues. Beside all that, she likes gardening (even with a crippled knee) and I like hunting. Yet, I work out with weights nearly every day and do as much extra walking as my conscience tells me: “Bob, it’s good medicine for what ailes you!”.
Woods walking has been the most profitable for maintaining balance, strengthening leg muscles, tendons, knees, ankles and toes. “Woods walking” is where I hunt, which is a huge area with some trails, but mostly “through the woods” as in stepping over deadfalls, roots, fallen branches, rocks and boulders, climbing up or down ridges and crossing streams. In addition, the rifle is often switched from hand to hand and maneuvered to miss branches and rocky embankments, etc. As well, the upper body is constantly working to miss overhead branches, stooping low, then standing straight again. In effect the whole intricate body mass of flesh and bone, and the various systems that give life and maintain it, is involved in such activities. At the end, I feel alive though physically tired, and in consequence, I sleep well and eat well.
Such “working out” positively affects all bodily systems, so they function better and in harmony: Cardio-vascular, respitory, immune, disgestive, hormonal, etc. And the brain functions are positively impacted.
<Keeping hungry bears fed is a great system for keeping one fit!
And confidence is restored – we feel better about ourselves, so we stay involved with the people that matter to us, and our interests. Staying involved often leads to ventures unforseen at the debut of hunting activities. In my case (as well for many others) it has led to the handloading of many hunting rifles, along with the motive to explore and understand rifle ballistics – their “whys”, “hows” and “wherefores”. As that was happening, along with it came the desire to share with others what I was learning or had already learned – the desire to communicate with others of the same interests. That led to producing a few handloading manuals, and the next step was in writing blogs about all this stuff.
For some, increased knowledge and experience has resulted in a related business enterprise: Joyce Hornady making his own bullets that has resulted in perhaps the largest and most significant empire in all things handloading and development of new cartridges – and restoration of some ancient and near obsolete ones.
Of course, Hornady is not the only. Names like Nosler, Barnes and Hodgdon are just at the tip of a mountain of great entrepreneurs who ventured as young, eager men who were hunters.
Staying well in mind and body is mostly a matter of attitude or “spirit”. I officially retired as “Pastor” at age 84. That exempts me from a lot of responsibilities, but in “spirit”, I’ll always be a pastor, and I’m still “Pastor”to some with whom I regularly visit, or chat with via the Internet, cell phone, or meet with over coffee. I’m glad I can still do that, and they seem appreciative.
I really wouldn’t want to be writing these blogs if I thought they were meaningless drivel. At the very least they may provide a distraction for some from the more pressing issues of life… and just maybe some education and entertainment! The foremost beneficiary of staying fit from “working out” is obviously self. We feel better about ourselves and a positive attitude is gained or maintained that undoubtedly influences those close to us, and still others with whom we maintain a relationship.
< This man was a British intellectual with emotional and physical problems: Serious depression and serious diabetes, along with that he was seriously overweight. About a decade ago I conducted his funeral. He died of complications related to those issues, a year younger than I. However, we became decent friends and he wanted to hunt bear with me. That gave him something else to think about and do rather than endlessly denigrating himself that caused him to make a couple of attempts on his own life. To help “lift up” someone with self-destructive tendencies, we must be relatively free from “baggage” ourselves. A major part of that freedom comes from right thinking and living!
On the other hand, we may be fit physically, but sick in mind and spirit if our daily diet is the endless corruption of the world spued daily from media sources of entertainment and “news”. Immoral and aberrant thinking and resultant behaviour is endorsed and promoted in all aspects of society: All levels of education, politics and media – with its focus on lust, greed, anger, destructive self-centered living, and predictions of no hope for the future.
Yet, an ancient word from the Bible is still apropos and post modern: “Rejoice in the Lord (Jesus Christ) always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” — Philippians 4: 4 – 8 (NIV).
That was from Paul, an apostle, to the church at Philippi, in today’ Greece, in an epistle (letter) sent from a Roman prison, where he was locked up because of preaching the “good news” (gospel) about Jesus – who was raised from the dead by God the Father, and confirmed to be The ONE spoken of by the ancient prophets and his apostles who were witnesses of his resurrection. Yet, the GOOD NEWS is: He’s alive and coming again for all those who have believed in him according to the truth – not the lies and myths of the world that hates him, AND STILL DOES! They have substituted a lie for the TRUTH in making Jesus look like a toothless pet and declawed lion, so anyone and everyone can feel “comfortable” with that pet-form of Christianity – in which the CHRIST has been X-cluded! (The Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 15 – 18)
In the pic below there is a bullet, a 400gr Hawk bullet in .458″. Is that all we see? Oh yes, it has a cannelure. Those were ordered for me by the late John Williams, proprietor of Williams Arms in Port Perry, Ontario, around 1995, and I still have 20, including the one with the cannelure (that I gave it from a Lee Crimp Die). John and I did a lot of business over the years, but he is no longer with us having died of cancer a couple of years ago – and he was quite a bit younger than I. The shop is still in operation, though John had moved it to a larger facility due to making more clients and friends over the years. Today it’s owned by his widowed wife, and operated by a competent staff. My latest trip there was for CFE 223, that had been ordered for me about three months ago, and arrived two weeks ago – I picked up two 1 lb cans.
But to the purpose of the pic… the 400 Hawk rests on one of my Bibles. You’ll have noticed it’s well worn though only twenty years old. There’s a simple reason for that: The heavenly Father talks to me through the Bible. God’s TRUTH is the foundation of everything that exists -including that 400gr bullet and my life! Even the Hawk company acknowledges that! How do I know? From the ancient symbol of a fish imprinted in two places on the box! That was the symbol that the early Christians used to identify one another when under the threat of death by Rome. Today, you might find it on automobile license plates and other products, stating that the company or product acknowledges Christ as Saviour and Lord, and the Bible as God’s TRUTH. Many products that we use as handloaders and amateur gunsmiths have come to us in Jesus name from places like Hawk, Timney and Hodgdon!
There are those among us who acknowledge God’s Truth: Jesus declared, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (The Gospel of John, ch 14 and verse 6). Because He IS alive, He’s the eternal source of our healing for body, mind and spirit. (The prophecies of ISAIAH chapters 2, 40 and 53. Recommended reading in the NIV or NKJ versions.)
Till the next…