Snakes On A Plane – An apt metaphor

Yup. I had a Samuel L. Jackson moment three months ago: “Enough is enough! I’ve had it with these mother f$*#in’ snakes on this mother f$*#in’ plane!”

I then proceeded to open up some windows, shoot the cockpit door, turn into Kenan Thompson and take over the controls.

Three months ago, I was getting over a second UTI in as many months. My body was constantly tired. Chronic pain was worsening. My left hand cramped up at least twice a week. Caught the flu. A wicked abscessed tooth followed. My right shoulder cried out even lifting a damn coffee cup. I could barely finish one household chore without feeling like I needed a two day nap to recuperate. Sure, I exercised lightly for about 15 minutes a day, but I was doing it inconsistently.

Rewind a bit more to about a year ago. I injured (yet again) my right shoulder. I already knew there was a significant amount of arthritis going on in there, but after an x-ray, they also found a bone spur on my humurus and a lot of calcification from previous injuries. Oh, and I was having a tendinitis flare-up with bursitis thrown in for good measure. The Sports Medicine doctor said it was only a matter of when and not if I would receive another injury and probably would need cortisone injections.

So I babied my shoulder. And paid the price. Dearly (refer to third paragraph of
what ensued).

One day, a curious thing happened. My five-year-old grandson came into my room to ask me a question and he spotted my dumbbells. He excitedly exclaimed, “Cool! Let’s exercise so we can be strong!” And off he strolled into the living room to ‘work out’. I thought to myself, “Eh, why not.” “Let’s do this together, Emilio, every day, so we can be stronger!” Of course, I couldn’t let my lil monkey down and back out! One day turned into two, then three. Then a week passed.

Fast forward. From doing two exercises 10 – 15 minutes per day, I’m now doing eight exercises 45 minutes per day (more or less, depending on my pain level). I was focusing so much only on ensuring my muscles and joints were getting enough movement, that the other ‘side effects’ of regularly exercising caught me by surprise. I started drinking more water, my clothes fit more loosely, I had more energy and stamina, chronic pain lessened in intensity, I was sitting up straighter, I felt… happier.

A few people I know were my motivation and inspiration. I figured if they had the
stick-to-it-iveness to make healthy lifestyle changes, I could do it too. Another awesome thing occurred as well. A few other people have contacted me and asked what exercises I’ve been doing. They became motivated and inspired to do what they could to help themselves be healthier.

There is one more thing I’d like to say before closing. Wherever you’re at, if you can move just a little – do it. This isn’t a competition either. If you can do one exercise today, that is more than you were doing yesterday. If you can do 10, 20 exercises 2 hours a day? That’s great!

The point is, it’s not too late to give it your best. And YOU decide what that best is, not anyone else.

You know what? I honestly wasn’t looking forward to the half-century mark in my life – but that has changed. 50 years old next month? “Well I suggest you speed up clearing the rest of the runways ’cause my ass is coming in for a landing!”


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