FITNESS OR FATNESS – THAT IS THE QUESTION

By Terry Carter, Editor

I have weighed more than 200 pounds for about 25 years now, topping out at a mountainous 262 pounds about 3 years ago. As a chronic, Type 1 diabetic with a recently disabled knee at the time, my recovery prognosis for the knee was debateable. 

After surgery and about six months of rehabilitation three days a week, the doctor said I was permanently disabled, would always walk with a limp and may never run again. At this weight and an average diabetic diet that included fast food, taking more insulin to compensate for my sugar cravings and sodas, I was nearing 50 years old and losing a life-long health battle that began when I was 11 years old.

Back then I played 5-6 sports – including baseball, golf, tennis, wrestling and football – and led most teams I played on due to good hand-eye coordination, strength, flexibility and some athletic ability. After a baseball all-star game in June 1976, my mom bought me four Cokes, and I guzzled each one while eating two hotdogs. Then I asked for a fifth Coke.

As a registered nurse, she recognized this much sugar was a bad sign for my health. Two days later, I suffered through a 5-hour, glucose tolerance test and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. 

Thirty days in the hospital was the rule back then. So this hyper, athletic 11 year old bounced up and down the hospital halls in a wheelchair. It was the nurse’s way of preventing my blood sugar from falling due to extra exercise. Thus began the complicated daily adjustments in insulin, diet, exercise and even shoes that changed my life for the better.

Better, you say? How so? Well, the doctor was matter-of-fact and told me early on that if I listened and did everything he suggested, I may live to be 60 years old. We didn’t discuss the alternative.


So for more than 35 years, I had analyzed blood sugars, adjusted insulin doses, eaten OK and stayed semi-active as our three children grew up. But dietary knowledge and fitness gurus improved the system while I was preoccupied as many of us are today. Calories didn’t matter as much as Carbs. And cardio and cross-training became the fitness trends.

When I fell and hurt my knee, the Meniscus tore. And I was forced to walk like Festus in the old TV series Gunsmoke, kind of dragging my right knee behind me because the knee would no longer bend to lift it off the ground. Some of that was caused by the knee injury; some of the limp came from the hard scar tissue after the surgery.

So after the rehab doctor tells me I will likely never run again and am permanently disabled, my inner athlete chose to challenge those findings immediately. First I signed up for several seasons of slow-pitch softball. The first season, no one let me run. The second season, I ran the bases slow but steady after spending almost six months jogging sprints and trying not to fall on my face..

And the third season, I batted exclusively from the left side to get closer to first base, and I ran hard… for an old guy with one leg. On infield grounders, I forced myself all out to first base, and I beat a handful of throws. Playing infield was good training for the legs too because I simply didn’t give up.

Back to today: I walk about 30 miles a week and go running 3-4 times weekly. With my injury, I am forced to consciously take every step carefully and precisely to prevent stumbling on hilly terrain and stairs. I still fall, but I get back up and move on. As part of this rehab mission, I have always become a 3-day-a-week regular at my gym. It’s like CHEERS: They wave to me when I enter.

I have made good progress on the weights, treadmill and swimming once a week. I am not concerned about sweating hard and growling during my last 2-3 repetitions on a challenging weight. And I am now leg pressing as much as the machine can handle, and that leg press is the best rehab exercise for my knees, bar none.


As I mentioned earlier, I weighted 262 about 2.5-3 years ago after the surgery. Now I am 224 pounds, a 38-pound drop based on taking known weaknesses and focusing on them – intently! I never ran cross country or sprints. So my 5K runs for practice and in competition are new stimulus to my body. Your body and mine alike dislike the same excercises over and over. I mix long walks with pure sprints with quarter-mile jogs, but the running itself is my body’s best cardio workout.

It may be different for you. And 224 pounds is the lightest I have weighed in more than 20 years. I could not have imagined that after I reached 35 or 40 years old. It’s incredible to be moving down in weight while eating well and taking all-natural supplements from Plexus. The combination of eating healthier, exercising consistently and taking vitamins and the right supplements is a rare combination that gave me more energy, endurance, focus and better results.

I cannot tell you how happy I am with the strength, quickness, flexibility and overall health I am feeling right now. Also I take less than 50 percent of the insulin I injected three years ago. To all of you real runners out there, I’m not Clydesdale size yet, but my goal of 205-210 is within sight. Then I will bust that 35-minute barrier in a 5K race.

And if a 51-year-old man with a chronic disease and one knee can do that, I’m sure you can at least walk 15-30 minutes after you get home from work. How about it? Are you willing to join me?

RICHER AND POORER

By Terry Carter, Editor

A typical rich man knows not the pain of wanting, of waiting, of struggling each day. Sure, he wants more at age 30 than he had at 20. But it is all a measure of time. He will eventually get there.  He learns early that his job is to work hard and make money. His field of expertise? It is meaningless as long as it generates growing revenue.

A poor man also works hard, but he lacks drive, a focused skill to make millions in business for himself. He makes millions in his lifetime for another, and his reward is minimal. No 401k and no golden parachute here. A poor man’s mentality clearly states he must work for someone; it rarely allows him to work for himself, where he has a slightly better chance of winning the financial lottery with the same work ethic.

Without  a good education, specialized skillset, a mentor and some encouragement, a poor man will struggle mightily in this life. He will likely have 30-40 jobs — and most end in anger, frustration or confusion. Hungry and pissed off, the unprepared poor man has little thought of a better job and a brighter future. Instead he takes the first offer of work because he needs food today. This means minimum wage to $12/hour is his permanent pay range.

His is a reactionary move, — not one of learning, planning and marketing as the rich man learns. And managers have a knack at reading people interviewing as not worth a bump in pay and then offering only the lowest rate available. And a struggling person, who has been hungry and unemployed, has a tendency to accept any amount because it means a chance to eat again. Forget that he/she may be weeks without prescription medication, months with a hole in their only boots and sleeping in an old vehicle.

In all likelihood, the poor person struggles at his first job and continues to struggle until he is laid-off from his final job. Then he dies and can only be buried through the donations of family members or government.
The rich man, even when young, is taught to learn from each mistake, each maneuver. If a job is lost — and this is a key separator between the rich and poor mindsets — the rich either learn a valuable lesson and apply it or they KNOW the person who fired them made a mistake. The problem in any firing is not with the rich-mindset employee. It is with the employer.

For the poor-mindset employee, they are blamed and assume full blame when  And, most likely, they have family at home willing to back up that hypothesis repeatedly. And that reinforces what a poor, miserable wretch this now unemployed person is. The poor self-esteem is reinforced daily at home, at work and by everyone this alleged loser meets. How nauseating.

While the rich mind focuses on winning, on making more money, the poor mind focuses on what they want most. They focus on the recreational time and the fun, amusement they cannot afford to enjoy. 
If the rich man is then taking all the cash and getting richer, how does the poor man compete? Actually it is usually the poor women who compete and outsmart the rich best. By have many children, by earning disability benefits in court, by suing for millions with clever attorneys, by using government programs like food stamps, subsidized housing and the Gold Card, the poor have found a workable niche built by the Democrats for the underprivileged. And by broadcasting their plight to wealthier people they work for, the hard-working, yet poor, person, often takes home donations like food, furniture, toys, clothing.

They may never be rich, but millions of hard workers in America currently have more available cash than middle-income U.S. citizens. Even the contractor working day jobs or on construction sites and cannot speak English, take home enough cash to send money home or buy Tequila and smokes on the weekend. Think about.

WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?

By Scott Thornton

Like many married couples, raising wonderful children and watching them grow into outstanding adults has been very rewarding for me.

But it leaves a query in its wake: OK. You accomplished that major life goal. What’s your next purpose on this planet? The witty answers you have already conjured up are OK for some, but they are annoying bluffs or distractions in this writer’s card game.

I ask this as my world — or at least my control of it — slips away. Am I destined to accomplish little in this life? Or is there greatness yet on the horizon? 

Am I destined to live in a dumpy apartment until they raise the rent annually to $2,000/month, and I am forced to sleep on the street?

Like you, I have worked hard all of my life. I have worked for Fortune 1,000 companies and others. I have worked 100-hour weeks, invested my own money and hours into helping others and starting businesses. But, at times, it seems I have failed to reap the common rewards.

 The road of life is windy and mysterious. Think you have it figured out, and time will tell you differently. This lovely piece of road once caused a radiator leak and flat tires for many vehicles.


I am the content type — thanks to God — but with a burning desire to improve myself on a daily basis. To reach goals, you must first write ambitious, but real-world goals. Then you construct a strategy of daily, weekly and monthly activities that will reach the written 6-month or annual goal. 

Despite being thankful and content with my current hand of cards, I know there is room for dramatic improvement. Where are the kings and aces in this game? 

Am I destined to just accept the circumstances that smack me in the head every week or two? My reply is hell no. In fact, I agree with Bruce Lee’s famous response to repeated frustrations in the movie industry. The famous Lee line is to the point and powerful: “To hell with circumstances! I make my own opportunities.”

This concept is for Type-A personalities only, and please bring a partner to help keep the books and cash straight if you launch your own business. 

As for true purpose, however, I find it seems to diminish as your age increases. It explains why grandparents retire and often feel lonely in their final years unless they have family close by on a regular basis. My children are currently out of the house now. That part of my existence is complete, and playing grandparent has not started yet. 

I’m fine with that and will not rush the arrival of grandchildren. It will happen in God’s time, and I am to spend my time on health, golf, running, reading and writing. But are those purposes? I think not.

The quandary continues for now…

The Verdict on Tim Tebow

Everyone has an opinion on Denver Bronco QB Tim Tebow.

Think for an instant, and so do you. My view on Tebow reveals my strong Christian views. I enjoy everything he does and everything he says. I am pro-Tebow, and Tebowing is encouraged in my home.

Now for the heart of the matter: How many outspoken Christians are outspoken in favor of Tebow? Odds are, those in favor of the Denver QB as an athlete and as a person are primarily — if not exclusively — fans of God. This faithful group believes in miracles, hope and that faith yields results for all to see.

The cynics fall into a category filled accompanied by doubters, atheists and seldom-in-church types, according to my observations and my gut. Remember, never ignore your intuition. It is always a sign, an email if you will, from God.

When I pray, I try to remain thankful for God’s amazing acts, his continued faith in all flawed humans and his daily ability to inspire us. Occasionally I ask for inspiration, and, in the sports world, Tim Tebow is becoming recognized as an inspiration to every man, woman and child who believes.

When Tebow performs a hero act during any game, the brilliant moment is immediately attributed to his belief in God by fans worldwide. His football jersey is selling like crazy partially because people believe in Tim Tebow, unlike our political leaders. IF a highlight moment featuring Tebow does not excite you by now, I submit you are dead — but still breathing for now — or dying in your faith.

The short end of this story: if you believe in Tim Tebow, God has a strong place in your heart, in my humble opinion. I chastise all media members who don’t see the obvious “Thrill of Victory” for what it is. But then the media is pretty jaded and manipulative. Writers/editors are always attempting to persuade you to believe as they do.

If they are anti-Tebow or telling you he’s nothing special, I say think again.

Tebow is a man, a human who has worked his butt off to develop NFL talent. As verbally abused as he is as the wrong QB for Denver, Tebow has worked wonders by getting the Broncos to the postseason. Now he beat the Steelers in OT, which experts would rarely give Denver a chance of accomplishing. Media experts, what’s your next insult against one of the NFL’s brightest rookies?

Let Tebow be, and time will tell where he belongs. Give me a decade to prove his worth to the league.