Treadmill 1 T.Bond 0

This post falls under the  “It’ll feel better when it quits hurting” category.   It was one of my Dad’s favorite sayings when any of us hurt ourselves.  Every time he said it, I hated it a little more.  The incident happened a week ago Wednesday afternoon.  It has taken me this long to be able to stomach talking about the accident.

Over the Spring I have gained about 10 lbs. from going through some physical therapy on my back and legs and not doing my regular workout.  Oh and eating like a truck driver. When I started back on my workout, my appetite was voracious.  Soooo, I decided to step up my routine and throw a little something different in to it.  But what? I wondered.  So I doubled my incline on and went to 4mph on the treadmill.  I burned twice the fat calories and about 50 additional regular calories.  Still no weight loss because I was eating everything that wasn’t nailed down.

About 3 weeks ago while waiting with Sam at the West Michigan Center, I overheard a couple of staffers talking about their workouts and one said she tried running backwards on her treadmill like they did on the Biggest Loser.  Hmm, I wondered,” that sounds like a change up.”  I’m not sure what part of me thought it would be a good idea to face backwards and try to run on the treadmill.  Maybe the same part that also told me to put my hands on the rails while doing so.  (I am sure if I had another brain scan it show a lot more dead brain cells than before.}  So I faced backwards held on to the rails and stepped on the machine.

Whoa Nellie!  It seems I turned myself into a human slingshot of sorts.  My feet were going one way and my arms pulled me the other.  Meanwhile I heard a sickening POP and great pain in the middle of my chest.  I knew immediately that I had done something to my sternum.  Fast forward to ER, I indeed had fractured my  sternum horizontally.  It hurts to cough, hiccup, and sneezing is deadly.  I slept the first couple of nights in the recliner even though I was on heavy duty painkillers.  It’s been almost 2 weeks and I do feel like I am making progress, but I had to double pinkie swear to Sam, that I would stay off the treadmill this week.  He put me on double secret probation when it comes to exercising.

While I have definitely proven  to be a first class bone-head, I have also learned to remind myself that I am 61 years old and cannot do what I could do when I was 40 or even 50.  (Even though I feel like I can.)  What I did was foolish and stupid, and I can hear my Dad right now asking, “what the hell was I thinkin’?”

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The Broom Tree

     Elijah was afraid and fled for his life, going to Beersheba of Judah.
He left his servant there and went a day’s journey into the desert, until
he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it.  He prayed for death:  “This is
enough, O Lord!  Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”  He lay
down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and
ordered him to get up and eat.  He looked and there at his head was a hearth cake
and a jug of water.  After he ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the 
Lord came back a second time, touched him, and ordered, “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!”  He got up, ate and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and 
forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb.  1 Kings 19,3-8


The above Bible passage is one of my favorites.  Some of you are probably thinking to yourselves that I am a Catholic and everyone knows they don’t read the Bible.  But you would be wrong.  True, we never memorized it, but the Bible is the word of God from which our religion flows.  Scripture is a very big part of our liturgy where both readings and the Gospel are taken from, verbatim.

I was living in the Pacific Northwest when this verse came to my attention.  It appealed to me because I was miserable living so very far away from my family.  I was lonely  and weary of the whole situation.  Little did I know how much the current situation would pale in comparison to what I would face in a few years.

Elijah begged the Lord to take his life because he was too tired and saw no way out of his troubles.  Instead of taking Elijah’s life, God  provided him with nourishment and rest so that he could continue on his journey, Much the same way the Lord invites us under the Broom Tree to provide us with nourishment, strength, rest and consolation thereby  giving us the strength to continue on our journey through life.

Not to be flip, (but you know I always am) it’s gonna  take a lot more than a hearth cake and jug of water to get me through this.  Symbolically, hearth cake and water represent the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ which will nourish my soul through all of this. My personal Broom Tree is actually a canopy of trees shading my deck overlooking Lake Allegan, anyplace quiet where we can listen for the voice of God will do.

When Elijah finally makes it to Horeb, he is told he will hear the voice of God.  At the entrance of a cave he hears God’s voice not in an earthquake, fire, or the violent wind, but in a soft whispering.  It is difficult to surrender all of our problems to the Lord, after all we humans tend to be control freaks.  When I offer up my heart ache to God – it is still there, but maybe he takes the portion that I cannot handle and I don’t realize it.

We must all be attentive and listen for the voice of the Lord, because until the End of Days, it won’t be real obvious.