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Posted by Barry on May 4, 2011

Benefits of Being in Shape

I live in the Huntsville Alabama area and as most people now know we were hit last Wednesday by a storm that produced multiple tornados.  I was one of the lucky ones as my home was not damaged and all I had was a few trees blown down and a lot of branches and tree limbs blown from my trees.  The people just a few miles to the northwest of us were not so lucky.  They had their homes destroyed and some people even lost their lives.

In the aftermath of this “natural disaster” the entire area (over 400,000 people) was left with no power, no phone service, no cell phone service, and no internet.  Trying to get information was reduced to listening to a battery powered radio to the closest working radio station.  While having this modern technology taken away was nothing more than an “inconvenience” to my family it put our community into what could only be described as a coming together of people willing to help one another.  This is where the benefits of being in shape comes into play.

In the days following the storms it was a time to clean up all the fallen trees and debris from our property as well as helping out our neighbors.  My wife is a nurse and of course was going to work every day to make sure people were getting the medical treatment they needed.  The rest of my family was working on clean up.  As I spent time running a chainsaw for hours and moving trees and clearing land it occurred to me that if this had happened a year ago it would have been a different story.  In the last year I had gotten myself into the best shape of my life and while it feels good to wear smaller clothes, have more energy, and be healthy; the real benefit is the fact that I could now physically work to help clean up after this disaster and not be the guy standing on the sideline watching because I was out of breath.  I am the guy lifting the big trees, moving the heavy debris, working for hours on in; not the guy making excuses and looking for someone to help me.

Never underestimate the benefits of being in shape and being healthy.  You never know when you are going to need it.

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