By Paul Cole
Fit after 50
I was stopped at an unusually long red light a few nights ago in the left turn lane. As I was sitting there, I noticed all of the drivers, including myself, had our left turn signals on. That is not a great, insightful or groundbreaking observation, but I began to wonder where all of these people were going.
Most, I'm sure, were heading home after a long day; it was 9 pm. Maybe a few of the people were going to visit someone; maybe some of them were making a last minute stop at the grocery store. Who knows?
One thing was for sure. Soon we would all wind our way through the familiar roads and neighborhoods and come to rest in a driveway or amicable parking spot that our four-wheeled friend calls home.
But for now, we were all just sitting, waiting for the light to change as the tail lights from the cars ahead of us were blinking in our faces completely offbeat with the tunes in our cars.
Suddenly, I noticed the "check engine" light had illuminated in my vehicle. Did it just come on? Had it been on for long?
Was there something wrong, or was it just a ploy by the manufacturer to make me spend my money? I didn't know.
Was I going to make it home?
Was I going to get this chance to wind down those comfortable roads, into my driveway and into my cozy home like I had done so many other times or would my night, so far just another night, be interrupted with a frenzied, desperate call for help?
I was fairly certain my vehicle would carry me back to my home. I had taken great pains to care for it. I had ensured regular maintenance was performed at the specified mileage. There should be no problem. It hadn't been acting strangely at all - just that ominously glowing check engine light.
I made it home safely, but this little experience brought to mind an important lesson.
Cars break down. They are machines, and machines that are not taken care of don't provide dependable service to the operator.
In order to make sure our machines run well, and get us from point A to point B, we must spend time, money and effort on them. If we take care of them, they take care of us.
Our bodies are no different.
We must spend time, money and put forth effort to make sure our bodies perform well for us everyday. We are not machines. We are miraculously more complex, but we adhere to some of the same simple principals.
Regularly scheduled maintenance and tune-ups can, and will, ensure a long life for our human machine.
If we don't take care of them, we will experience check engine lights in the form of warning signs for worse things to come.
You can't ignore the warning signs. If you do, you or someone else, maybe someone you love will be making a frenzied, desperate call for help on your behalf.
So you must exercise regularly and take care of the machine. Schedule regular doctor visits. Take your medication. Use sunscreen. Surround yourself with people you love. Be nice to others.
Oh, about that check engine light in my vehicle . it's still glowing.
Paul Cole is a certified fitness instructor and owner of Fit After 50 in Indialantic. Contact him at (321) 777-3534 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.