Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Bird and a 104 Year Old Man

I read a wonderful story recently… A horsemen riding along a road came across a sparrow chirping happily as it was laying on the ground upside down with his feet up in the air and the man asked him why he was doing such a thing. The bird explained that he had heard the sky was falling. The knight laughed and said, ”what do you expect to do with those tiny, spindly little legs?” and the little bird said simply, “One does what one can.”

I also read a more sad story (a true one from AP network news a couple weeks back) about “The worlds strongest man” who was nearing 105 years old. He still walked 5 miles a day and on his 104th birthday he bent a dime between his fingers. He actually at that point apologized to people because he use to do it with thicker quarters and at a 104 he could then only do it with thinner dimes! Can you believe that! He had worked Cony Island during it’s hay day and had been a vegetarian all his life. This man who was in better health than most people in their prime was run over by a minivan a few weeks before his 105th birthday.

These are the controls in a WWII liberator plane. Clear, simple, easy, and straight forward ?! I really think as I seriously walk the road to a more fit life I have to remember that little bird and the quote, “One does what one can.” as well as the superman who somehow gets blindsided by kryptonite out of nowhere.

It would be easy to blame the fast food guys for making me humongous. I could also say I’m the one doing shots of chocolate shakes late into the night and the simple fact is I eat WAY too much. But as I clean my house and deal with old paperwork from 2005 that I have never opened I *AM* paddling upstream.

This isn’t a free pass here at all but maybe some of us are a bit hard on ourselves because life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Your focus (To much extent) determines your reality… yet that being said I’m thinking about how much those “spindly little legs” (or in my case Godzilla sized ones) can hold up of the falling sky of work, art, faith, working out, sleep, eating well, doing laundry, paying bills, and ten thousand other things. Moreover I don’t even have a family that most people have that get ten thousand things more added on from packing kids lunches to trying to keep them safe and raise them well. Then a van comes out of nowhere and runs you down!!! I’ve been working on starting up a Art blog as I thought about this. Time seems infinite but time spent doing X is gone and can’t be applied to doing Y all while the world keeps on turning… sometimes dragging us or mowing us down…. Other times we ride it enjoying the merry-go-round a bit.

This isn’t a negative post although at first glance it might seem so. It’s just a reminder to me that my goal is to try to spend a little more time each day being that bird, just trying to live life and do it’s part. I may not have held up the sky all the time lately, but I’ve dodged a few minivans too. Is "totality" achievable? Maybe I'll just simply start a day with a goal to be a bit more purposefully focused that yesterday. Or even just plain reasonably focused is an achievement in itself too!!! Can you do worse? This isn't a *free* check but a *reality* check.

Notes about the artworks… the fast food one is mine, developed with graphic goodness and a bit of special sauce. The other is shamelessly stolen off the web. (I think it was from some manual)… I’ve got an urge to do some WWII style propaganda art to support the war on waistlines.

At Foolsfitness we remind you of our new rule… “Try to do your part for the war effort… because loose lips sink thighs and bellies!”-Alan


  1. Nice to see you back! I was getting worried!

  2. LOL @ the taste smacks of death!!!!! hilarious as usual. I love your posts alan...and I agree, we need to just *try* to do what we can *most* of the time and just keep going.....consistently. I'll have to remember that little bird's quote--One does what one can. Its a good one!

  3. absolutely.
    And I wasn't really sad about the dude getting run over by a van.
    He died and didn't just disintegrate into a mass of flesh. Till his last day he was living.
    We are all going to die, the question is...did we live.
    He did.

  4. "One does what one can." And I think that by God's grace we can do a lot more than we realize.
    I'm glad to see you back, too.
    Hope you are making progress getting things de-cluttered and organized.

  5. man i love your posts. your analogies and stories are always so fitting.

    that is what i am trying to do, just live life and incorporate the weightloss stuff in to it.

  6. Good to see you, Alan! Thanks for the award.

    I hear ya. Seems more and more gets shoved on the plate. Things to worry about, things to get closer to my goals. We do what we can. We can't worry about kryptonite coming out of nowhere. We can only control how we face up to that point of getting struck by it.

  7. Hi Alan. Like the graphic! Hope you're doing OK.

    Bearfriend xx

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