Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Using your Muscles

We all know how important it is to use your muscles. Use them or lose them; no pain, no gain; just do it; is it in you; and all those other strong phrases. I can remember taking the cast off my leg for the first time in 4 months after my knee surgery. I had strong legs and my legs were my best asset playing basketball. I had a 42-inch vertical jump as a sophomore in High School. I could stuff a basketball backwards and forwards and my legs put me ahead of my competitors. I landed wrong once … tore my knee into pieces and my basketball career along with it. The doctor cut the cast with one of those cool saws they use and removed the plaster and unwrapped my leg. I looked at my leg and promptly fainted. From the top my leg looked only an inch and a half wide and when I looked from the side I could see all my muscles hanging and waving in the breeze. Four months of total inaction had turned my best asset into a Jello-like mass of flesh.

There is a series of muscles on your face that when you exercise you do more than build there strength … you can lighten up a room and people’s hearts. The strength of these muscles combined can heal, protect and change the course of history. These muscles, when combined in a certain way, form a smile on your face. These muscles must be exercised in both your mouth and your eyes.

I worked third shift when my wife and I were first married. Our oldest son was a baby being fed breakfast in his highchair when I would come home from an exhausting day at work. I would wearily open the front door after 8-10 hours and be greeted by my son exercising those muscles, as he would turn to see me coming in the door. In the shadow of that bright smile everything else melted away: my exhaustion, my complaints, my bills, my weariness. All these were gone with a returned smile.

How’s your exercise going? Are your smiling muscles flabby or buff? Take time for a little exercise to brighten up the day of all those around you. I think you will find your day gets brighter as well.


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