A Poem, from Russ Sears

March 31, 2010 |


The help laughs behind their backs,
As the Mercedes, Lincoln and Catties.
First fill the handicap spots..
Until the whole lot is full
Of Gray and Bald headed Early-Birds.

They stroll, walk and hobble,
To the supper special for the day:

Desserts puffed with air
And weak artificial flavor
Vegetables steamed to oblivion;
With variety of syrupy fruits;
All with slabs of meat
Served with pomp and detached jazz

The waiters know them by name
And the story behind each one
A doctor, a lawyer, a professor or two

Little did they know,
The devil's trade they daily made
Those toiling years ago.

To miss the daily diligence of running, hiking or seeking:
The wild beauty of the bobcat,
Attacking the spotted doe.

They would be left with black velvet deer
And serene glowing trails on canvas.
As their arteries clogged 
As their blood turned to medicated sludge.

But then the conversation turns sadder
As they talk of greater minds, lovers or brothers;
Gone or in the home,
From dementia, strokes or fatty cancers.

The devil smiles as they say grace,
And thankfully say they are the lucky ones.

Rocky Humbert comments:

The studies which I've seen suggest that running 30 minutes a day will add 3.5 to 3.7 years to one's life. However, if one is awake only 16 hours/day, then that 30 minutes of running consumes 3% of one's life for an increase of life expectancy of approximately 4.7%. While this gives no value to the increase in general well-being from regular exercise, it's hardly grounds for the help to be laughing.

In contrast, a talented attorney can spend those 30 minutes billing at $1,200 per hour, and use the income to ensure access to a private room at the Cleveland Clinic for a quadruple bypass, valve replacement and experimental treatment for Type II Diabetes.

One wonders whether Jim Fixx has any regrets?

Kim Zussman adds:

 Which begs for a present-value calculation for doctors who run 30 minutes a day from $1200/hr lawyers.

Nigel Davies writes:

The time could be used to listen to talking books and the like. Plus it would be interesting to see if cycling on an exercise bike would produce similar results in which case one's options are much more varied (eg trading and cycling).

Of course the other thing they didn't measure is quality of life. Not much fun having a blonde on one's knee whilst struggling for breath and wondering if one will survive the experience.


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