• Richard Portugal

Avoid a Hard Landing



People are considered an organic life form meaning a living structure capable of

growth and reproduction. As organisms, we are complex chemical systems organized to promote our survival. As a group, Homo sapiens have done a pretty good job in evolving over a million years and successfully populating our blue planet. And as individuals, we are a wonder of organization, structure and harmony with trillion of cells working together to guide us through a lifetime of the human condition. Our systems seem to work with a natural grace and symmetry. From our youth, we do not ask our bodies to digest our food, to walk or run, or talk or sing. These functions are performed almost automatically, so effortlessly in fact that we take it for granted.


So it seems for most animals. Look at an eagle, the symbol of our country due to its grace, strength and beauty. They soar through the skies much like a leaf gently flutters in the breeze. Relentless hunters, they are fast and strong and utilize their power to insure their survival. As walking and running come naturally to us, flying is inbred to them. Young eaglets from nests one hundred feet in the air, spring into the sky as if the air is a cushion of comfort. Yet, upon closer examination, we can see much underlying preparation for their flights and many hard lessons about landing without catastrophic results. Eaglets learn quickly to hone their bodies and skills to avoid hard landings and soar through the skies as their natural medium.


Is it not the same for humans? We jump into life with careless abandon treating

our bodies as the natural carriers of our ambitious natures. Yet we learn as we

age that our bodies require respect and care to avoid an eventual hard landing.

And as we age, those hard landings can cause serious trauma. Let us learn from

our national bird who keeps its muscles lean and strong, its talons sharp and feathers clean and groomed. An eagle cares for its body with the certain knowledge that to do otherwise means to be unduly vulnerable to life’s unforgiving challenges. We would be wise to do the same.


Let us pretend to follow the eagles into the air, but ours would be a flight of fantasy. Let us imagine but for a moment that we use our muscular system as nature intended. No longer do automobiles and mass transit transport our bodies through our environment. We cannot now ignore the obstacles of weather, distance, hills and valleys. Miles must be traversed on foot by walking or jogging to store or job. Visiting a neighbor or friend requires the heart, lungs and leg muscles to perform with aerobic efficiency. Carrying packages, chopping wood for heat or pulling a sled through the snow requires a strong upper body, dense biceps and powerful back muscles. We are suddenly transformed into an eagle, one who uses their body to perform necessary tasks that in turn benefit that body and make it an efficient machine. Do not worry, our fantasy has not made us bereft of the modern world’s medicines, cities or foods. But to truly use our bodies as function demands would in fact dramatically reduce the incidence of diabetes, coronary problems, lung disease (no smoking equals no COPD) and many cancers. Disease would not disappear, but they would be pushed back into the recesses and not demand the emotional and financial resources now required. Simply utilizing our bodies for maximum effectiveness would necessitate the use of less drugs, hospitalizations and medical intervention.


As adults, take greater care of the body which has allowed you to soar amongst

life’s meandering winds. Keep your muscles honed and your balance tuned. Work at maintaining your strength, walking with confidence, rising and sitting in a chair, climbing stairs and being independent. Follow the eagles and perform the activities of daily life more naturally. Follow the eagles and make a hard landing avertable and spreading your wings effortless!


Copyright © 2018 Richard J. Portugal All rights reserved.

Fitness Senior Style, 201-937-4722.


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