Health: Earned, luck or a gift?

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

Randy Butler Contributing columnist

I am not sure how often it was, but I would guess at least once a week my brother and I stayed all night with our grandparents. They did not count calories or worry too much about what they ate. To them, a healthy meal was about anything you could fry in an iron skillet. They both grew up during the depression and worked hard their entire lives. I never once saw them exercise in any way or run to the YMCA to work out. I can’t remember either one of them having workout clothes or even wearing shorts. Was this a good lifestyle choice for them? My grandmother lived into her mid 80s and my grandfather was in his mid-90s. Both lived long and fulfilled lives. So yes, it was a good choice.

My father’s side of the family lived very similar lives, but did not have healthy long lives. Heart disease has always been common in the Butler family. Similar, yes, but the outcome was very different. Why is that?

I am pretty sure we all know what it takes to be healthy. Eat right, sleep well and exercise. Sounds simple really. If this is all it takes, why do a lot of folks that do these things still have health issues? Will eating salads each day with tasteless dressing keep us from getting the flu, or even the dreaded COVID-19?

There may be things I cannot do any more like I used to, but at the moment nothing comes to mind. If you are thinking I just have not tried anything difficult, you may be right. Though I do try to be somewhat sensible, my diet is pretty much what I like to eat. This can’t always be good. Do I exercise? Yes. I do it faithfully maybe five to six months at a time, then for whatever reason I quit about as fast as I started. I’m not sure why, that’s just how it works. This year, my exercise of choice has been bike riding. A close guess would be around 1,000 miles this year so far. Especially at this stage in my life, I will never have the body of Rocky Balboa, and I guess that’s OK. Does becoming a bike rider or to use the correct term, cyclist, guarantee me good health? I’m not sure, but it’s fun to do and what can it hurt, right?

On the other hand, there are folks that I grew up with that have been plagued most of their lives with various illnesses and issues. And many of them share very close to the lifestyle I have. Why is that?

There will be one person in the room that gets the flu and others will not. COVID-19 seems to affect some but not others. Why do so many illnesses or diseases seem to fall on some and slide right off others? A Little League friend of mine has had health issues for several years and is in the hospital as I write this after suffering a stroke. What could he possibly have done to earn the problems he has had? None that I know of.

As stated in the past, my expertise is very limited. Any of you reading this feel free to correct me on my very non-professional and non-fact-based opinion on this. It appears to me that our health, good or bad, comes to us for three reasons.

1. Eat right, sleep well and exercise. It may be fun at first. You purchase many items you will use for a short time. The fad will fade. You will sell what you bought for half-price to another with your same old idea.

2. It can be something you did not do one thing to obtain. You were just born that way. It is like the person that can eat whatever they want and remain thin. We all know and even dislike these folks at times because they have something we must work very hard to even have a chance of obtaining just a portion of our goal.

3. It can be a gift. Definition: something willingly given with no return payment expected. If it is a gift, who or what can do that? The Bible tells us that God forms and counts every hair on our head. He knew who we were before we came into existence.

So, which of the three is it? Or is it a combination of them all?

You tell me.

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler Contributing columnist Butler Contributing columnist