Tuned in to the local news this morning. I don’t want to hear about fatal car accidents, shootings, or the latest offensive statement to come out of our governor’s mouth. I’m lying. I can’t get enough of the gems that come out of our governor’s mouth, but that’s for another blog post. This time of year Kim and I like to know the weather forecast. Plus, I usually I get some news that I either enjoy, or that informs me, or both.
How did watching the local news work out for me this morning? Not so well.
Before the weather segment, I half listened to report of a fatal fire at a mobile home in some far away town. Frankly, I had no interest until I heard them say that the victim was, “confined to a wheelchair.” All of a sudden, the story had meaning for me. All of a sudden, I imagined myself going up in flames and not being able to get out of the house – happy thoughts on a Tuesday morning.
After the weather report, which was unusually mild for January by the way, the health segment addressed the evils of a sedentary lifestyle. The owner of the physical therapy clinic I visit twice a week made one of her occasional guest appearances. Today, she advised people who have office jobs to get up off their butts and move around throughout the day. She gave dire warnings about what can happen to those who sit too long. These included: obesity, musculoskeletal pain (here, she went into some detail), type II diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and depression. The morning news host summarized by saying, “There’s nothing good about sitting too long.”
I hate these well-intentioned stories. But, I would have to go off the grid to avoid them, and I'm not about to do that.
So, what did I learn this morning? First, people in wheelchairs should have well-developed fire prevention and escape plans. I don’t. Fires can spread quickly, and I can think of few worse ways to die. Second, upon further reflection, I can do more than what I’m doing to avoid the ravages of my sedentary life. Other than physical therapy twice a week, I can do little things every day, on my own. This was a wake-up call.
So, the question remains, will I make these changes, or will I simply conclude that people in wheelchairs shouldn’t watch the news? Vegas is giving even odds.