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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Walking: Luther's longer life

Luther was the son of a man who had died a horrible death at age 60 due to heart disease and kidney failure. It was in the days before dialysis. He had filled up with fluid until the end. Luther would never forget it.

Luther took pretty good care of himself. His wife cooked decent meals. He wasn't particularly overweight. But then he was diagnosed as having a heart condition, just like his dad. He was devastated.

This was back before the 1970s, and bypass surgery wasn't yet common. He had some sort of operation, but basically he was told to expect a slow decline quite similar to his father's.

Everything inside of Luther recoiled at the idea of such an ending. He took matters into his own hands and decided to walk.

Luther was walking for his life. He knew no moderation. He walked as far as he could every day, leaving only the smallest margin of error for making it home again.

Luther was able to walk farther and farther. He left his little subdivision and ventured into the town. Then he went to some of the commercial areas. While there, he stopped in to say hi to merchants he knew. Then on he went. He developed a circuit. He became known around town. He got better and better, more and more fit. He felt good.

Over time, Luther found himself walking for most of the day, even when weather was not so good. His quick visits to shops around town became predictable. People out in their cars would say, "There he is." People were amazed at his diligence. They commented on how good he looked. And how far he walked!

Luther postponed heart disease for 20 more years. He died at the age of 88.

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