A Cowboy’s Faith: Dedicated exercise yields action

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Calisthenics are the dreaded yet always insisted criteria for body fitness.”

Never really ever into much of a dedicated exercise program, a leisurely morning run had been followed for a while. Then it started being work, not fun, perhaps a bit of pain.

Come to find out, there was legitimate ouch, requiring treatment. Seeking others’ opinions before consenting to the knife, advice was always the same.

“Get it done, but make sure to do all of the required therapy.”

That statement was instantly followed by, “Those who don’t have a dedicated exercise program never recover completely.”

Reflection came to mind of Uncle Elmer having knee replacement decades ago. He was strong as an ox, but got so he couldn’t get up or down.

Elmer had the surgery, sat down in the chair, did very little walking, never got better, worse than before.

That lesson was remembered along with our cowboy mentors Dan, Andy, Gene and others who followed therapy guidelines precisely. They were again riding in a few weeks.

Up and at it hours after waking up, walking the halls became twice-a-day routine. After recovery stay, walking continued. First with four-pronged metal-helper, then a cattle sorting stick and a Christmas-colored cane in public. Sure didn’t want to fall down and make damages worse.

Come to find out there’s more to it. Straightness of the legs is as important if not more so than bending them, according to those who’re supposed to know.

That’s easier said than done. “You’re getting there,” assured the pretty young thing guiding the three-times-a-week official recovery program.

Those hour long sessions include all kinds of lift the foot, step here, tip toe there, and always “straighten out that leg.” Riding the stationary bicycle 10 minutes is fun, but the 10 minutes of “ice therapy” is downright miserable. While that’s what they call it, liquid nitrogen (like in semen tanks) runs through heavy wraps on the straightened-legs cocked at a 45-degree angle. Ugh.

Then there’s regular 30-minute calisthenics at the ranch on therapy evenings, plus both morning and night routines remainder of the week.

Very little pain, but stiff when getting up from being seated. Best thing is been riding Maggie daily now.

Reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:10: “I have seen the painful exertion which God has given with which to exercise and heal.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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