About 40 years ago my now 80-year-old father-in-law built a floating swim raft with his brother at their family camp. Every year around Memorial Day they would get in the row boat and drag it out from shore, where the water was deep enough for diving, and drop the heavy anchor into the water. Some time after Labor Day they would have to go back out with the row boat and lift the anchor out of the water, and ferry the raft back to shore. It would winter every year on the edge of the shore tied to a tree. The last few years the raft was getting less and less use because our children have made fewer visits to their camp as they are getting older. The deck boards were starting to warp a bit from the constant stress of the water’s chop and the relentless sun. We all decided that the old raft was to be decommissioned. So, on Father’s Day, my 3 sons and I disassembled the raft and hauled it away.
I find demolition interesting in a way. As you begin to pry and hammer apart boards that were once very thoughtfully and strategically put together, you begin to learn about the previous builder’s craftsmanship. As a general rule of thumb, if the structure comes apart very easily and you discover where corners have been cut, you realize the previous builder was probably looking to cut costs and time by skimping on the material that no one sees. On the other hand, if the structure is difficult to get apart, and the fasteners are still holding tight, you realize the builders knew what they were doing and wanted the structure to last a long time. With quality craftsmanship, there is a greater upfront investment of time, money and experience to produce the end product. I was admiring the quality of the pressure treated lumber that was used from 40 years ago. Today the pressure treated lumber that is sold in lumber stores is an inferior product and the costs are extremely high.
Our health is very similar to this very concept of quality craftsmanship. Upfront costs associated with the things that add to constructing a healthy you are definitely greater, but on average it will actually be cheaper because you will experience less down time and higher priced interventions when your health begins to fail prematurely. A statistic that I often reference is that the average American will spend 80% of their lifetime healthcare dollars in the last 2 years of their life. Wouldn’t it seem wiser to spend more of that money earlier in our life to build a healthier, stronger, more resilient body so we could enjoy more quality throughout life?
Time is the other factor that we seem to want to skimp on when we are younger. People use the excuse to justify the lack of willingness to shop and prepare healthy meals to eat. They trade the time savings in for low quality fast food that creates inflammation and chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Sure, it takes more time to source out healthy foods that are packed with vitamins and minerals that nourish our cells, and are free of pesticides, herbicides and other harmful chemicals. Time is also required to exercises daily. We may have good intentions, but when the end of the week rolls around and little to no physical fitness has taken place because other seemingly important things trumped the exercise time slot, we just loose interest. It isn’t really that important, right?
Expertise comes with a price as well. It will either cost you time to learn more about what makes man healthy, or money to hire coaches, trainers, chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, or functional medicine doctors to share their knowledge and guide you in the best direction.
Many of us have heard the saying, if you want to know what someone values, just take a look at where they spend their money and their time. I can’t make someone value their health. I do know that when I speak with people that spent their lifetime neglecting and abusing it, they wish they had lived differently. You can begin today by constructing a better life with quality craftsmanship.
Lombardi Chiropractic Family Health Center
1116 Upper Lenox Ave.
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