That One Magic… Thing

You have seen the ad, I’m sure, for Prevnar, that makes fun of people who might think a single sit-up or a single piece of kale is going to help them to live forever, right? There are a couple running now, here’s one:

But I’ve always been impressed by this kind of thing because there is a magic sit-up. There is a magic piece of salad. There has to be. Think about it for a minute.

Of course if you roll out your mat and do a single sit-up and then roll the mat up and never do another you are not going to get any healthier. But if you roll out your mat and do a hundred sit-ups a day, every day, for ten years, it’s going to have to have some kind of an effect on you, right? Well, somewhere between that first sit-up and that 365,000th one, is the one that’s going to make the difference. Twelve today? Thirty? Seventy? Hey, you’ve still got diabetes. You’ve still got all of the signs of heart trouble. You’ve still got a sixty-inch waist or whatever.

And then somewhere along the line you pass that one individual sit-up that actually does make the difference. If you had quit that morning, at 357, or 1126, or 26417, you would still be a mess. But after? After you finish now you are golden. Your blood pressure is better, your back paid eases, your hair stops falling out or whatever. There really is a magic sit-up.

The Magic Piece of Kale

And it follows that there has to be a magic piece of salad, too. If you are coming off of a life of pizza and super-sized drive-through then having an individual salad isn’t going to make a difference. But if you have fifty-two of them you’ve displaced one meal a week and that’s a real start. If you suddenly find yourself eating three hundred salads a year or more, that’s a big change and you likely will notice that—and others will likely notice the change in you, too! And while the difference between that first salad and the third is not much, and the difference between that two hundred ninety-seventh salad and the three hundredth salad isn’t much, the difference between the first and the last is a Big Deal so somewhere along the line there was the salad that made the difference.

Up and down the block, there’s the cement sidewalk square where I didn’t know how to ride a bicycle, and right next to it is the one where I could. Before this line, heading back up that way, I couldn’t ride a bike. After here, I was and I am a bikist.

Before this hour I knew a few hokey scales and I knew how to handle the instrument. But after that hour of practice, I was a Guitar Player (and then there are several nuanced layers, before this I wasn’t a jazz musician or a blues musician or a rock musician but I was still a guitarist). There is a moment where it changes. Sometimes you can see the moment coming and going and you can celebrate it. Sometimes, it just passes in an instant. You weren’t pregnant half an hour ago…. When that record started playing on the car radio you were still alive.

Here’s to the changes in our lives, huh? May they be positive ones for you and yours in the year ahead.

And if not, may they at least be over in an instant.

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