By SHARON McMAHON
“Get your kicks on Route 66” —Bobby Troup, 1946
(Readers – this is a reprint of an article I wrote a few years ago; it is an analogy of our “lifetime trip” and how that relates to any trip we might take. It is not a “real” trip except to compare to the roadmap of our lives.)
Those of us who are, well, let’s just say “of a certain age” will probably remember the TV show Route 66 from many years ago, starring Martin Milner and Glenn Corbett. I thought about checking to see if those gentlemen were still with us but decided against it! Anyway, as March is a birthday month for me, I began to contemplate the well-known historic route of which most Americans are aware and many have traveled.
Part of the reason that I thought of this had to do with the number referred to above (enough said about that) but also thinking of how our lives are very similar to that route. Each of us has a life route to take, a journey with a beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes we can travel the entire route; sometimes our trip is interrupted unfortunately, as we know.
Although there are interruptions of our trip that cannot be avoided – say, the fender bender or flat tire – much of it can be successful if we apply good maintenance, focus on the road ahead, and allow time to pull over at a rest stop now and then.
Of course, you know I am speaking of the importance of taking care of our bodies, providing nutrition that actually feeds our brain and keeps our heart, tissues, and bones healthy. Essential to our health is life-long learning and use of our intelligence and problem-solving abilities, and frequent and regular exercise to keep our bodies limber and strong. Unfortunately, just as can happen in a road trip, unexpected and often traumatizing events can occur as we travel on this long road. However, if we give ourselves all the resources available by eating the right foods and taking care of this body which takes us on our life trip, we have a much better expectation to arrive at the end of the trip we have mapped. AND to end that trip is a very positive way!
In reviewing the Route 66 map mile markers, we have several destinations along the way – kind of like our lives, right? We are born, learn to walk and ride a bike, decide that the opposite gender is not so “icky” after all, graduate from high school and college, get a job, maybe marry and have children – or not, maintain friendships and family relationships, volunteer, purchase homes (unless you live in NYC!) and along the way work on those health maintenance issues.
By comparison, on Route 66, we have Chicago, St. Louis, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Winslow, Kingman, and finally LA and Santa Monica. Those are the main “markers,” but of course there are other, smaller ones, along the way – just like life.
The mileage of Route 66 is 2.448. Without divulging my own mileage, I will just share that I am somewhere between New Mexico and Arizona! I am enjoying the view, the landmarks, and the sometimes-challenging terrain along the way, but eventually anticipating arrival at my California destination with a beautiful view of the sun setting over the ocean – although not in a big hurry to get there.
I hope your own “Route 66” trip is enjoyable with only a few obstacles along the way. Be sure to keep your eyes on the road ahead and enjoy the trip – of a lifetime!
Sharon McMahon, CNWCC
The opinions expressed in this article are not intended to replace advice of your personal physician or licensed health professional. Please consult your physician for any issues you may have related to nutrition or fitness activity.