Friday, May 25, 2012

Message from Harry Carson

I would like to express my gratitude to the folks at Meridian Health Systems for the opportunity to share my thoughts on health. Each month I hope to encourage and inspire you with a "nugget" of information to help you take care of you!

Many readers will remember me from my days as a linebacker with the Football Giants. While other may know that I was once appointed Executive Director and Chairman of the New Jersey Governor's Council on Fitness and Sports. In that role I spent many days in Ocean and Monmouth counties with another great former athlete Althea Gibson working with the senior population to stay active. Regardless, I'm honored to share my thoughts in hopes that we both learn and gain a greater appreciation for our health.

One of the more valuable lessons I learned from my football days is something I also learned off the football field. During my playing days I read quite a bit of inspirational material as well as listened to motivational cassettes from various sources. One day while listening to a cassette the speaker made a statement that I have always remembered and have quoted countless times in my daily endeavors. That statement was "Good health is the one commodity we have that we don't appreciate until it's gone!" How true that statement was for me especially at a time when I played with, at times, disregard for my body on Sunday afternoons. It was not until I hurt my knee, back, ankle or even a toe and was sidelined for a period of time that I truly appreciated my well trained and maintained body. The same is true for most people even those who have never stepped on the field of competition. Most of us do not appreciate our good health until it's gone! Our bodies are the most complex creations that need to be maintained with proper exercise and nourishment. Taking a lesson from the cars we drive, if we fail to service it appropriately at some point it will cease to work properly, our bodies are the same.

Most of us old football players have a tendency to remember the good and sometimes bad things that happened on the field of competition that spelled the difference between winning and losing. This old "Captain" continues to hang onto the words of that speaker (Denis Watley) to be proactive in being responsible for maintaining my health before it's gone! My body is my body! It is the only body for which I am solely responsible! And while there may be days when I may not want to lift a finger or eat the foods I need to maintain my health, my body belongs to me. At the end of the day, being the guardian of my body is the ultimate responsibility for not only me but for my family as well.

Please take ownership of your health and well-being; eat healthy, avoid smoking and exercise!