Less is More

I recently took a trip to Portland to witness the naming and blessing of a newborn grandson.  His parents are rock and roll fans, so they named their first child Zeppelin.  He is a Rock Star already, but this is a side bar.  The life lesson in this blog is about what makes us happy and putting needs before wants; another lesson in what matters most.

I have a NEED to work out regularly to keep my blood sugar count as low as possible.  I don’t always enjoy working out, but I know I must.  I was away from my home gym, so David and I took to the hills and ended up in his garage.  He said we had to finish out the workout.  I was winded and my muscles were feeling good about the workout thus far, but I was NOT going to allow my young son to out-perform the old man in a work out.

While some of my kids are frugal, David is cheap.  I’m proud of him for that.  He had to learn to live off of nothing to get through school.  His wife is even cheaper, so together, they are particularly cheap.   I say that in a good way; knowing when we visit them, I have to bring my own “treats”.

In the garage, I see a rope run through two hooks, handles on the ends, and that’s it.  Welcome to “Anytime Fitness.”  As a good boy scout and sailor, I learned my knots and thought I had a pretty good relationship with rope.  Not so fast.  David showed me more exercises with a rope hanging from his garage beam than I have ever concocted using my high priced basement equipment at home.  I can hardly move my fingers as I type this blog.  Upper body, core work, legs… I wanted to make a noose and end the misery.


A one mile walk up hill and then down on a sun lit day in Portland, followed by a garage workout with a rope- the cost, ZERO,  the experience, PRICELESS.  As I couldn’t move my muscles for a while afterward, I reflected upon this wonderful lesson.  How many times do we delay doing something because we can’t afford it (can’t afford a gym membership for example) or we put off experiences because we don’t want to alter our routine (I’m away from home so I can’t work out), or even take risks (changing  our daily routines for example).  As I lowered myself to the garage floor with the rope, and tried earnestly to pull/push myself back up, there was plenty of risk.  I wondered if my rib cage would split apart.  I changed my routine and accepted David’s challenge; I made the most of the situation and decided to LIVE instead of sitting back and saying “I don’t have any equipment available, I won’t work out today.”  The life lessons are as many as the multi-twined rope that tortured my soul for thirty minutes.  I finished the workout.

I believe returning to the simplest things in life also causes us to recognize how happy we can be without what we esteem to be essential.  Being with Family, keeping good health, having hills to walk, even the ability to walk, and oh yes, a rope; what else could we want to be happy?

My thanks to the “cheapest” couple in our family for reminding me that in our complex lives we can unravel it to the simplest level and not be without.  Sometimes, as is often said, LESS is MORE.  For Zeppelin, maybe all he will ever need is a guitar… and maybe a rope!