Ever since the movie, “The Bucket List” came out with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, I have heard people speaking of their own personal bucket lists. As you know these are things that they really want to do before they die. Or another way of looking at it is that these are things that they think when they are in their final days or hours, they will look back on and regret not doing if they never got around to it. These are things that they just know, when they are about done in this life, that if they could do life over again, they would definitely do them. I don’t have a bucket list. Nothing against the idea of them, but I don’t understand the need. If I did make a bucket list it would be very small indeed. The thing that I want to do before I die, the thing that I will regret not doing if I don’t, is to maintain my health and mobility until my last day. The way I look at it is that if I am healthy and if I am mobile, then I will do all the things I can do, and what I can do I will do, and that will be enough for me. To look at it from one other direction, if you look at your own bucket list there is one requirement, that you be healthy and mobile. Without those two things, then most of your list is unachievable. In the movie, Morgan Freeman’s character had cancer and a short time to live. He was sick. But he was just healthy enough and mobile enough to jump out of a plane and drive a racecar.
Health and mobility are a big topic, too big for the next paragraph. This article is not about preaching how to stay healthy or maintain mobility. It is not about the do’s and don’ts of health and mobility. It is about planting the seed in your mind that the biggest regret that people have in their last days, the thing that they wish they could do all over again, is to have taken better care of their body. The composer Eubie Blake at the age of 96 said, “If I had known I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself. He was blessed with wonderful genes that programmed for a long life. Our maximum lifespan is determined by our genes. Our actions throughout life will determine by how much this maximum will be shortened. And how we take care of our joints in general, and our spine in particular, will absolutely determine our mobility. Some people get a second chance to do health and mobility over again. Most don’t. For most of us once health and mobility are gone they are gone for good. Start today!
But doc, I want more than a planted seed. I want a list. OK. Here’s one: 1) Put good stuff in it. 2) Move it. 3) Stretch it (spine in particular). 4) Adjust it. 5) Be thankful. ) Be humble. 7) Love.