Sunday, February 24, 2019

Working out, and experiences in Korea

I’d gotten into a rut in regard to the intellectual activity, and since I hate to misuse time, I decided to work out intensely until the intellectual capability improved. . .

But not just that, I wanted to make sure I was able to take care of my dogs as long as they lasted.  If after I did my best to get in much better shape I was still in doubtful condition, I would opt for the plan I once discussed, i.e., keeping only one dog, Jessica, and go tottering about the neighborhood streets rather than hike down at the river.  If I stay in good shape after losing Ben and Duffy, maybe I’ll get another Ridgeback male.

But not just that.  I’ve always believed that exercise is more important than diet – if not to extend life, at least to improve it.  I read the other day that the last veteran who had experienced the bombing of Pearl Harbor had died at age 106.  The report said that he was following the exercise program that had been prescribed for him (implying that was the reason he had lived so long), but had contracted pneumonia and died as a result of that.    I suppose I could do that – be the last surviving veteran who had experienced the Korean War who then died of pneumonia at age 106.  I’ve had occasional bronchial problems which I suppose could morph into pneumonia if I live that long.  It is strange to think that 106 is only 22 years away. 

And also I noticed that I wasn’t nearly as strong as I used to be and the prospect of dealing with rowdy Squatters  with my current strength seemed unwise.  So an intense workout program lasting several months, if not years, should increase my strength adequately.  I don’t mind carrying a gun, but I would rather not use it.  

Back in 1953 a Korean broke into our base on Cheju Island while I was walking post.  I saw him go into our power-plant building; so I went in, pointed my shotgun at him and ordered him out.  He came out but then took off running.  I did the Marine Corps thing: “halt, halt, or I’ll shoot.”  He didn’t stop, so I fired a shot over his head.  He ran faster.  I was supposed to shoot him, but instead I ran after him, caught him by the collar as he tried to climb the fence, threw him down onto the ground, pointed the shotgun at his head and said “halt” again.  That time he gave up.  Several of my blood-thirstier fellow Marines chided me for not shooting this Korean.  “We missed out on combat over here, but you had a chance to shoot someone and you blew it.”  Not all Marines, I discovered, were the heroic idealists I learned about while watching John Wayne movies before enlisting.  ;-)

I would certainly rather take the same approach again, if I had the strength, rather than having to draw my little Walther or my USMC K-Bar, but if I am carrying a weapon and accompanied by Ben, the chance of that sort of encounter seems remote. 

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