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  • Click to view hoflushman's profile
    Posted December 1, 2013 by
    Frisco, Texas
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    CNN Fit Nation: 2014 Triathlon Challenge

    A better me through IFIT Nation

    Hi, my name is Howard Flushman
    I very much want to be part of the CNN IFIT Nation because I could really use your help to make some life-changing, life-bettering differences I see necessary for me for the future.
    I’m 62 years old right now, looking at retirement not that far off in the future. I've been really thinking a lot lately about my life going forward. While it's been a good life all in all, I also think there's still so much more I want to do, so many things I’ve never known, never seen.
    Potentially blocking that dream is the fact of my health: I’ve been overweight and obese for the last 40 years, I’ve had 2 surgeries recently for kidney stone removal, and I suffer from high blood pressure and need further cholesterol control. What I have learned so clearly in the last year to year and a half is to accept and acknowledge that these are outcomes of my life style, and all can change if I so want them to. I know it requires a lot of work and discipline, but I know I am ready now to do it, because I want so much more from the rest of my life that I cannot let all that go by the wayside because of this.
    So for me to answer your key question of why specifically do I want to change, get fit, and live a healthier life, I’ll give you three reasons that are critical to me:
    First, I now realize I want to live a more Jewish life than I have in the past. In learning what that really” means to me, I come to realize the most important principle guiding for all Jews is “tikkun olum”, roughly translated as “repair the world”. I need to do more things that can contribute and help the world be better for me, for my family, and frankly for us all. For me specifically, this includes more active nature conservancy, more active volunteerism in local Jewish events, relations, and organizations, and more time and effort helping my future grandchildren learn to love being Jewish as much as I do.
    Second, as I mentioned at the start of this response, a year and a half ago, I had two surgeries for kidney stone removals. What a horrific event—one that I have no intention to ever let recur in my life every again. I also live with high blood pressure and the need for cholesterol controls as well. I’ve learned these fundamentally are the result of my poor life style choices I have made over the years. I do not and cannot get stuck having the rest of my life simply one of living out my maladies.
    Third, my last reason has been the result of enjoying the first year of life of my first grandchild. She is a beautiful little girl with incredible love and promise in her. I have two beautiful daughters myself, both married, and now I look forward to several more grandchildren to come. Oh my god, how great life is with children in it so immediately!

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