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How Exercise Nearly Killed me

If church potlucks don't get you, the fresh air will.

You really need to exercise, Richard. You're getting flabby, and your face is puffy. If you want to keep eating like a farmer rather than a pastor, you'd better start getting more physical activity."

My wife, Candy, was preaching the same sermon she had preached a hundred times before, just because I had outgrown another pair of pants.

"I don't exercise," I argued.

"Then quit eating."

"I like to eat. Besides, I might hurt someone's feelings if I don't eat what they offer."

There was some truth in what I said. The favorite activity of Philadelphia Baptist Church, here in the southern Ozarks, was consuming enormous potluck dinners. My, how those ladies could cook! As pastor, naturally I was obligated to sample every dish. I had to admit it was beginning to show—just a little.

"You could start jogging," my wife said. "You can run down the dirt road alongside the church."

Under protest, I donned some old tennis shoes to take my first steps toward a new life of health and fitness.

"Take the dog with ...

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