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READING LIPS

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”— Matthew 5:16

To a lot of people, the cliche "Actions speak louder than words" means something. But if you can't hear, it means everything. I thought of that the other night while sitting outside of Trader Joe's grocery store with my lab Josey. She and I have become somewhat of regulars outside of the exit door. Well, at this particular Trader Joe's, there's a very nice man (we'll call him Matt) whose worked there for years. He mans the cash register, stocks shelves, and is often outside helping organize shopping carts. I've never seen Matt without a smile on his face. Seeing Josey, he walked over to us, knelt down and began to give her love as he often does. I grinned in appreciation, then noticed a mother and her small boy holding hands walking up behind him. Cue the lesson.

"Excuse me...why is the light off?" I looked up at them before glancing back to Matt. Speaking a little louder she said, "Excuse me, sir..." Now, at this point, Matt was getting Josey good behind the ears (and she's milking it of course) until the woman tapped Matt on the shoulder. He turned as he stood up, and she repeated herself, "I'm sorry to bother you, but my son is curious why the light is off on the side of the building." The two simultaneously pointed up to the marquee, which by that time of night should already be on. Matt looked up, nodded in recognition and then enunciated as deliberately as he could, "Light. Off."...then the three of them walked inside together.

Please forgive all the detail, but that night I was at a loss for words. See, like Matt (deaf since birth) the world can't hear us. And like the little boy and his mom, you and I have to show them the light. Our actions mean everything. We can say what we want, but unlike Matt, people don't read lips. (Thank you Lord for putting us on that bench).

Well, a block away from the store, I turned back. The light was on. Only because someone who could see decided to show someone who couldn't hear.

--Jimmy Peña

Question: How will we shine light in a dark world this week? How can our attempt to care for our health be one small way we do that? Please share your comments below.

Workout of the Week: Push-Ups and Planks

If you're short on time, but long on enthusiasm, today's workout will meet both needs. No equipment required -- all you need is some open space and 5-10 minutes. Even if you had other plans for the day's workout, indulge us and give it a try anyway.

Plyo Push-Up: Akin to a normal push-up, this version requires you to have your hands leave the ground on each rep. The plyo push-up stimulates and innervates the fast-twitch fibers (the ones most responsible for tight, toned muscles). Upon failure -- the point at which you can no longer continue with good form -- go right into the...

Standard Push-Up: Do as many as you can. The push-up works the chest, front shoulders and triceps, not to mention your core musculature. Upon failure move right into a...

Straight-arm Plank: Basically, you're in the start of a push-up position with your arms straight, palms pressing into the floor, back straight and abs tight. Hold that position for as long as possible. When your arms begin to shake and fail, lower yourself to your elbows and begin the...

Standard Plank: Hold that position above the floor until failure. Like the straight-arm version, the plank works the innermost core muscles (transverse abdominis), the muscles that support your spine and ultimately your entire body.

After a brief rest, repeat that sequence. Chart your reps (or total time) for each exercise and strive to do better the next time you try this workout.

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