Has "Get Up and Go" Got Up and Left?

My Dad and brothers are five people in my life who I hold with the greatest admiration. They are men like the warriors of the Old Testament: strong, confident, wise, courageous, energetic, athletic, talented, responsible, enthusiastic... the list goes on. However one of the greatest things I respect and admire in them, is their "get up and go".

I don't know if this is a phrase often used - or at the least, understood - by some of you, so I will give my own definition of it here:

"Get Up and Go" - (n) The keen desire to give your all - physically, spiritually and mentally to any given task or challenge set before you. To not back down or shy away from something that you might fail at. The hunger for a challenge and the enthusiasm for trying something new regardless of the odds. A competitive spirit. The urge to be found useful and to be used to full capacity in any situation you could possible be found useful in. To exhibit strength and vigor in every opportunity for industriousness.

That is a rather lengthy definition, and it probably doesn't even fully encompass the term to my satisfaction. This is a trait I constantly see practiced in the lives of my Dad and brothers. Whether it is a game of ping-pong, an arm wrestle, chopping wood, changing the oil in a car, mending a fence, racing go-karts, football or computer gaming, my brothers give everything their all and hold nothing back. In all this, I place a high regard on their physical strength that allows them to be a blessing to people. If they did not have the get up and go to keep themselves fit and active, could they have helped an elderly couple push their awkwardly parked caravan trailer off a pole in a parking lot? I doubt it.

Having said this, I am not dissing the intellectual world in favor of brutal physical prowess. Not at all. To be educated in different fields is also a blessing, and without people of knowledge in such areas, the conveniences and enlightening truths of the world we live in today would not exist. Yet, often in times I find myself noticing the young men in malls or down the street with earphones in, talking on the phone, texting or using some other such digital device who appear to be so much softer; lacking the luster and vigor I am accustomed to seeing in my brothers. It seems that so much of the get up and go; the keenness, toughness and fervor for life that young men once had has slowly waned and vanished. Has "get up and go" got up and left? Is passive intellectuality and love of technology replacing active practicality and vigorous industriousness?

Granted, not everyone has the opportunities to practice their get up and go to the extent my brothers do. I and my brothers recognize the blessing our family has when it comes to where we live and what our lifestyle is like. My brothers have ample opportunity, materials and tools with which to pour their vigor into. (building homemade rockets, bike jumps, explosions, models, etc. the list is endless) However does this lack of opportunity a lot of people have mean that things such as technology are the only option for enthusiasm? I beg to differ.

Just because one might not have wood to chop in order to stay fit, doesn't mean that one cannot get exercise. Just because one might not have the availability of a car to change the oil in, does not mean one cannot learn how to do it. Just because one might not have all the tools, doesn't mean that they cannot learn on the job how to mend a tap or lightly renovate a room. In every young man's life there will arise opportunities for them to use their get up and go, and I believe regardless of their background and/or education, they should be ready and willing to have such a go whenever an opportunity presents itself. Even up till such a time, there are so many practical things that can be learnt from right where they are!

Of course, I am speaking from a young woman's point of view, so much of my argument is one sided and largely differs from that of most young men. However, this is still a topic I feel very strongly about because in a way, it does directly apply to me. As a young woman who desires to marry and help raise a family someday, "get up and go" is a vital point I not only desire, but actually need in a husband. If my car breaks down on the side of the road, I don't want to have to call a mechanic before calling my husband. When I can't work out the problem with my washing machine, I don't want my husband to be standing there scratching his head with me. If a water main blows, I would prefer not to be the only one standing in the paddock holding the shovel. if floor boards start pulling up, a curtain rod comes down, a roof tile breaks or a door falls off, I don't want to be the one left holding the hammer.

"But you are being unreasonable!" you might say. "You are expecting the impossible of someone!"

Am I? I'm not. See, I know someone just like this.

He is married to my Mum.

My Dad can do anything (at least, as far as I know) and my brothers come a close second. My Dad has made us a swingset, a see-saw, a cubby house, and built us a swimming pool that usually takes a paid contractor to build. Dad has fixed our leaking plumbing, our burst water pipes, broken washing machines, fridges, tank water pumps, animal troughs, and almost every other water related mishap. He has fixed broken doors, sliding door runners, cupboards, bed frames, window screens and even made some of the tools with which he fixed all of the above. He has climbed to the top of a palm tree to cut off the seed pods (after putting the extension ladder on the roof fully extended), he has wrestled calves to the ground, milked cows, rode bronco crazed horses, plowed fields, tore out stumps, mended roofs, lifted heavy furniture, cleaned the inside of water tanks, dug ditches, 4WD the most hazardous places, built chicken houses, fixed our car in dire situations, and many other such things. The list is still being populated as we speak... (Dad and the boys removed a fallen tree from our holiday house fence line, tore away all the debris, trimmed back the stump and repaired the fence two days ago.)

My Dad also has the courage to see us through difficult situations and has the fortitude to stay strong for us when we need him. Whether it is the shaky days after hearing bad news, or the self control to stay focused and calm when someone is injured and/or bleeding, this kind of strength, vigor and get up and go is something that has saved my family time and time again; a priceless trait that I doubt I could live without in my own family sometime down the track.

This is not to excuse my own abilities and learning. I think it is important for young women to have a basic grasp of the practical side of living as well, for you never know when such knowledge may come in handy. However as the chief breadwinner, a man's duty is to know these things as well as, if not (preferably) better than their wives.

There will come a day - if not already today - that the world will be crying out for men who can use their hands and commit themselves to hard physical work with all their strength. Universities and colleges hold great prospects for different career options, but at what costs? Will there come a time where men will only be able to defend their families intellectually, and must simply watch helplessly as their children are taken from them? Will they sacrifice being able to and/or knowing how to provide a physical roof over their heads because they were so set on getting a lawyer's degree? Could people end up starving in the streets because they lack the knowledge of how to obtain food for their loved ones? Of course these are drastic scenarios, but as a cynic and a conspiracy theorist, I must be brutally honest. There will come times where men will be called to be men such as Joshua, Samson and David: warriors, in every sense of the word. How many will have the get up and go to get up and fight? This good fight can be one that begins simply with a broken doorknob at home. Would you know how to fix one?

Not too long ago I went camping with my brothers at a new friends' place. They had about thirty young adults there, and more than half of them were young men. When we went four-wheel-driving up into the mountains, one of the trucks stopped because something went wrong with the clutch. Our host decided that everyone who didn't know anything about cars should continue on foot, and those who might be able to help should stay behind. Besides my two brothers, only our host stayed behind. Imagine my dismay when I heard about six of the young men exclaiming they knew nothing about cars as if it were a joke.

Imagine the pride I had in my brothers as they began pointing out the problem.

My purpose here is not to be critical of those who have developed talents in non-physical areas. I know many very talented young men who have great intellectual skills that I admire and have gained a great many insights from. My purpose is not to condemn or belittle, but to awaken an awareness for how much the world needs and relies on those who have, not just a piece of paper that claims an ability or knowledge, but the credentials of calloused hands and bright eyes that say a whole lot more than any resumé ever could. These are credentials that speak of keenness, vigor, a desire to learn and a desire to serve even at the risk of failing. The resumé of a hard worker is in his hands; hands that know how to serve God and man with wholeheartedness and strength.

Thomas Edison was known to have said, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it's dressed in overalls and looks like work". How right he was. The fact is, opportunity is work, and unless you are dressed and equipped for it, you will miss it altogether.

This is not a challenge, but you could take it as one. Are you the kind of person upon seeing someone's car stuck, would get up out of your comfort zone and help them push? Do you ring the mechanic before picking up a manual? Do you have to? Or could you do something different and learn a practicality? These things once learnt are never forgotten. And what practical talents you learn, may well shape your life and the lives around you for many years to come.

In closing, I pray that this post encouraged you to be strong and inspires you to have a vigorous fervor for all that the Lord has called you to do. May your God-given "get up and go" never get up and leave, but continue getting back up and forever keep on going!

It is good for a man to bear The yoke in his youth. 
(Lamentations 3:27 NKJV)

Nothing is better for a man... that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. 
(Ecclesiastes 2:24 NKJV)

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  1. Replies
    1. Thankyou. :) And thankyou for reading, Jonathan. :)

  2. I greatly enjoyed reading this post.
    I also find myself agreeing with a lot of this.
    Overall an excellent post.


    1. Thankyou, Rosie! I'm so very glad that you enjoyed it, thankyou for reading and for commenting! :D

  3. YES! Perfectly put!! Manly men like Joshua are worth so much.

    "Get up and go." I like that :) I always say that I want to marry a "handyman" or a "jack-of-all-trades." That's what my dad is like. He can put up a new mister system, weld an arena, make a swingset, fix the electricity on a horse trailer, build a goat stanchion, etc.

    It would be very difficult to live with a guy who didn't know all that.

    Awesome post and one every guy needs to read!

    1. Hear hear! :D The Godly man who is the jack-of-all-trades is a priceless man! Your Dad sounds a lot like mine. Girls like you and I would find it nigh impossible to live with someone who couldn't do all these things, having been accustomed to men who could.

      Thankyou for reading and for commenting, Lisa! I love hearing your thoughts. :D

  4. Excellent post, Bush Maid! I couldn't agree more. It's pretty sad when we live in a world where manly men are a rarity...

    1. Thankyou for reading, Jake! Yes indeed, it is a sad world where such men are rare occurrences...

  5. That's right - A manly man. A man who can roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty if need be. A man who can take some pain but tough through it to complete what he is working on. A man who will take on that job, knowing it will be scary and he has no idea what he is doing, but intending on learning from his mistakes.
    Above all, a Godly man.
    Now were talking manhood.
    Good stuff! It's always neat to see girls raving about guys being men - always gives me chills. It shows the other half of what the world needs. The world needs Godly men who are Godly men, and Godly ladies who won't settle for anything less.
    Bring on the world.

    1. I was hoping you might comment David, as I know you are a young man much like my brothers with a ton of "get up and go"! :D

      Amen! Here's to the man who holds a Bible in his dirty calloused hands. The tough working man with a heart soft for God and family. This is the man who holds my greatest admiration, because he is the kind of man God created him to be.

      Thankyou for reading and for commenting, David! I encourage you to continue being an awesome young man of God who doesn't conform to society's image of what a man should be. "Real" young men of valor receive the highest praise from me! :D

    2. "Here's to the man who holds a Bible in his dirty calloused hands."

      Wow. LOVE that. Very well, VERY well said. The guy who can work on the farm all day and come home and lead family worship. MAN we need more of those!!!!!!! Where are they all?!?!?!?

      I want to meet you someday :) Visit AZ and we can all go shooting!!

    3. Yes!! We need more of those men! And I've no idea where they all are... If you guys are out there, please stand up, because the world needs you!! :D

      I very much want to meet you someday too!! If I ever come to America (and I well hope to) I'll definitely be coming to AZ! All going shooting together sounds like the epicest fun! :D

    4. I know, right?!?! I know more of the "manly men" because of where I live and the guys we are around are mostly cowboys. But they are not the come-home-and-lead-family-worship men. At all.

      "Epicest fun" huh? *chuckling* Well I hope to visit Australia one day...or New Zealand.

      Do you talk with an Aussie accent? Or do you know? :D I soooooooo want an accent. Either Aussie or southern.

    5. I know very few... I'm beginning to think all the real men - besides all my Dad and brothers - live over in America. o.O

      Well if you ever visit Oz, we'll have to do some Australian shooting, then! :D

      I do talk with an Aussie accent, though I don't think I do. :D Being an Australian, I guess that automatically makes me talk in an Aussie accent! And actually, you do have an accent according to me! All Americans do, no matter where you come from. :D

    6. Lucky girl!!!! I love Aussie accents. *sigh* Thou shall not covet thy neighbor's speech....

    7. *taking off hat*
      Wow, I am honored to be in the "goer" category. I am also very happy I am not in the "Goner" category! (pun intended)Lol.
      Thank-ee for all the nice compliments.
      Hey, maybe we should (us bloggers) have a skype day and have a war of the accents! That would be a ball trying to understand each other. Southern V.S. Aussie - wow.

    8. "Goer not a Goner", hahaha! I love that! :D And you're definitely not a goner. ;)

      Woah, now that'd be something wouldn't it? :D Actually, I have voice chatted with a friend in America and her siblings once. The conversation consisted of me saying something, and the three of them laughing hysterically at my accent. :D

    9. You would do that to me - people do that to me who even speak "american". It's just something with me I guess. Just ask Lisa - they are always laughing at me. I haven't even cracked a pun or a joke and they will double up stifling a laugh.
      I get used to it.

    10. Yep...David kinda has this way of saying things that is just comical. If anyone else said it, it would be like, "Oh, okay," but if he says it, it's like, "Wow...hilarious."

      Last night they were over and we were working on a project...anything we do turns into a comedy show. We're hopeless :)

    11. *grins* Funny people are awesome in my book! I'm going to have to visit someday so I can enjoy the laughter with y'all! :D

  6. Okay... I have three things to say, BushMaid. Get ready. ;-)

    1) Amen. Your post is accurate, thoughtful, and just plain delightful to read. Cheers for the manly men of this world! You can keep your Justin Beiber and Eminem; I'll take William Wallace, John G. Patton, and my Dad. :)

    2) I like how you "stayed in the middle of the road." By that I mean: you didn't fall into extremes. I read far too many blog posts where the writer either disregards/belittles good old fashion hard work, or denigrates intellectual pursuits and other "brainy" activities. You did neither, and for that, I congratulate you.

    3) As a writer-in-progress, I couldn't help but admire the way you titled your blog post: Has "Get Up and Go" Got Up and Left? Very catchy, that. :D

    4) Something I've noticed is that even in our entertainment, our male characters have become so much less manly. In my experience, most male characters in modern movies/books are either geeky weaklings or anti-heroes with few redeeming qualities. That's why I find it refreshing when manly male heroes are actually found in movies (Maximus in Gladiator, for example) and literature (like The Man in Cormac McCarthy's The Road). What a breath of fresh air!

    1. Um... I actually had four things to say... meant to edit that before I published it, but oh well... :)

    2. Wow, Corey. I'm very honoured by your thoughtful and encouraging comment! I'm so glad that you both enjoyed and agreed with this post. :D

      Agreed! Here's to the unsung "real" men of this world such as the ones you stated and our fathers. :D

      To your second point, I'm glad you feel the same way. Both intellectuality and practicality are important. I don't believe either should be neglected.

      Hehe! I wasn't too sure about the title, whether or not many people would understand it. I'm very pleased to hear you like it!

      I've also noticed this. If they aren't superheroes, they are soft wimpy characters. :P Maximus from Gladiator is quite a real man, I agree with you there. Another "real" man from non-fictional literature that I admire is Ralph Moody. If you haven't read his series of books all about his growing up years, I would highly recommend you read them. I think you would very much appreciate them!

      I was going to point out the fact you made four points, but you beat me to it. ;) Thankyou again so much for reading, and for taking the time to comment. It made my day! :D

  7. I like this post! Great job, and great points, Bushy. :D

    1. Thankyou Gracie! I'm very glad that you think so. :D Thankyou for reading and for commenting!

  8. Excellent post! I'm accustomed to having manly men around me, and it's often surprising how wimpy and complacent the "men" of the world can be. That said, men aren't the only ones who should be getting up and going! Well done :)

    1. Thankyou for reading and commenting, Jordanna! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And yes! Men are not the only ones who need get up and go, us girls need to have spunk about us as well! :D

  9. WOW = Wonderful, Or-some Work!! :)
    Thank you for your blog, you've done a great job and I love the title for this article.
    God bless!

    1. Why thankyou! I'm honored by your kind words. :) Thankyou for reading my blog!

  10. Good points...reminds me a bit of Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. That's an awesome book about manliness.

    I'm sort of the fix-it guy around here, for just about anything. I've jury-rigged so many solutions to broken-down appliances and cars and everything else that could ever need fixing that the first thing my family does when something breaks is ask me if I can fix it.

    But guess where I learned this skill. It wasn't from going around and doing things with my hands. I learned so much because for many years I had no friends aside from my brothers, so when we weren't outside romping in the woods, I'd seclude myself in my room and read. I've been reading since I was three years old. In my mid-teens I read about computer programming, got on the computer, and started learning that. I got a job in an IT department, desk job, still not doing much hands on stuff. But I developed a certain way of thinking that allows me to look at any problem and work out a solution using what I have at hand.

    Now I work full time at a job that's mostly manual labor. My hands are calloused, and scraped up most of the time, which makes it hard to play piano and guitar. I'm pretty strong...enough to carry around and stack two 50-pound buckets of paint at a time, or push my stuck 1,800 pound car out of a mudhole and halfway up a short hill. But my biggest strength is that I'm always catching little details that everyone else missed, or figuring out solutions to problems.

    All because I never was interested in getting up and doing physical stuff and instead pursued as much knowledge as I could get. As a result I seem to be at least competent in anything other than personal interaction...

    1. Thankyou for reading and for commenting, Matthew. I enjoyed hearing your thoughts. :)

      As I said, just because one might not have the opportunity to do things with their hands, doesn't mean they cannot learn how. You obviously made very wise use of your time learning how to do a great many things, and those things learned were very useful when it came to applying them at a later date.

      My point in this article isn't that every guy get out there and pick up a shovel or a hammer. But that when an opportunity to do so arises, that they be *willing* and/or capable to lend a hand or have a go at something. Not to be someone who is so often found useless in a situation, but to be someone who can be useful.

      I can't dis the intellectual world at all, because if used correctly, it can provide people with many priceless skills that can be put to great use in life. :)

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  12. Great post... it seems like "get up and go" really has got up and left sometimes...but I do know a few really good, strong, hardworking, God fearing guys (one of them being my Dad) who give me hope. "There will come a day - if not already today - that the world will be crying out for men who can use their hands and commit themselves to hard physical work with all their strength." It is discouraging to look around in the world and see un-manly men, but our family has been so blessed to be placed in a church where most, if not all, of the men are hard workers and spiritual warriors!!! I truly am thankful...

    1. I'm glad you have been blessed with a Dad much like mine, who is a Godly, hardworking man. :) Unfortunately I know very few Christian men, both young and old, that have the "get up and go" that my Dad and brothers have. However I'm so grateful I have a Dad and brothers that do! :D

      Thankyou for reading and for commenting, Anna! :)


Please feel free to share your thoughts. I would love to hear your perspective. Let's learn from each other.