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Strength of Achilles

When you think of your Achilles, what comes to mind? Most likely it’s the story of Achilles and how his heel was his only weakness.

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For you, though, the Achilles tendon is a tendon that is approximately 6 inches long and 5 millimeters thick that is located in the back of your lower leg. This tendon connects the heel bones to the calf muscles.

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Despite the story of Achilles making it out to be a weakness, the Achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon in the body. The Achilles tendons are strong enough to withstand the force of up to 1,100 pounds. A large reason for this immense strength is its hierarchical structure. There are fibrils that are long tubular organelles that are inside fibers. These fibers are all held together to make the fascicles. These fascicles (also called myocytes) provide pathways for the passage of blood vessels and nerves.

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In the tendon, its order is its strength. This one tendon does a lot of the work holding your lower half of your leg together and keeping it working. In our churches, the volunteers are the Achilles tendon that keeps everything together. They are strong, and they are what keeps us going. As someone who has an Achilles that stopped working, I can tell you, it is miserable and it is near impossible to function. The same is true in our churches. Without volunteers, the hierarchy that keeps it running so smoothly would collapse.

If your church is functioning, thank a volunteer. When you see them at Mass this weekend, give them a big hug and thank them for all of their hard work. If you have not yet decided to volunteer, here’s your chance. Your church needs you and it will be stronger because of your help. The Achilles tendon can take a lot of stress, but if it is overworked, eventually it will break. The same is true for church volunteers. When they become overworked, eventually they will burn out. The more volunteers we can get, the stronger our churches will be and the more it can thrive. We must all do our part to keep our church strong. Thank a volunteer. Be a volunteer.