“You have added 20 years to your longevity.” The doctor told me yesterday. 20 years? Did he mean the next 20, or the 20 from 60 to 80? The twenty after that? It shocked me. to think that I was cheating myself out of 20 years of good things. 20 years is a lot of lunches with Joe and Pete at the shop, or laps around Munson just to name a few things I would miss.
There’s no need to ponder the big things such as love, family, and self-actualization. Think of all the little good things you accumulate in 20 years. That’s 480 books I have yet to read. Thousands of lbs of kim-chi uneaten. It shocked me. He went over my numbers like he was checking my report card and I beamed in the light of his attaboys. “Pulse rate down from 98 to 68! From pre-hypertension to perfect blood pressure! You lost 40 lbs!”
It shocked him. “There is no drug available that can do what you have done for yourself. It doesn’t exist.”
There is also no drug that can make you feel the satisfaction of saving your own life. I told him the whole story, starting with the visit to his Nurse Practitioner who told me, “You’re going to be a regular around here for a long time” as he offered me prescriptions for Xanax and Ambien.I walked out and didn’t go back until now, one year later. That guy is gone, and I’m not his regular. To his credit, he frightened and offended me. Both are excellent motivators.
On Sunday I rode Dogboy’s Redline 29’er 1×9 (that’s a bike for you civilians.) I hit the trail late at Munson Monday and rode as fast as I could, and with so much joy as I chicken-hawked my way through the peloton until finally breaking through to some empty trail. I caught the main group for the 2nd lap where I accelerated and coasted among riders who used to pass me so fast they couldn’t even hear what I called them. I must acknowledge before it is gone, that I am riding the dream right now.
If you are struggling with your health, or with finding the motivation to change some habits, just ask and I will loan you a magic skateboard. One good slam can turn it all around.
Awesome! and unfortunate, to think that doctors see so very little of what you did that they are surprised.
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I work in the health field. Very, very few people just up and change, on their own, from the bones out (literally). I not only ask them to, I expect them to. But it takes guts, smarts, and a dab or two of desperation and obsession.
I love reading about this change in you. It inspires me to keep on the path. I’m 47, and some days I feel it. I keep rowing against the tide, because a lot of the time it works — and the alternative is untenable.
If nothing else comes out of it (and much already has) the change you’ve made is a life accomplishment. It is worth a book. And I know just the ridiculously good writer for the job.
Think about it.
Thanks Velo, you understand. The obsession is the part most people fall short on. You have to go a little crazy (if you’re ever gonna survive.)
I heard that somewhere.
The book will be the next obsession.
I have to say that hearing “I am going to pass you on the next climb” may be a little bit of a downside for me (dealing with the new you) but I couldn’t be happier.
Y O U B A S T A R D!
I am so proud I have finally earned my BASTARD status!
I myself have taken a turn for the healthy. I ran 11 miles yesterday and am signed up for the Detroit half-marathon. This week I will run about 30 miles, do 200 sit-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 pull-ups, walk up 350 floors on the stairmaster, ride 25 miles on the exercise bike as well as lift assorted weights. I walked up to the precipice of middle aged decrepitude and slowly stepped back. Just a little horn-tooting there.
Dr. Detroit (long time reader, rare commenter)
and dayum good at it.
keep at it. attit-ing.
Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. – Confucius.
Confucius and I are very proud of you!! 🙂
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Amazing post. Well, it’s the reality that amazing. I don’t know you personally, but I’m thrilled for you. Kim-chee and books–cool.
Once upon a time I was told I’d be lucky if I made it to 40. It was surgery that turned this boat around, but I’ve been making baby steps since then changing oh so many things.
Thanks Denise. Glad to hear from you!
Love the post! Good for the new you!