I have a friend of mine whom I’ve know for several years. I’ll call him Jack. Jack in my opinion, was physically the essence of health. Although I’ve never witnessed him working out, visually he appeared to.......well….look...... healthy. But what does healthy look like? Does healthy have a particular appearance? Maybe it does. Pfft. Who knows?
Jack is about five-feet ten, weighing in at approximately 150-160 lbs. He owns his own floor refinishing business and makes a pretty good living, might I add. Oh one more thing. Jack lives alone with his four very active children who range in ages from 11 to 15-years-old.
One evening, after finally bouncing back from the death of someone close to me, I get a phone call from my daughter who informs me that Jack suffered a heart-attack the night before and was in the hospital.
“WHAT?” I exclaimed.
“Jack?! How in the world did that happen?” I asked directing my question to no one in particular.
I was stunned, shocked and in utter disbelief to hear this because as I said, Jack was visually the epitome of health to me.
Enter Bernie - another long time friend of mine. Now Bernie’s situation has a twist to it. Bernie must be well into his sixties, is overweight (has a stomach that resembles Santa Claus’ after overeating forcing his belly to protrude over his belt). Bernie doesn’t drink nor smoke, he rarely eats fried foods or red meat but again, he never exercised. He made feeble attempts at getting on his treadmill once in awhile but he never committed to a regime.
After hearing about Jack’s ordeal it prompted me to check on my friend Bernie. I don’t know why I had the distinct urge to place a phone call to Bernie, but I did. Now the last time Bernie and I spoke he told me that he was out on disability due to an injury he sustained while on the job. This time he tells me that he too suffered a heart attack.
“What in the world is going on?” I thought.
I was just as surprised to hear Bernie suffered an attack as I was when I heard Jack had one. But let’s face it; anyone would kinda expect a “heart attack” at minimal, to hit Bernie given his age, weight and the fact that he gets relatively no exercise at all.
Let me back up here a minute though: As my conversation furthered with Jack, he told me that he came home one evening from work, cooked and went to lie down (bad move after a full meal). Shortly he began to experience a terrible pain on his left side that trickled down his arm. After about 30 minutes of this, Jack had the sense that God gave him and concluded, “I’m having a heart attack” and rushed himself to the nearest Emergency Room. At the hospital, his worse suspicions were confirmed. A heart attack was on and brewing full force minute-by-minute. Hospital personnel immediately prepped and rushed him for an emergency procedure called Angioplasty (An-jee-oh-plas-tee).
”Angioplasty? I’ve heard that word before, but what exactly is it?” I asked Jack.
Jack responded, “Angioplasty is a medical procedure used to restore blood flow through a narrowed or blocked artery in the heart. A thin tube or balloon or other device is threaded through a blood vessel in the arm or groin (upper thigh) up to the site of a narrowing or blockage in a coronary artery. This procedure widens the artery and restores the flow of blood to the heart.”
“Oh my goodness!” were the only words that I could formulate.
But what I really wanted to drop on 'em was this:
It befuddles me on the regular how (and I know I’ve said this one thousand times divided by two to the twenty-fifth power), and why people spend so much money on nonsensical things (myself included), but rarely do they spend money on saving their own lives. I mean like investing money in a gym. Not only having the money deducted from your account each month, but actually using your membership and going to the gym and actually working out! How simple is that? Once you begin training you’ll slowly gain more energy and “going” won’t feel like such a chore. (I know you’re thinking check ol’ C. V. out trying to preach. She’ll be the one who works out on the regular and dies of a stroke). Well that could be. But because I do work out, I’m making a brave attempt at decreasing the chances of that happening to me. Although no one can predict what’s gonna take em outta here anyway. (Unless you have some life-threatening situation going on, of course).
I hear people complain everyday, about how this is too fat, that is too flabby, this is too wide, blah, blah, blah. And they’re the ones who sit and always finish every morsel on their plate until their stomachs are so stuffed they care barely breathe. What’s more they’re the ones rushing for that extra cookie after dinner!! Let’s not forget about alcohol! Ohhhh nooo!!! They drink beer and whiskey like there’s no tomorrow!
The heart is the most vital organ, in my opinion. It’s the nucleus of life for goodness sakes! Why not take care of it? Why not ensure that your core, your nucleus, your life source (whatever you want to call it), has all the necessities it needs to keep you alive and kicking for as long as possible? Our reality is this: we’ve all gotta check outta here one day. So what’re you trying to do by ignoring that ol’ ticker of yours? Are you trying to speed up the inevitable process of…..dying? C’mon! How lazy would it be to do otherwise???
Hey folks? This isn’t a Haiku, nor is it a science project. It’s life. YOURS! Why not prolong it? People are dying of heart attacks, stroke and heart disease a lot younger these days you know? Everybody wants to give lip service about change but where’re the people who are actually taking steps to …..change?
I don’t know about you, but I’m sure gonna try to do all I can not to be one of those heart attack victims or any other health statistic. I wanna be one of those people who live to be so old that a nurse has to bring my teeth to me from a glass as they sit on top of the dresser! As long as I’m alive, still have some wit about me, can still feed and bath myself, shoot, I’m good!
Sometimes saving your life can be a no-brainer. All it takes is a small portion of work on our part. Why don’t you think about what steps you can do to save or prolong your life? The next time you get ready to buy a bag of those fried pork rinds or those four orders of fried chicken wings from the nearest Chinese joint, or how ‘bout that extra large bowl of pasta draped in Alfredo Cheese Sauce with a side order of buttered garlic bread. (Dang! That does sound good though right?). For you southern rooted folk, let’s not even talk about pigs feet or hog head cheese…hmph, hmph, hmph!!!! (I’m not even gonna speak on the former, cause one of my elderly aunts might decide to take a gander at this article then I’ll never hear the end of it!!). But you guys are getting my point, I’m sure.
Like I said, your heart is the nucleus to life. It’s the one-main-mechanism that grants you the benefit of seeing another sunrise. (Well your heart and the Almighty of course). So why not take a minute to give your ol' ticker a “thank you” and nurture it?
After all, the only thing you'll have to look forward to if you don’t is ….an early DEATH!
Everybody's always talking like they know wuzzup but why not try acting like you know wuzzup...............Better yet, cease talking about it and be about it. Me? Humpf, I've got a date with the gym!