Two years ago, my closest friend died of a massive heart attack, after a lovely, 50 mile bike ride, at the age of 67. It was a perfect death but 20 years too soon…and heartbreaking for everyone. You won’t see much about this in YNY but people do die, working out. FAR FAR MORE LIVE ARE SAVED BY EXERCISE THAN LOST but it’s out there. So watch it.
I was thinking about that this morning. I woke up feeling sensational, here in the Berkshires…went for a row with a friend for an hour. Then, when I got home…in a fit of exuberance…hopped on my bike. Hilary warned me that it was already in the 90’s and said it was nuts to go out again. So I went anyway, on a 19 mile spin, in what was eventually 95 degree heat.
I continued to feel great…bullet-proof. But, on the steepest hill on this very familiar route, I felt the strain earlier than usual. It was this funny little signal which I almost ignored. But – uncharacteristically – I backed off…dropped right into the grannie gear (third chain ring) which I rarely use, as a matter of pride. Doing so kept my heart rate under 85% where it usually goes into the 90’s. And I did not die.
At the top of that hill, I stopped and checked my recovery rate and it was 15 beats lower than usual (28 instead of 40-someting). Which is wild. The message: my body was feeling strain even if i was feeling bulletproof. In other words, that goofy little message that I almost ignored might have been important. I am not sure of that, but I like the idea. So here’s the modest message: if you can’t listen to your spouse…at least listen to your body. Can’t hurt. CC