Okay, I usually don’t rehash the same subject two days in a row here, but the heart post from yesterday deserves a little more attention.
First, I’d like to offer my condolences to Patrick Avery’s family. I read here at Cyclingnews.com that Patrick died Tuesday evening, during a criterium in New Zealand, from a possible heart heart attack. I raced against his brother, Clinton many times. He is a very good bicycle racer.
Second of all I’d like to thank everyone that personally contacted me and gave me some advice, or told me their story, etc. It is truly the best reward I get from doing this thing.
Third, no, I don’t think I have any serious, check into the cardiac ward, heart issue that I’m dealing with. That being said, most elite athletes, and probably more specifically cyclists, do tend to be somewhat of hypochondriacs, at least to the extent that they pay serious attention to how they feel and what the cause might be. I do fit into that category for sure.
Anyway, I didn’t ride yesterday. I spent most the day helping a friend hang drywall and build a shower basin for a bathroom remodel. I had such a bad ride on Monday, I thought that maybe I’d just see how the day went and if riding fit its way in, then it would. It didn’t. I didn’t have much time to check the comments here or at Facebook. (I think there is a way to get the comments from Facebook posted here, but that seems to be beyond my capabilities at this time.)
Anyway, I did get a call from Dr. O’Keefe. The cardiologist that “started” this whole thing. He took a fair amount of time talking to me about this whole issue. He said something about being the messenger of bad news. I agree. He is a very good endurance athlete, and by talking to him, I’m sure he would be much happier to tell us all that the more we all exercised, the healthier we would all be. But, that isn’t his belief. He had his assistant call me about making an appointment. I missed that call, so I’ll have to get back to her first thing this morning. Hopefully, I can go over to KC very soon and meet him. It will be very interesting.
I think one of the reasons this resonates with me is because I know of a whole lot of personal friends that have had some major heart issues. Way more proportionally than I should. And these guys didn’t get them at 40 or 50. They got them anywhere from 17 years old to the mid 30’s. And they have issues serious enough that they have pacemakers. This isn’t even counting the riders I know that have other major heart issues, but aren’t to the state of pacemaker yet. And, also, it isn’t counting the guys that are just plain dead. Died early, for no apparent reason other than their hearts were enlarged.
I am a bike racer. That is pretty much what I’ve done my whole life. It doesn’t necessarily define me, but it has molded me into who I am. I don’t plan on giving up this sport for anything. But, if someone could convince me that I might be in imminent danger, health-wise, if I keep competing, then I’d have to rethink the whole thing. I love the lifestyle, but without being alive you can’t have it either.
Okay, here’s an example of one of the emails I got yesterday. It’s very nice.
The point of this email is a selfish one. I read the blog every day and have earned some things from you through it and in emails. I would like that to continue. At some point i would like to be able to do a ride with you and the group. If you do not begin to take better care of yourself, those things will not happen. Here is a perfect example of what happens when we don’t listen to our bodies. The velo news article on Scott Nydam http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/12/analysis/from-the-pages-of-velo-no-longer-the-same_267300
I know that you are a independent, stubborn guy who can push through pain like a saw through lumber, but you need to go see a doctor. My Dad is a Doc, a physician, as well as a runner. He has been running for nearly 43 years. He was not world class, but fast. He ran a 2:32 marathon off 30 miles a week. The point is he was fast and has the mindset of a athlete. I was telling him of your issues and his words were, “He needs to go get checked out”.
Searching the internet for your health issues is not how to get healthy. If you are going to do that the only sites to trust are .gov or.org.
I hope you will take my advice and my dads and go get a physical and have them figure out what is going on. If you don’t have a Dr., call Shadd Smith, he can point you in the right direction.
Okay, if you have some extra time, check out Dr. O’keefe’s video below. It goes into the whole issue a little bit more than the one yesterday.