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View Diary: What really saved my life last month (130 comments)

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  •  You say you had gotten "out of shape" (2+ / 0-)
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    ivorybill, mikidee

    and were overweight, but then in another paragraph you say you ran 10 miles a few weeks prior to your cath.

    Most people who are overweight and/or out of shape can not run 10 miles. I'm just curious, what body composition are we talking about here? Do you know your BMI? Height and weight?

    It would be instructive for those looking for comparisons to themselves.

    •  I (7+ / 0-)

      was in insane shape for decades. Body fat below 5%, at one point when I was climbing 24/7, trying to get as light as possible I weighed 125 and could do 10 pull ups with either arm by itself.

      A few years ago, starting around 2004 - 2005 I got out of shape, topped out near 200 lbs and I'm only 5'8".

      Then about a year and a half ago I broke my back wakeboarding and decided that was enough, I needed and wanted to be in shape. I started working out about a year ago, by the time of the attack I could comfortably jog 3 miles and had lost about 25 lbs, sitll overweight at 175 but not terrible. I ran ten miles one day just to see if I could do it -- it's not something I would recommend on a regular basis for someone my/our ages, I could feel it in my knees and ankles for days afterward.

      I had no way to know, but the blockage[s] was almost certainly significant all through that latter regimen. I ran over a mile while I was having the first episode like a dumbass, trying to shrug off the weird feeling. In retrospect, it was almost like I was training to survive a heart attack.

      •  OK, that changes the picture entirely (2+ / 0-)
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        DarkSyde, Bridge Master

        First, 2004-2005 is not recent. That's almost a decade ago. You'll lose most of the cardiovascular benefits you've accrued from exercise after about a year of sedentary non-activity.

        Second, 5'8 and 200 pounds is not a "little bit" overweight. On the BMI scale, that pushes you just into obesity.

        Look, I don't want this to sound like I am attacking you. But this diary is written in a way that implies a heart attack can happen regardless of your level of fitness. That you are this ultra fit man who just happened to draw crappy genetic lottery numbers and that is the reason for your misfortune.

        Where instead, the more accurate description would be someone who was once in great shape, but more recently had been sedentary for nearly a decade and had fluctuated between obesity and being overweight.

        You've written this diary in a way that is scary to someone like myself. Because I am still in phenomenal shape. I do still have a body fat percentage that is 5%. I do run 7.5 miles every day. But I am approaching my mid-30's and I do have a familial history of heart attacks. So here I read this diary and I start to think, maybe all my hard work doesn't matter because, wow, this guy was in great shape and it still happened to him.

        But that's not really the story here at all. The story is much more typical. You're just presenting it in a way that glosses over, and at times misrepresents, many of the most important facts. The coup de grâce being the accompanying picture that shows a fit and viral man, but looks to be from the 1980's. You obviously haven't looked like that in a long time!

        You should have presented a more accurate picture. Instead, you've succeeded in scaring people like myself and possibly misleading others who are less fit into thinking exercise may not matter that much. That's wrong.

        •  I'm (5+ / 0-)

          sorry if I was unclear or frightened you, I should have been more thorough. It's more involved than in shape at one point and out the next.

          Here's the timeline: I started getting out of shape in 2005, by about 2007 I was at 175 lbs. Then I got back into some shape for about a year, but I didn't stick with it. Got back to about 180 lbs pretty quick by 2009 -- it seemed way easier to gain it that second time btw, probably an age thing plus I was happy as a clam in domestic bliss.

          In 2010 I started working out again for a few months and lost about 15 lbs, but again like a dumbass I didn't stick with it and started gaining again. Then I broke my back about a year and a half ago, that's when I topped out at 200 lbs, during the fall of 2011. After getting the OK from the back injury docs I decided I would never get out of shape again -- that injury probably wouldn't have happened if I had been in shape.

          It took me almost a year to lose 25 lbs, to get back to 175, that's where I was last month when all this happened. Part of that regimen included lots of running and ellipticals and stair steppers. Depending on the workout I would usually warm up by running a mile and then lift weights, or if it was a cardio day I'd run three to five miles and do some other aerobic stuff like FX's and stair steppers.

          If you are in your mid 30s, running 10 clicks every day, have super low body fat, and have no symptoms, have no history of heart trouble, there's not much reason to worry that you are at risk for a heart attack. It happens to young poeple sometimes, but statistically you're probablt more likely to get killed in a car wreck than you are to suffer a massive heart attack. If it's messing with your mind -- which is way more common than people realize -- get it checked out. My guess is the cardiologists will do an echo, put you on a treadmill, see your results, and assure you there is nothing to worry about.

    •  I guess what i'm asking is... (2+ / 0-)
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      DarkSyde, Bridge Master

      There are two different portraits here.

      You primarily portray this as -- Wow! I'm super healthy! I run 10 miles for fun! and OMG! I had a heart attack! Unbelievable!

      But then you mention in passing, almost glossed over entirely, the idea you've gotten "a bit overweight" the last few years.

      I'm just wondering if you're not missing the lesson here. Where you out of shape and engaging in risky behavior by jumping into a vigorous fitness routine again all at once? Was your 10 miler "for fun" something that was perhaps beyond your fitness level and, in fact, dangerous? Because of holiday indulgences and a desire to get back in shape, were you working out at an intensity that was beyond your current level of fitness?

      A not insignificant number of people die each year trying to run marathons. Exercising at an intensity that is beyond your current level of fitness is dangerous for the heart.

      •  I (2+ / 0-)
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        greenearth, mikidee

        definitely worked up to the ten miler. I had run five miles several times, got to five miles one day and felt good, so I just kept going to see if I could do ten. I wouldn't do that often though, I could feel it in my knees and ankles for days afterward, not the usual healthy muscle soreness, although I had plenty of that too, but also tenderness and some bone/cartilage pain. I'm not really built for running. I'll never be a threat at local 10ks.

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