I had my Epiphany moment eighteen months ago, when I was diagnosed with an abdominal aneurysm. I had just turned seventy, and was looking to wind down before the grim reaper came knocking.
The diagnosis came as a shock, but surgery repaired the damage, together with five well placed stents. Up to the operation, I had been a regular cigar smoker, Café Creme, with the occasional weekend Havana, but to my credit, and with my wife’s support, I stopped just like that, and I’m glad I did. Now I regard smokers with pity, standing in cold alcoves dragging on their roll ups and looking thoroughly miserable.
My life has been the subject of a complete reevaluation, you know how it goes: smoking, drinking, lack of exercise and overweight, a recipe for an early departure to the great unknown. My family, to their credit, felt I had a few more ‘good’ years in me before things started to seize up, so with single-minded determination, I have started the diet. It’s working, but who said it would be easy? Slow and steady is the way forward. Smoking has gone forever, so no turning back.
Exercise has been the final ingredient to my rehabilitation. Once again, my wife led the way. She is a walker and enjoys it, speeding along the highways and byways. She leaves me standing, but one day a few weeks’ ago, she encouraged me on the ‘big walk’, the monster four miler, which I’d heard about but never attempted. She still leaves me standing, but it is now becoming a daily routine, and dare I say it, I feel quite pleased with myself once I get back to the house and slump down with a non-alcoholic beverage.
I am encouraged in my new life by a recent report from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges no less, which sounds very grand indeed. Their report confirms that regular exercise, including cycling, dancing and even sex (with consent of course), can cut the risk of dementia, heart disease and even some cancers. The benefits also help depression, keep diabetes under control and make prostate cancer less likely to spread. Join me, you’ll not regret it!
With my renewed vitality, I feel another book coming on and a world tour. I gather I am big in China!