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Our Newsletter

Self Restoration NOT a VW Bus or Bug

Posted on 17th Feb 2019 @ 9:49 AM

Almost 4 years to date, I wrote about taking care of ourselves after learning that a friend had suffered a heart attack. I'm happy to say that our friend is still with us. So many other folks don't fare as well and get that second chance of a lifetime. Coming off of a weekend where my wife's uncle passed away AND learning about another VW friend that landed in the hospital with heart disease, I felt the need to write about restoration. SELF restoration. As we continue to age, it is paramount that we take care of ourselves. 

As mentioned before, four years ago I shared a little about my choices then as far as eating and drinking including exercise. Since then, I've been stoked to do a few triathlons and even a Ragnar race covering 200+ miles with a team of five friends. I've stayed on course with regard to my diet and have done my best to train and exercise in order to do these races. I'm not trying to beat any record, but I have found that if I set a goal for myself, it forces me to stay on course with my diet and exercise. This year, as I approach my 50th birthday ($%#+!), I am working toward doing my first Ironman race. It's a goal that I set for myself to accomplish before I turn 50. I gave myself a year to train and I have been jamming along little by little doing more and improving endurance.

But wait, this isn't about MY journey to Ironman. This is about self restoration, or maybe preservation?

After having learned about a few folks having heart attacks, 3 survived and 1 ded, and all within a short period of time.........it kind of freaked me out a bit. I started to wonder if it was an omen. Somehow I was being told that I needed to take extra measures to ensure that I was on a good path. After talking to two of my surviving friends about their experience, they both suggested that I get myself checked out. Considering I was about to embark on some strenuous training in order to do an enduring race, I started thinking about the horrific sight my family would witness if I dropped dead during Ironman. Soooo, I called my doctor and set up an appointment. Blood work, done. Blood pressure under control. Speaking of blood pressure, for a while I was in denial and reluctant to take medication for it, but looking back now, it's not as big of a deal as I thought it might be. I was under the impression that it would interfere with my workouts. I will say that it took some time to fine tune which pill worked best. Three meds total were tried until finding the right one that worked. My favorite (insert sarcasm) was having been given too strong of a dose and having my bp plummet a couple of hours after taking it and having the need to stimulate my system with coffee just so I didn't fall asleep. Just a little counterproductive. Anyway, we finally got it dialed. On top of getting blood work done, I had an EKG and a stress test done. It was pretty cool to see your heart on the screen and talking to the tech performing the exam. Of course, I was anxiously watching her face just waiting to catch an expression as soon as she saw something wrong. Thankfully, all good.

With all that crap done, I felt then and I still feel today much better about ramping up to my race. Stress and anxiety are definitely not good for your heart and mind, and unless you don't care about dying unexpectedly, I highly suggest you get yourself checked out, especially if you have medical insurance. For my $20 copay, I got all of my tests taken care of. Perhaps my doctor thinks I'm a little overcautious? I don't know and I don't care. I love my family and I love my life, and I love my VWs (especially the highroofs). I want to be around to enjoy all of that and I want to be able to see my friends at car shows, go on road trips, wrench on cars, and seek hidden treasures online.

Let's face it, you can't have any of what I mentioned if you don't have your health. So, let's take care of ourselves. If you need to embark on a self restoration process, start now. Don't overwhelm yourself to the point you throw in the towel shortly afterward. Picture the best you. Create a roadmap that will get you to where you want to go, and go for it! Just like an old VW bus or bug, some of us need a little bit of work and some of us need a ground up, but hey, we do it with our cars, so why not do it on ourselves? Little by little, we finish our cars and enjoy them along the process. I guarantee you that this journey of self restoration will be the most rewarding project you have ever embarked on. And hey, if you ever need to talk to someone, reach out to your friends and family. OR, since it's sometimes easier to talk to a stranger, reach out to me. I believe that we are put on this earth to serve mankind (not in the way that cool, old Twilight Zone went). I know, timely reference. We help each other with our VWs by giving advice, support, etc. Let's add health to our sharing so that we can share our VW stories that much longer.

Thanks for letting me bend your ear.