Tue, Dec 10, 2002

Some times things that seem pretty bad at the time can work out very well. About a month ago I checked into the hospital, with my heart rate bouncing around 120-150 beats per minute, and pounding so hard it felt like my blood must have been as thick as cold car oil on a winter day. I was diagnosed with an irregular heart beat and something called SVT.

As a result I tried to start walking every day, and also tried to eat a little bit of food that wasn't engineered to kill me quite so fast (fewer cookies, more grains). In short order the walking led to running, with the current result that today I ran for over 17 minutes while running/walking a combination of 50+ minutes, I've lost about ten pounds, my legs are almost as strong as ever, and the SVT stuff has happened only three times. Assuming that my legs don't break down again, I may be able to run a mini-marathon by next spring by increasing my mileage only 10% per week.

The better part was the feeling tonight that I could run forever. When people ask me why I run, I say to them "run". This is why. Very difficult to explain, so I'll make no effort to explain tonight. Just run and you will know. This may be a little too touchy-feely compared to the crap I usually write here, but there are only a few feelings in the world that are worthwhile, and this is one of them.

Everyone should have an opportunity to think that they might die some time in the next few minutes, but live through the experience. At the least, it helps to put priorities in order. I've been fortunate to walk this line several times without kicking the big one, so you would think I might learn by now, eh? Things like line drives to the side of the head, a couple of car wrecks and near-misses, four lightning strikes, one big appendix, really bad reactions to two prescription drugs, some other things I won't write here, and now this. Was I ever going to die? I guess not, but that never mattered at the time. The important part was feeling that I might.

Laying on the couch, holding my chest, feeling it pounding away, very hard, very fast, very irregular, thinking the next one might be the last, and not having any awareness of anything else in the house other than the intense beating of my own heart. You must really feel it and believe it before you understand what I'm saying; thinking about it is not enough. I don't encourage you to look for the edge of death, but I hope you are lucky enough to find it ... and are able to come back.

That's enough of that. Next time I'll get back to that tech stuff. For now, this was important. Oh yeah, and happy birthday Jul. And best wishes Migrant.