I look back on the past year and I see my life in transition, having been diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia in July 2012, I have spent a lot of time since then trying to resolve this issue. Changes in my job required major changes to my life and my workout schedule, while working around my AFIB episodes. An engineer by trade, here’s a look at my 2013, by the numbers:
0 – How many pairs of new running shoes I bought this year, that tells you how little running I did
1 – How many triathlons I did this year, the Wildflower Olympic tri. The last time I only did one race in a year was 1989!
– What place I finished at the WF tri this year!
2 – How many ablation operations I had this year, OUCH!
3 – How many months I waited after my first ablation surgery to do an AT test on the track, ostensibly to determine my AT baseline. Ultimately I wound up in AFIB the next morning and back to the Doc to schedule another ablation surgery…
4 – My new work schedule, how many days a week I work. The government went into sequestration in June, my office was closed on Fridays, so everyone started working a four day shift. They ended sequestration but I decided I liked the three day weekends so much I asked if I could stay on the 4 day, 9 hour day schedule, and was given permission, yippee!!!
5-6 – Years until I hope to retire from work, 5.5
7 – How old the cat we adopted in April was, 7 years, a kind of rare female orange tabby
8 – Number of months between episodes of AFIB which made me think maybe I wouldn’t have them anymore. After I did Wildflower I had two episodes on back-to-back days, so back to the Doctor I went to schedule my first surgery.
9 – How many hours after they started my first ablation surgery until I was home lying on the couch. Catheter ablation out-patient heart surgery in the morning, lying on your couch in the afternoon; modern medical science, amazing!
10 – Days we spent in Kauai for vacation, can’t wait to go back! This was the year’s highlight, a good way to end this review!
Initially when I looked at this Top 10 list I was a little depressed, seeing more bad than good; being a glass half-full kind of guy that was disturbing. But on second thought, I saw myself adjusting to one of life’s curve balls, albeit one thrown by a major league pitcher! Admittedly not very good at having to change, this was one time where I had to literally face my own mortality and decide how I wanted to move forward to deal with it.
Looking ahead to next year I’ve made no plans to race, as I’m waiting to see if in fact I’m cured and will no longer have to worry about having an AFIB episode after a particularly hard work out or race. Not having any goals to train towards is something I haven’t done in years, and in truth it’s kind of liberating, to just move into the next year and focus on my health without any other conflicts.
I was thinking about this one night coming home from the pool after a hard workout and I saw a woman running over Loma Alta Road, a short hill that separates the beach front from my neighborhood, looking like she was just out having fun. I resolved right there that would be my first goal for 2014, to be able to go out and run for fun and not worry about my heart, my next race, if I still had the speed in my legs, etc.
I hope that everyone can add that to your own goals for 2014, whatever you do, do it for the fun of it!