Simultaneous to his heartbeat, the beeps grew faster as his exertions increased. These ever quickening pings, designed to test GJ Strachan’s physical fitness, reminding him of mid-January and his four day audio accompaniment produced by the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) cardio monitors. The start of a post-heart attack journey which didn’t end yesterday, but encouragingly saw a successful conclusion to his cardio rehab fitness programme.
Strachan leaving John Smeaton Leisure Centre, in east Leeds, with a smile on his rouge post-exercise visage. His beaming sweaty facade a consequence of a tenacious performance in his end of programme assessment. His success at keeping time with the ever quickening beeps, through twelve increasingly exerting levels, indicating he’d reaching a fitness plateau far greater than April’s pre-course assessment.
His spirits raised to a rarely visited level of contentment by the fact he successfully completed the physical examination to its conclusion. In particular concluding the fitness test without hearing a member of the cardio rehab team yelling “CLEAR!!!” while in possession of defibrillator paddles.
One eye-witness of the northern Englishman’s departure from the leisure centre claiming to have actually seen him smile. Although, the Leeds based blogger begged to differ; claiming he’d not exhibited a grin, moreover a relief-induced gurn brought on from learning he’s hopefully not as close to an existential ‘Use by date’ as he once thought.
Although the “Beep, Beep” sounds didn’t emanate from an animated roadrunner after habitually outsmarting of Wile E Coyote, the middle-aged man did pleasingly finish the beep test as if he was chasing after one of the fast-running cuckoos. His exertions and determination forged from a desire to keep the Grim Reaper, not the wolf, from the door.
What now for GJ Strachan? His existence still awash with uncertainty, including his spouses malady, employment future and erratic mental health.
One thing for sure is the future must involve reductions in snacking on crisps, nuts and cheese. These temptations, if eaten to excess, the comestible buddies of the Grim Reaper. Tuck that mustn’t be over-indulged upon; a follysome act which may hasten the arrival of men/ladies in the black top hats.
The Leeds-born blogger aspiring to utilise the monthly savings on fromage and potato snack cutbacks towards a monthly leisure centre pass. A purchase allowing him to indulge in circuit lessons, swimming and gym membership. A pass that’ll also expose him to the habitual annoyance at forgetting a £1 coin for the changing room locker.
Apart from the over indulgence of dairy demons and sinful snacks, Strachan does ordinarily enjoy a healthy diet. Daily fare frequently involving the ingestion of vegetables and salad produce.
Additionally, measurements taken at his end of cardio rehab fitness programme show him as not overweight and, despite worries to the contrary, only losing 3lbs in weight from his pre-heart attack days……. Not the huge loss in weight some of his concerned contemporaries had opined in recent weeks; which if true may’ve possibly indicated him suffering from further underlying health issues.
Discipline will have to be the new watch word on GJ Strachan’s existential sojourn. For instance, showing strength at avoiding eating a portion of fish and chips before every Yorkshire Vikings T20 Blast game. A ritual he undertakes which has seen him, through alcohol induced hunger, later that evening also consuming a kebab. Dietary recklessness that can’t be allowed to rear it’s ugly head again!
Apart from dietary tweaks, improved fitness habits and attempting not to fret over not being able to find his kaleidoscopically coloured leg warmers, what other lifestyle changes could the capricious minded fella introduce to reduce the risk of further cardio-vascular issues?
There are possibly lots of thing he could incorporate into his life that’d reduce stress levels. Changes such as stop supporting a football team who every season put him through the emotional wringer, stop supporting a rugby league team that every season put him through the emotional wringer; not to mention stop supporting people who put him through the emotional wringer.
That being said though, of all the uncertainty in his life, he’s certain the above three elements of his existence cannot, and will not, ever be discarded, They’re part of his life blood which contributed to driving him to enrol on the cardio rehab programme in the first place…… After all, GJ Strachan concludes, if you start dispensing with the things you love, despite their idiosyncrasies, what’d be the point of regaining your fitness?!