Junk in the Trunk

by klassman

When I was a kid, I had a coach who liked to say, “C’mon, put your ass into it” when we were slacking a bit during a workout, especially if we weren’t kicking enough.

I’ve got plenty of ass; I always have.  I’m still trying to lose weight although not quite as aggressively as a year ago. Which brings me to the biggest surprise of my morning: 5.9 percent.  My percentage of body fat was tested today and came back much, much lower than I expected.

Him: Okay, your body fat is 5.9 percent.

Me: That is not right.

Him: It looks about right (as his eyes scan from toes to nose).

Me: I’ve got more than 5.9 percent right here (grabbing my mid-section with both hands).

Him: You store it all there.  You don’t have it other places.

Obviously, he didn’t look behind me.  Junk in the trunk — that is how I roll.

Last week, after dallying about for months on the issue, a health related episode had me on the way for a same-day appointment with the doctor.  I quit denying the discomfort and finally went to get checked.  She said, “Why are you here?”  I said, “Fear.”

In an instant, I thought of my friend with a pacemaker and the friend who had a heart attack less than two months ago.  The former runs and the latter is a triathlete.  Both are in their early forties.  I thought about my family history and what it says for my likely draw in the genetic lottery.  There are parents, grandparents and siblings with diabetes, hypertension, heart attack, multiple bypass surgeries, obesity, elevated cholesterol, addiction, surgery to repair a hole between chambers of the heart and probably other conditions I’m forgetting.

I thought a whole lot about the lifetime of experiences that I am looking forward to having.  It was hard to give more than a monosyllabic answer.  Fear will do that to you.

I explained what was happening.  She assured me that she did not believe it was a cardiac problem.  Then, she ordered a non-invasive test right on the spot and two more in the near future.  More on those in a later post.  In the meantime, the initial anxiety has passed but that residual doubt remains.  I’m trying to be positive about it all.  It is not all bad to take inventory of what matters.  And, there is at least one positive indicator in the form of that body fat test.

If I’m lucky, there will be no escaping aging.  For now, it appears, I’m still out running bad familial history and the poor health habits of my youth.

I squeezed the kids a little tighter this morning before leaving for work.  I’m not sure they noticed, but I did.