Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health & Fitness

Thursday, August 13, 2009
No, I'm not about to talk about this section of books at Barnes & Noble.

A family member (actually, a family member through marriage rather than blood) recently had a heart attack. His wife and children were obviously shaken, and it wasn't long before the phone calls started to circulate. That's how it works in most families, isn't it? Something either very good or very bad happens, and there comes a string of phone calls and e-mails to let others know.

Well, I received the news directly -- not from someone else who'd heard it first, but from one of the children of the man who suffered the heart attack. His son (my cousin) is about my age, lives in another part of the country and comes to Miami once every year or so. He has no idea what I do, just that I've always lent a sympathetic ear when necessary.

While his father is expected to recover, the revelation that he's also diabetic was enough to give everyone pause. It's not that diabetes isn't uncommon or unmanageable, but rather that one's life choices can have devastating effects down the road.

Without going into too much detail, my cousin's father is a very, very successful man who works in a high-stress field. Between flying from continent to continent and then working at his base, healthy eating and regular exercising was an all-too-elusive goal.

So, did he theoretically sacrifice health for success? I certainly hope not. Should he have taken better care of himself throughout the years? Most definitely. However, this isn't about blaming. Right now, the best thing we can do is be there to support him during his recovery and encourage him to take the proper (read: preventive) steps before he lands in the hospital again.

The entire thing got me thinking about the whole debate about personal responsibility in terms of health care reform. Many say that if people simply ate better and exercised regularly, they wouldn't be as susceptible to obesity, diabetes, etc. Subsequently, health-care costs would (possibly) come down.

Seeing how I'm a escort / gigolo / prostitute / whore, I know I'm not exactly a shining example of what most consider personal responsibility. I do, however, eat healthy and exercise about four times a week in order to stay in shape. If I ever got fat, I would be unemployed. If that isn't motivation, I don't know what is.

But as for right now, I'm doing what I always do late at night when I'm restless. Drink some chamomile tea and watch a bit of TV. The X-Files will be on in less than thirty minutes...
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