As “maturing athletes,” we sometimes do physical things that we would avoid if only we had “listened to our body.” Just ask tennis friend Dan Heine.
I had first heard/read that philosophy when I was an avid runner (4-5 miles a day) and I believe it was in a book by Dr. George Sheehan. The major point was: Do not listen to your MIND and go out to run when you THINK you should; but listen to your body and if it tells you not to go, do not go.
Dan Heine is an excellent player who is now retired from his career as a bank President and living mostly in Naples. At the end of the Florida “season” when the weather was getting hotter and more humid, he was really feeling extreme exhaustion – and in fact, quit playing a doubles match one week and a singles match with me after only one set.
A couple of us suggested to Dan that it was more than dehydration and he should have his heart checked out by a doctor. He did and they found that two of three of his main heart arteries had 90+% blockage!
Dan said, “I was feeling extremely fatigued shortly after the first set each time I played and thought it was lack of conditioning or hydration. The more I played the more my legs and tennis game was affected; I just knew something was wrong. Fortunately, I went to see my Doctor where I passed all his tests and an EKG, but flunked a Stress EKG, which indicated “multiple blockages”, according to the Cardiologist. I was a “walking time bomb” he tells me and checked me in to the NCH Heart Institute where I could not have received better care and the beginning of playing tennis again with my wonderful friends.”
They were able to avoid open-heart, bypass surgery and have implanted one stent and are going back in another month to implant the second one.
Dan said, “It is really gratifying to receive the outpouring of good wishes from my tennis playing buddies. It shows what a great sense of community we have.”
I told him: It is really great for you to be around to RECEIVE that outpouring of good wishes!”
So, do you Listen to Your Body?
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