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A personal trainer gets personal – how being fit saved his life and could save yours too!

Recently I had a terrible revelation. I discovered I am mortal. I am a 63 year old personal trainer – been doing it for a long time, and I’m in great physical condition. I’ve spent my adult life taking care of my body so that I could stay young forever. 

Recently, I found out that there is a very good chance I’ll need open-heart surgery to repair blockages in my arteries, and an aortic aneurism. This was not supposed to happen to me. 

The cardiologist told me that age and heredity have a lot to do with my condition, and that there was really nothing else lifestyle-wise I could have done to prevent it. Time to readjust my paradigm. Despite best intentions, one can run up against life altering obstacles. 

So why am I telling you this? What does this piece of personal drama have to do with you and your fitness? I am sharing this with you because being fit in this instance probably saved my life. I noticed something was wrong with my breathing when I was doing distance running. It was not apparent when I wasn’t doing vigorous exercise. This led to a lot of tests and the discovery of my heart condition. According to my heart surgeon, lots of people are walking around with what I have, but because they are sedentary they won’t know it until something disastrous like a heart attack happens. We caught this early enough so it can be corrected and I can go back to being a fitness maniac! 

So despite the shock of discovering that I am subject to nature’s laws, I am grateful that my level of fitness possibly saved my life. Being fit can act as an early warning system when physical troubles arise. This is a wonderful benefit of fitness that I hadn’t considered until now. They tell me I’ll be better than ever after the operation and any parts they put in are guaranteed for life! I shall now attempt to break the world recovery record.  

Earl Salzman, Hon. BA, CPTN.

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