Tuesday, June 22, 2010

3 Billion Rides

Sometimes the most bizarre thoughts will pop into my head. Which is probably no surprise to anyone. I realize that most people have weird ideas from time to time; they can't be original thoughts, either. Very few of those left in the world, I suspect.

I once heard or read that the human heart has the capacity for only so many beats. In an average 80 year lifespan it will beat about 3 billion times. Does that mean if you exercise a lot and increase your rate of heartbeats, you'll die sooner? Exercise strengthens the heart, so your resting heartrate will be lower, so the number of heartbeats will even out in the end (I think that's how it would work).

When you live with a diagnosis of MS and one of your symptoms is fatigue, you learn to pace yourself in your day to day activities. Come to think of it, sometimes week to week or month to month. You don't do laundry on the same day that you shop for groceries, for example.

So after Sunday's 21 k bike ride, I was thinking, "What if I have a finite number of long bike rides in me?" Say, 100. Do I get more and more fatigued with each ride until I've reached the finite number and can't ride any more?

Like I said at the beginning, bizarre thought. However, after mulling it over, I think I've rationalized it to this: Each ride will build my physical strength. The exercise is good for both body and brain (increased oxygenation, better circulation of nutrients). My eating habits have improved, so my nutrition is better, and my overall health is improving. And I know that if my overall health is good, my brain is better able to deal with the MS. So if I hit a wall from fatigue, taking a day or 3 or 4 off is not going to set me back. I can get back on the bike and do a couple of shorter rides, then a big one again. After all, marathon runners don't run a marathon every day for training.

I suspect a day will come when a genetic test will determine what number of heartbeats a person is predetermined to have. A full screening at birth will tell us if we are destined to live to 100 or 25. 10 years ago the average lifespan for a person with cystic fibrosis was 18 years. Today it is 35 (last year I met a CF patient who was 40). We will be able to determine and treat conditions in order to extend lifespans; actually, we already do that to a degree. If we are diagnosed with a treatable disease, we take medicines or alter our lifestyle to enable us to not be as affected by our disease. But a day will come when we find out at birth (if not prenatally).

So how many long bike rides do I have in me? Ask me when I'm 80.

13 comments:

Have Myelin? said...

I hope no one ever asks me what kind of private bizarre thoughts I have... =)

Yours are much more interesting!

steve said...

I used to have strange thoughts like that, however it took a few organic stimulants to come up with those.

Now somehow since February at least, I have managed to lose at least 15 lbs and stop smoking as well. My new size 34 jeans are also a bit loose.

My next step is to move up from the mandated 1 mile walks to a bike ride. The bike is gathering dust, and has been doing so in the garage for a while now.

Interesting thoughts you have...especially without the artificial prodding..

雅馨 said...

Pay somebody back in his own coin.................................................................

sf信dg豪d王d佳d玲gdw謝 said...

如果成為一支火柴,也要點亮一個短暫的宇宙;如果是一隻烏鴉,也要叫疼閉塞的耳膜。.................................................................

PearleY建佑 said...

今天心情很好..你心情好嗎?..................................................................

JasonBirk佳琪 said...

生活很多細節都要小心點,請多保重 ............................................................

Nursing Home said...

Hello Shauna,

My name is Joseph Collins and I represent NursingHomeAbuseCenter.org. I'm contacting you today because I think our website would be a very useful resource to visitors of your blog.

Our website is an informational resource created to help the elderly and their loved ones who are concerned about nursing home abuse. Our site covers everything from signs of nursing home abuse to what steps to take if you suspect abuse. We also provide additional helpful information such as how to go about selecting and paying for a good nursing home.

Diane J Standiford from the blog "A Stellarlife - Living a life with Multiple Sclerosis and all the rest" (dj-astellarlife.blogspot.com) has recently posted a link to our site on her blog, helping us in our mission of protecting the elderly. We would be honored if you posted a link to our site on your blog as well.

All we need for our link is "Nursing Home Abuse" linked to www.nursinghomeabusecenter.org. The link should look like this: Nursing Home Abuse (but, of course, it should be hyperlinked, made clickable)

Please let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

Joseph Collins (jcollins@nursinghomeabusecenter.org)

Public Relations Coordinator
Nursing Home Abuse Center

吳婷婷 said...

成功多屬於那些很快做出決定,卻又不輕易變更的人。而失敗也經常屬於那些很難做出決定,卻又經常變更的人..................................................................

盈廖生家秀蔡 said...

期待更新,要保持最佳狀況呦............................................................

dawsonfelicia張君dawsonfelicia均 said...

~~天天開心~~祝您快樂~~............................................................

蔡舜娟蔡舜娟 said...

好文不寂寞~支持!!!!@@a 搞錯了,這不是論壇推文 XDDD..................................................................

俊宏淑松 said...

Many a little makes a mickle.............................................................

陳晏陳詩蓁雄 said...

人生像一杯茶,若一飲而盡,會提早見到杯底..................................................