Red line on the treadmill

posted in: Health 0

I’ve come to the conclusion that trying to stay healthy can be, well, unhealthy. My reasoning being somewhat recently influenced by the experience of getting a routine ECG during a recent check on my health.

Medical people (aka chief torturers) recently stuck me on a treadmill with various parts hooked up to ECG and blood pressure. Keeping the pads hooked up involved shaving certain parts of my chest, something that seemed fine at the time (but that which subsequently left me with a very itchy patch for days afterwards).

So it starts. First three minutes at a slowish stroll. “Easy” says I.

Next three at a faster stroll and steeper incline. Still okay although out of the corner of my eye I see my ticker is getting a bit busier.

Next three minutes the pace and incline is upped again. Still okay. But before end of that the man in the white coat is saying “it would be good to get your heart to max bpm of (for my age) 173, can you manage faster?”

The macho bit kicks in and I say yes. Now Hollamby’s little legs are a blur, the chest is heaving, things are turning to jelly and I hit 180 one minute in. “It would be REALLY good if you could manage another minute” the techie says with a taunting “go on, real men can do it” look on his face that I just about register through sweat-stung eyes.

So I go for it…and experience the longest minute in my life!

ECG and blood pressure all fine and techie supposedly impressed.

“That was the best test this month” says he. “That was the only test you’ve done this month on someone under 80” croaks I. He smiles, nicely, but doesn’t reply, which tells me all I need to know.

What does it prove. Well they can push me past my red line without, apparently, my valves hitting my pistons. Fortunately they don’t measure my ability to drive legs in a straight line afterwards…

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