A Watershed Moment In The Life Of This Blog: Completing An Ironman Race With My Son And My Stent


Hi folks, (I am not sure who many of you are, but I appreciate your interest in my chatter),

From: http://goo.gl/ZRpkf

I am now moving into the next phase of my e-life experiment. I started this blog about one year ago out of fear for my life, and the need to talk to someone about how it feels to have an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and an AAA-stent graft. I achieved that aim and found what I needed at the Facebook AAA Awareness Site, run by Pauline Watson and others, to whom I am very grateful. I have finally moved on from that fear, and proved to myself that I can continue to train at a high level with my stent, by completing one half and one full Ironman, both races in which my youngest son, Nigel, a talented triathlete, also competed. To quote one of my statements after the race in an article about my son in the Henderson Times-News newspaper, ““I don’t know what can be better than being out there still alive — and to do it with your kid, I don’t know, I just feel like the luckiest man in the world.

The fear is over and training-wise I am ready to scramble my way back to where I was before finding my aneurysm, and continue to work towards a Kona slot.

Another objective of my blog was to learn about social networking as it pertains to e-commerce. I decided that 40 years of a career in science is enough, and I am ready for a change. I am planning to release a downloadable product based on my experience of training for triathlons within a few weeks. This will be a beta version to ‘test the waters.’ I have hired a website expert, who will help me to convert this blog and my nascent (sleeper) business site (http://olddogsintraining.com) into a combined system. This will permit me to continue writing, which I enjoy (I’m even taking a writing course this fall), and raise the revenue I will need to continue with my sport. Ironman racing is an expensive pastime, as explained in this video.

My business will have three linked goals: (1) to make money in order to (2) help older people (boomers, 50+) to get back in shape safely, and (3) to have lots of fun myself, whilst feeling that I am contributing something useful to the world (the human world, anyway). I don’t see any system out there that really works, and I have ideas about that. I want to make a living and feel good about my product. This blog will continue with growing emphasis on safe training approaches for the neophyte 50+ guy. I also plan to populate my site with a growing list of  links to the resources that older people need in order to effectively determine the best approach for their particular situation. I plan to be a guide to their own self-discovery, not a coach or trainer.

Parables have been shown to work for other systems of marketing, so I will continue writing short stories about my training and life history to clarify the points that I am making. I really want to convince at least a few people to get off of the couch, start moving again and increase their chances of seeing their grandchildren grow up. I would also like to help people with the frightening psychological aspects of severe health challenges. I have just been through such a process, receiving essentially zero guidance on this issue. I know that it would have been easy to say, “I can’t train anymore, I might displace my stent and die,” and head for the bar. I was tempted a few times, I must admit. Lance Armstrong’s book, “It’s Not About The Bike,” was very helpful in this regard, as I was forewarned by Lance’s description of his trip down that road, which he finally resisted through a combination of a great partner, strength of character, and good friends.

The author and some of his support crew (left to right, Nick, Tara, Deb). Lake Placid Ironman, 2010, 10 days before his unexpected aortic surgery. Photo by Randy Mews.

It has been a long journey since this picture was taken directly after I completed the Lake Placid Ironman in 2010 in 13:34. Great race time, but I had an unsuspected aortic aneurysm. My team and I had no idea what was in store for us in the coming weeks. It has been a good year, in spite of and because of my aortic challenge.

Please bear with me if there are some ups and downs on my post quality for the next few weeks. If I am unable to write a full post due to time constraints, I will at least post the training tip I was planning to discuss.

Keep training. It’s worth it!

-k Your Medical Mind



  1. Congratulations and best of luck on your e-ventures!

  2. Love the video.

    Like the photo.

    I hope your site will also have things to offer the mind as well as the body.

    You might want to look at sites for PTSD.

    I will just chuck this at you:

    Time looks on pomp with careless moods
    Or killing apathy’s distain
    So where old marble citys stood
    Poor persecuted weeds remain
    She feels a love for little things
    That very few can feel beside
    And still the grass eternal springs
    Where castles stood and grandeur died”

    John Clare, ‘The Flitting’, 1841

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.