Great First Book, Great First Marathon, Great First Open Heart Surgery – Book Review: ‘Barefoot in November’

Hi folks! A very fit Benjamin Carey, father of two and one on the way, at the ripe old age of 37, was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm in 2009. This aneurysm was not quite so big as mine at the time of diagnosis (men will compete about anything!), but it was in a much more difficult place to treat, the ascending aorta close to the heart. Interestingly, in spite of our 30 year age difference, in many respects his ... Read more

Our Social Networks Like Our Gene Networks Can Determine Who We Are And How We Live Our Lives

  Hi Folks! They say that it is not what you know but who you know. As Albus Dumbledore said to Harry Potter, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." These are two instances in which networks play a major role. The first requiring social networks. The second being an expression of the behavior of highly integrated sets of biological networks, including social ... Read more

Sensitivity Analysis Through String Meditation – A Visit To The Dentist!

  Hi Folks! A while ago I was listening to National Public Radio during an interview with a woman living in Iraq who experienced ill treatment (to put it mildly) from the regime in charge at the time. This woman said that if she or her friends knew that they had to go to the 'police station,' which they would avoid at all cost, before going they would practice having to deal with pain by burning their arms ... Read more

Pre- And Post-AAA-Stent Fears, And Looking On The Bright Side

Hi! Folks, I am reading a most interesting book, 'The Rational Optimist' by Matt Ridley. As the title indicates, this work focuses on optimism, but it covers a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology and innovation on our well being. Who could be more aware of this issue than people with an abdominal aortic aneurysm? Our life expectancy and general happiness have been immeasurably improved by the ... Read more

Styrofoam Athlete – Joe Friel’s Metaphor (A Good One!)

  Hi! Folks, Today I got my weekly call from my youngest son, Nigel, who is a real athlete. Nigel was number 96 overall in Hawaii in 1999. Now, after years of training I have come to really appreciate Nigel's achievement that year. Today we were chatting about Ironman training as usual, and he mentioned a comment by Joe Friel in the second edition of his great book, 'Going Long.' Joe Friel said, ... Read more

Pain, The Endurance Athlete’s Friend. Good pain. Bad Pain. Psychological Pain.

Hi! Folks, Understanding your pain is a critical component of safe training for endurance athletes. You have to learn to tell the difference between 'good pain' and 'bad pain.' Good pain means that you are pushing your limits and becoming a stronger athlete, both physically and mentally. Bad pain means injury, and when you feel that bad pain it is probably too late. You can at least have the good sense to stop and ... Read more

Technology and Epistemology: Television is the Enemy of Fitness!

  Hi! Folks, It is a fact that television is an anathema to me! I developed this severe antipathy about 25 years ago, and it has been growing ever since. I now see televisions everywhere I go, and where do we need them least? In restaurants and gyms. In restaurants they interfere with normal conversation, impairing communication, and for me the enjoyment of dining out. In the gym it is worse. The whole ... Read more

Having a Stent is Both Frightening and Enlightening; Endurance Training Ideal for the Stented

Hi folks, My girlfriend/partner, Deb, has an autistic son, Rory, which can be challenging. Deb always says that Rory has brought many more positive than negative things into her life, especially in the form of wonderful and supportive people. I have always been surprised by such a positive attitude to what seems like such a difficult, and sometimes sad, turn of events. Now that I have experienced a truly ... Read more

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.