Of Coaches, Physicians, Older Triathletes, Feldenkrais And Aortic Aneurysms

Hi folks, welcome to my chatter!

Karen, FitOldDog's Feldenkrais instructor, places a Cook Zenith Stent Graft adjacent to the location occupied by it's fellow stent, Rupert, in the abdomen of FitOldDog.

Karen, FitOldDog’s Feldenkrais instructor, places a Cook Zenith Stent Graft in Mr. Bones in the location occupied by it’s fellow replica, Rupert, in the abdomen of FitOldDog.

People who follow this blog regularly may have noticed my tendency to hesitate to take a physicians advice until their advice earns my trust. The same is true of triathlon coaches. My recommendation to all with respect to sports as you age is that you educate yourself, obtain all relevant inputs that you comprehend, and select your life’s course accordingly. If complete trust in your doctor or coach is called for, as it so often is, so be it. But this is not always the case, especially when complex health issues are combined with the aging process – a bane or challenge for the older triathlete.

This remarkable device keeps me alive and in fine fettle, which I much appreciate.

This remarkable device keeps me alive and in fine fettle, which I much appreciate.

Doctors and coaches provide informed (sometimes misinformed) advice, which I appreciate, but it is your call whether to follow their recommendations. My preference is to use all available data, and then decide my course of action accordingly, for which I even proposed a simple mathematical device with respect to undertaking certain physical activities when you have a major health challenge. The objective of this simulation of benefit/risk-based decision making was to employ all relevant variables appropriately, providing a weighting for each based on your personal risk averseness, trust level of external input, and desire to undertake the chosen activity.

By the way, if you want to see something remarkable, watch the video at the Cook Medical website (see video below) showing how Joe Fulton’s Team, of UNC Endovascular Surgury, deployed my life-saving stent graft. It’s actually hard to believe. Yep, I trust that guy and his team – follow up CT scan in a few days to look for endoleaks – wish me luck! Leaks = death = not good! I hate it when that happens.

Watch this demonstration of how my stent was delivered into my aorta in 2010. It’s remarkable:

I was reminded of the importance of understanding my stent (Rupert) during a Feldenkrais session with Karen today. As you can see in the images above, Karen held a replica of my Cook Zenith Stent Graft (kindly provided by Cook Medical staff during my recent visit to Bloomington) adjacent to the spine of Karen’s close colleague, Mr. Bones. The purpose – to educate and inform Karen and myself, and to place this fact of my life in perspective, as we work on my body awareness training and biomechanical optimization.

You may also have gathered that I recommend the Feldenkrais method to all and sundry for a better life.

Sure fixed my knee where all others failed.

My goal is to be one of the best older Ironman distance triathletes out there, whilst keeping my stent intact. Where am I going to find a coach who understands the dangers associated with living with an AAA stent graft, or a doctor who understands the challenges of Ironman training at age 70? When I find them, I hope that they will talk to each other as they plan their recommendations, if not I’ll work it out for myself.

Interesting challenge, don’t you think?

-k @FitOldDog



  1. You could give a lecture at your state’s medical schools. I bet you haven’t sprung any leaks.

    • Hi Marsha, I don’t think they have any interest in my lecturing, even though I have for years. When you leave the mainstream of Science/Medicine, you essentially disappear – you become invisible to that particular Leviathon. I must admit, seeking my business niche is as fascinating as learning to be a scientist was when I was in my early 30s. Had a great swim today, and back on set workouts again soon, but NYC Marathon looms. Hope you are well. -kevin

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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.