Friday, October 31, 2014

Dead Man Walking: What I Mean When I Talk About Walking

There is a hill just outside the gate to my apartment compound. Every day, when I walk up the hill, I experienced a tightness in my chest. It's not similar to the heart attack pain I had two months ago, more like a soreness I could feel. It's like the heart is informing me, "hey, this part is dead, dude."

I didn't tell anyone because I didn't want to get all these people worried and they might try to stop me from walking. I know I need the exercise, with my life expectancy now severely reduced - which I must say is part of the plan anyway. So, no one will stop me from doing at least walking. It's just a small fucking hill anyway - around 200m on a steep incline - and if I did detect any real problems, I'd call a cab and go to the emergency room.

Anyway, for the past few days and especially today, that tightness as I climbed the slope was gone. I feel fine, no pain or soreness or whatever. To celebrate, I walked even further today. Usually I walk between 4-6km in one hour, twice a day, almost every day unless it's raining. On a normal day, that's 8-12km of walking.

I have discovered such things as a war memorial just behind my apartment complex, a pack of stray dogs that constantly bark at and ambush me in the beginning but less so now, an international school, a Chinese school, miles of graveyards, some killer views of KL, a fucking palace, training centers as well as grilled fish places.

Today, I decided to explore a bit more and discovered a fucking park. I was living and walking right next to a park and I never knew it existed!

So I walked in, had a chat with the groundskeepers and walked through the thing. Next time I'm walking, I'll explore the full breadth of the space.

I was also cleared for swimming two days ago, when I did my stress test. My fitness level is 10.7 out of a possible 12. This means I can do most things except deep sea diving, skydiving, mountain climbing and those types of stuff. I can run, swim, and do heavy farming.

So, yesterday I went and swam 20 laps for 500m. It was a great workout and sleep was really good. I'm going swimming again today, if I can squeeze the time, but just to relax. I will only do 20 laps around 3 times a week. Can't overexert myself or I might die.

Walking, though, is something I can do every day.

Since the heart attack two months ago, I have lost 15kg. I am halfway to my goal - losing 30kg. Next week, I will go for cardiac rehab's physiotherapy where I hope to learn some weight training techniques and limitations for heart patients such as myself. I also want to know whether it's safe for me to do crunches.

If I develop my muscles, my weight loss will slow down as I build more healthy mass. But more muscle mass means a faster weight loss in the long run.

I'm not doing this for aesthetic reasons. I'm an ultra-handsome bastard as it is. I need to shed the weight and the fat percentage in order to deal with my disease. Life expectancy is the game. Ejection fraction, METS, blood cholesterol levels are all numbers I need to manage and improve.

Not all my doctors will tell me everything. That pissed me off, but since I have access to loads of data from US-based studies, I am okay for now. I know that I won't live that long, but whatever time I have left, I want it to be on my terms.

So that's why I walk, and keep on walking.