This upcoming Monday, December 7th, will mark the 2nd anniversary of my “Widow Maker” heart attack. And since my heart attack, every morning, I get up at 3:15AM, make coffee, get dressed, and go to the gym.
I’m out the door at 3:40AM. My exercise spreadsheet tells me that over the course of the last year, I have lifted, pushed, pulled or moved 3,508,440 lbs. of weights over a variety of machines, reps and sets.
Lunges….I hate those damned things but I’ve done nearly 3800 steps of lunges carrying 60 lbs. this year.
Treadmill??? Nearly 300 miles at 18 degrees of elevation on that machine.
Stair machine…….137,800 steps. That’s over 150 trips to the top of the Washington Monument.
It’s become a habit. How else could anyone get up at that ungodly hour and go to the gym five days a week? And there are some days when I’d just as soon, roll over and go back to sleep. But I crawl out and go.
“Pretty lucky” he said…… The cardiologist told me that I was pretty lucky to have been in the right place at the right time, with the right care when my heart attack happened. “Somebody was looking over you. You work must not be quite done down here. There’s something else he wants you to do before your time is up.”
It’s not all that clear to me what I need to do. I’m not sure what unfinished work is left for me. If you asked Janet though, she’d say, “Build a new deck, remodel the bathroom, and get some more firewood cut. Then, you can go.” And in the back of my mind, I do keep putting off building that new deck. Just in case…….well……just in case that’s the work that God wants me to do. I mean really, why push it?
I kinda like it here. But I digress.
So, yesterday morning was one of those mornings. The wood stove had that glow. That glow with a few curls of orange flames drifted upward from the red hot coals on the bottom. The heat is radiating off of the door and soaking into your skin while you drink that first cup of morning coffee. The other side of me said, “You don’t need to go to the gym today. It’s Friday. Take the day off.”
And I almost did…………………..but habit got the best of me and I closed the door behind me and started for the gym. As it turns out, it was a pretty eventful trip.
It’s seven miles to the gym from our house. I can drive it with my eyes closed and sometimes do. But yesterday morning, about halfway there, I caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of my eye. So, I backed up the car and sure enough, there’s flames curling out of both ends of a garage.
I called 911, gave them the address, climbed the steps to the deck and pounded on the door. (That new deck that Janet wants? It won’t be built out of that composition decking either. When I stepped onto it, the decking was so soft from the heat that it sagged about 6 inches between the joists from my weight) That was a bit discomforting………..The flames seemed to have a bad temper, unlike the comfort from our woodstove just a few minutes and miles ago.
Anyway………………..the owner comes to the door. He’s a bit upset about the pounding on his door in the middle of the night but just as soon as he saw the flames, he came around. We gathered his two sons and I grabbed his dog by the collar and we all exited through another door.
By the time we walked to the end of his driveway where my car was parked, the deck was on fire. It couldn’t have been more than six or seven minutes from first seeing the flames from my car. We were standing in the drive when the first Sheriff arrived. Just as the fire department got there, the garage roof collapsed.
The Sheriff’s Deputy took my name and my birth date…….. I’m thinkin’ maybe they’ll send me a birthday card? And he said, “You can go now.” And I did.
I got back in my car and travelled on to the gym. When I got there, I took the “You’re late. Oversleep? We started without you.” banter and climbed up on the treadmill for yet another 20 minutes.
And I’m thinking about what the cardiologist said just two years ago.
“Pretty lucky” he said…… The cardiologist told me that I was pretty lucky to have been in the right place at the right time. “Somebody was looking over you. You work must not be quite done down here. There’s something else he wants you to do.”
Again, yesterday morning, I was pretty lucky. Pretty lucky to be in the right place at the right time. And I’m just hoping. Just hoping, that waking up those folks and getting them out of that house wasn’t quite what God had in mind for me.
I’m hoping that my work on this earth is still not quite done. ‘Cause I kinda like it here……
I’m off to the doghouse now…..