I’ve seen that orange glowing sunset over the silhouette of the Rockies quite a few times. It always makes me reflect on life. This time, though, was different.
I watched it through the window of a plane from the tarmac at Denver International Airport. I was waiting to fly back home to Michigan where my mom was about to undergo surgery for breast cancer.
I got the call about her diagnosis a week earlier. It felt like a punch in the gut. Even as I heard her explain the doctors’ confidence, I couldn’t help but worry. I’m a serial worrier; a trait I blame her for in the first place.
Sitting there, staring at that sunset, I started to realize, I’m not the invincible kid I felt like in my 20s.
I felt the seatbelt digging into my gut a little bit. I started to reflect on the e-mails I get every so often from viewers, telling me my jacket is a little tight.
I thought about all the horrible food I eat. I’m a stress eater. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had writers’ block on deadline and found myself in front of the candy machine at work. It’s only intensified since my mom’s diagnosis and some other health challenges my dad is facing.
Then I realized, it’s been years since I’ve had a physical. I don’t have a primary care doctor in Colorado. Any time I’ve been sick, it usually means a trip to urgent care, which is costly and does nothing to further any health goals.
I thought, if I’m going to take care of my folks, I need to also take care of myself.
I’m not one to share my stories very much. I’d much rather tell yours.
But as I continued to reflect on that flight home, I realized my story might just inspire someone who’s my age or in my situation to get serious about their health. I’ve decided to do this publicly.
I’m not saying people my age, 31, forget about health. I know a lot of people, especially in this newsroom, who eat extremely well and workout constantly. I just don’t think a lot of people track their statistics.
I doubt many people my age could tell you what their blood pressure is. More people would probably know their body mass index. I knew neither.
I went to the 9Health Fair this past week. I got the standard blood draw. I won’t have the results from that for a little while. When I get them, I’ll share them with you.
I did however find out my blood pressure was a little high. 130/90. The accepted normal blood pressure tends to be 120/80. Both of my parents have high blood pressure, which puts me at risk, so that’s a number I need to monitor.
I wasn’t surprised to find out my body mass index was 29, overweight and just on the borderline of obese. That was the second punch to the gut I’ve had during this process.
So I’m going to work to improve my numbers over the next few weeks. Come along for the ride with me.