Every time I hear about the death or severe illness of someone of my age, I am shocked. As if age could protect us. The opposite is true: The older you get, the higher the probability for death or illness.
One week ago, I met Mark at the swimming pool. This week I learned that he suffered a stroke, not even 50 years old.
Years ago, my friend Gustav, who was very keen on healthy living, introduced me to his theory. In his opinion, every person has a virtual health account. You pay into it or you debit from it. Too much wine results in a negative entry. Taking a jog in the forest, getting enough sleep and the account is again set to zero. Unfortunately our genes are also playing a role. It remains unclear, if they influence the debit or the credit side of our accounting. Count in some luck and the calculation of the current balance of your health account is even more obscure.
It is difficult to tell, if you are only steps or years from the bitter end. A positive contribution can certainly do no harm while a negative might be balanced by the good deeds accumulated along the journey.
My friend Gustav has been dead for five years. He never smoked, avoided alcohol, worked out every day and eliminated any unnecessary pressure from his business life. He had a great immune system, as he went swimming outside all year long. He knew the word sugar but would not actually put sweets in his mouth.
One evening, Gustav slipped on the wet floor in his bathroom and hit his head on the sink. He hurt himself so hard, that he was taken to the hospital in a coma. He never regained conscience and died two months later.
I liked Gustav a lot. It took a lot of bad luck for his health account to get out of control. His earlier contributions could not compensate this.
We are not twenty anymore. With every year, that passes, we are more and more aware that a working body cannot be taken for granted.
Certainly, every positive entry is important, but the main purpose or our actions should be to feel comfortable and joyous today.
Image source: Rainer Sturm / pixelio.de