“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death & taxes.” In 1789 when Benjamin Franklin penned this phrase he may not have been aware of the role genetics would play in this matter. In fact, neither did I.

After my 50th birthday and returning from a New Zealand hunt, I made an appointment to have my annual physical, along with other age appropriate tests. A couple days later I went back to go over my test results with my doctor and made plans to lower cholesterol that was beginning to creep into the mid 190s. He also suggested that I should have another test done based solely on my family history. The carotid artery ultrasound that the doctor ordered was to check if I had any blockage or plaque buildup. Click the url to seek out much more information on the subject of it.

I was hoping that I had avoided the health issues that my parents were currently dealing with. Dad had two heart attacks, a stroke and a pacemaker by the time he was 60. Mom had a stroke at the age of 62. Both were heavy smokers, and lead a very sedentary life. My hope was based on a lifestyle that was very different than theirs. I was much more active with sports, and had already begun shedding some pounds put on over 20 years of marriage. Working out a couple of days a week would certainly cheat genetics, right?

A few days later I was to receive a phone call, and subsequent meeting with my doctor informing me that I had advanced C.A.D. He said I had the arteries of a 75 year old man. Genetics are certain. Without any warning signs, no symptoms, no apparent physical limitations. I was told that I was a time bomb, and had a 90% chance of an event within the next 18 months.

Blood samples were sent to the Berkley Heart Lab and a plan of attack was launched. A goal to reduce the plaque buildup, by lowering my total cholesterol level to 70. A number I didn’t think possible. But with the help of Lipitor, Niaspan, diet and exercise we were able to achieve 58!

Spinning classes were my main source of exercise for a year before someone asked if I rode outside. Not having owned a bike for 20 years, I decided, what the heck. Five bikes later, lessons a 500 mile bike tour, I’ve been told I’m hooked. The thought of exercise just to stay alive was too morbid for me, cycling has changed that. I have new goals, new plans and a new outlook. Death, taxes and genetics may be certain, but now time is on my side and new adventures are there to be experienced.