Healthy & Fit at 61

Ben: I’m Ben Malloy. I’m originally from California, but I’ve been living in Dallas for 20 years.

Hut: Great. So, Ben, you’ve been a client with us in the past. Let’s talk a little bit about that experience back then.

Ben: Well, let me tell you a little story, okay? A little over five years ago my dad passed away. Thank God he passed away at a ripe old age of 89.

But at that point, I had made the decision, because I was quite a bit overweight and not feeling too well, that I would start a health and fitness routine because I did realize at my age, and looking at him, that if I didn’t do something soon, I would be next.

So at that point I did some research and came up with your name over at Busy Body and decided to start working out and start eating better. As I got down to a weight that I was happy with, and started working out more and more, I decided that I didn’t need a trainer anymore.

I decided to do it on my own. Long story short, I was dead-lifting and I crushed a disc, basically compressed the disc. After six months of rehab and sciatica and back pain, I decided I probably should go back and do training again.

After I was in rehab and I started feeling better last year, I started realizing that as I got my heart rate up, I was feeling some discomfort. So I went back to the doctor and said, “Doctor, I’m very focused on my own body. I know it pretty well, and I’m not right.”

So we went back into more invasive testing. We got in there, they did a catheterization of the heart, a very easy procedure, and they look at where the blockage is. They told me I might need a stent.

He looked at the arteries, closed me up, and said, “You need quadruple bypass surgery.” Needless to say, that was not a wonderful situation. I went into the hospital on a Monday, and by Thursday morning I was home here back in Dallas walking around my house. Four days.

The reason being is because there was no heart damage, and also because I had been working out so much, and I was in such good health, surgery was quite easy for me to recover from. I kept my routine of getting up, I started walking again, and slowly building up again, and here we are today.

The moral to that story is that in general, if you’re in good health and keep up your fitness activity and you find that something is wrong, check it out, and if it is and you’re in good health, generally you can get over it.

I sold my company, retired, put in a home gym, and I spend 5% of my day in it, which is an hour a day. I have a fitness band. I watch it. I do 10,000 steps so it motivates me. Once I’m done at 9:00, the hardest part of my day is over and then I relax the rest of the day.

I’m 61 years old and I’m probably more fit and in better condition than I’ve ever been. I’m quite happy with the fact that I started this five years ago.

The doctor made it clear that had I not, I most likely would be dead today, because with quadruple bypass, you don’t get a second chance. And that’s it, that’s all she wrote.

Hut: You’ve made fitness a part of your life so this is your life here going forward. Where do you see the value of having the trainer come to your house still, after you’ve established a pretty good base?

Ben: Well, I don’t know if you can see–I’ve decided to do more weight training now, because I feel like that helps me in my lifestyle, because I go to the mountains, I have biking, I have hiking–so the fitness in general, obviously.

I do realize as you get older, one thing you do (hopefully) with age is understand limitations. With weight training as opposed to just cardio training or just doing rowing, it can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. As I said, I learned the hard way.

05 May 2015 Client Ben-IanSo I have your trainer, Ian, here who’s been very helpful in making sure that he pushes me just enough, but not as far as I did before. The training is good. It’s also motivation for some. For me, I’m in the gym every day, but I look forward to having someone in here.

With this piece of equipment, he’s creative. It can get routine. That also helps me in keeping it interesting by having someone who can change it up and say, “Let me think. What can we do with this right now?” It works sometimes. Sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s the fun part of it.

I think that it comes to a point in your life where you realize that if you don’t do something, you will expire. You’re going to die. You’re going to pass on. They say you go to a better place. I’m not convinced of that. I’m trying to stay in this place as long as possible.

With maturity, with the realization, as most people my age, I’ve had a lot of good people pass away. Some of them in a pleasant way, and some of them very unpleasant. So it has to be part of your life. It’s easier if you do it sooner, because then it’s routine. It doesn’t become a chore, you know?

Sometimes in the morning after he leaves I don’t feel better, but it’s a great hurt. It’s a great hurt because you’re alive, and that’s the key. I would encourage, and I certainly have no issue if anybody has questions about this kind of thing… If they’ve had health issues, and certainly I can tell you as far as heart attack issues. Fortunately, I didn’t have a heart attack. I caught it early.

But, anyone going through it, it is certainly a scary situation to have to go through any type of heart surgery, and I’m certainly willing to talk to anybody to help them through it, because I’ve been there.