A Period Of Reflection

Over the last 10 weeks, I’ve probably done more exercise than I have in the last 12 months. News that my Cardiac Cosultant will love.

During my long walks I’ve started to think a lot more about my past and my future. In previous posts you will have heard me talk about how we hate letting other people down, but that we should not forgot not to let ourselves down.

I’ve looked back over the last few years, or probably more, and realised I have let mysef down.

When I was 13 years old I crashed my bicycle and went head on into a brick wall. If you are familiar with how Newcraighall Road used to look, there was a long brick wall stopping people from accessing the old coal bing. Well I hit the kerb and launched myself into the wall and we didn’t wear helmets in those days.

A couple of days in the Sick Kids Hospital with concussion and then fast forward a few more weeks and my first Grand Mal Epileptic Seizure.

Diagnosed with Epilepsy at 13 years of age and my world was turned on end. It’s stayed with me ever since.

My mum, god bless her, wanted to wrap me up in cotton wool. I wasn’t allowed to do anything on my own. Swimming was a worrying time for mum, as was any time I went cycling with my mates.

For years it dominated what I could and couldn’t do.

When I turned 18 my mum expected the seizures to stop as some half assed doctor had told her years ago that it might be linked to puberity and that I would most likely grow out of it.

I didn’t……………….

So, I thought “to hell with it, I’m gonna enjoy my life and live it”

I started karate in 1986 and loved it, I was focused, it was my world.

For 21 years I took control of my epilepsy and I’m a firm believer my karate helped with that. Be it a Zen thing or simply that I had better control on my breathing and fitness.

I stopped karate in 2008 and to be fair for the last 12 years have not really done anything that comes close to it. Dabbled here and there in different things, martial arts, golf, crosffit. Nothing really grabbed my attention.

The end result of my letting myself down:

Overweight (very)

High Blood Pressure (very very)

Cardiomyopathy (heart’s knackered)

Insomnia (night hawk)


The realisation that a lot of the above could have been prevented in one way or another. The main thing would have been down to my own self discipline.

So, in amongst me popping pills galore for epilepsy, high blood pressure and water retention, I’m trying to mend what I have broken.

How am I doing that?

Support from my family and friends

More exercise including two personal training sessions as week

Regular meetings with my Mindfullness Coach

Trying to change old eating habits and make better choices.

Going to bed earlier than I normally would

Trying to make make my way back to the martials arts that have given me so much to aim for and such discipline in the past.

Only time will tell if I achieve my goals and manage to improve my health, but I know if I dont so something about it now. I might not have a future.

Published by Steve McKenzie

Old dad looking to get back in the dojo, fix his busted heart, lose some weight and provide for his family.

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