There, But for the Grace of God…


Fitness. That’s what we promote here.

News of two people, both about the same age as us. First one is one of my oldest friends in UK, dating from the Colin era (end primary school!). Not best friend – that was Colin, until Dave came on the scene, but an old one nonetheless that I used to play a lot of sport with, camping, climbing a few peaks in Snowdonia…

On holiday with his wife in Croatia. Feels a little unwell, so she takes him to see a doctor in a taxi. Usual story – ‘You’ve got a virus, just take these to lower your temperature, and you’ll get over it.’ He didn’t. Two days later in intensive care in a Croatian hospital: final diagnosis Aggressive form of blood cancer and flown home in an air ambulance. Two months later he awaits a stem-cell transplant – but they can’t find any in his blood to take out and play around with. Just came of Skype – he’s like a ghost, can barely speak…

Not a bit like the active, outdoor guy I used to know…


Case # 2. Straight guy in our private gym: wife feels unwell. Hospital does few tests and says she has only a severe bacterial infection but – Did you always have that lump in your breast?’  Thought only to be a small lump… when they look closer it is huge and now they know it has spread to lymph glands, some of which are going to be removed. Horrendous chemo and radiation regime set to last over a year…

As some might say: ‘God strikes again!’

An interesting answer to the question ‘Why do more people seem to get and die of cancer these days?’ according to doctor friend Nate is ‘Because the dinosaurs are extinct.’ It’s not as daft as it sounds; in ‘them’ days, wild animals saw off many people by their thirties (us) and unexplained and then incurable diseases saw off a lot more. Now we have modern medicine and drugs, we all live longer – but have to die of something, eventually. We live long enough to enter the cancer ‘timezone’. Except that the two examples I give here are people in their thirties.

So, in a blog which celebrates and encourages male fitness, we need to take a moment to reflect that we lucky ones still healthy bodies (despite my own brush with God a couple of years back [DVT]) and we should both celebrate them and work to keep them as strong and healthy as possible.

Case # 1, by the way, has a home right under 415,000V power cables which fizz and crackle in damp weather. You have to ask whether there just might be a connection. But other blogs deal with that kind of stuff.

Let’s move on to more cheerful things, as I reflect on the less fortunate friends and colleagues and wish them a swift recovery. More fitness inspiration…






















And a ‘big’ finish! All-round excellence!




About tony

Born Northampton UK
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2 Responses to There, But for the Grace of God…

  1. Mike Evans says:

    Yup, it’s very sobering.

    Illness can strike at any time. We chatted before, some time ago, about gymnastics to improve my fitness – to lose weight and get more active. I eventually started MMA training – this did wonders for flexibility, balance and overall wellbeing – huge fun too.

    Then I was struck dow with Viral Meningitis… Three years on, and I’ve had to semi-retire through ill health, and my partner ( who is 20 years post stomach cancer) and I have emigrated to Madeira for the healthy lifestyle, food and weather.

    You never know what’s around the corner, but it’s so much easier when you can share the burden with a partner ( and dog).

    The Chronic Fatigue is slowly improving, I will be buying a new electric bike to help me get back in the saddle – it sounds a bit counter-intuitive, but Ive borrowed a friends, and it’s really brilliant- it helps you out on the really steep hills we have here that would otherwise simply be too much for me at the moment. It gets me moving again, without the risk of overdoing things and provoking yet another exhaustion/migraine attack.

    Enjoying the blogs a lot – they are inspiring me to keep going, to keep working at the Chronic Fatigue… keep up the good work.

    • tonycavanagh says:

      Good to hear from you again. Madeira, eh? Now there’s a nice (and sunny) idea! Not such good news about the med issues for you both, but all seems to be well right now which is great. Thanks for supporting the blog and, of course, Book no. 4 will hopefully be ready in time for your late-summer relaxation while enjoying the sea views!

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