The challenge to you for 2008
Recently I was speaking with a friend of mine, I’ll call him Bob. We were discussing my effort to regain the 6 pack abs I had back in my 20’s. Bob is a former military man, and used to also be in far better shape. Bob is now a pretty average 43 yr old, with a decent middle that is not uncommon for most men his age.
While discussing the gym I had chosen, the conversation hit upon my annual physical. Surprisingly Bob has not been to a doctor for a physical in over a decade. That’s 10 years without any check-up, simply because he doesn’t like doctors. While I agree with his dislike and distrust, I was surprised.
For the past decade Bob has paid into his health coverage plan. Let’s assume that the family plan costs $253 per month, which I have been told it costs some. That’s $3036 per year or $30,360 over the last decade. That’s no small amount of money. Even if it’s half the cost that’s still $15,180. And it’s being wasted.
For me it costs over $1200 for me to get a physical. That includes testing for diabetes, prostate cancer (essential for Black men over 35), HIV/AIDS (everyone should test for that – that isn’t married), and the regular battery of tests. It’s at least $80 just to wak into the door of my doctor. That’s life without medical coverage (I am self-employed). Bob pays a fraction of these costs per visit.
I know that many men are like Bob. We all hate doctors, and consider taking pills or medication a sign of weakness. I have no desire for it either. But if you don’t there are consequences.
I mentioned to Bob what happened to my best friends father. He was a Korean War vet, in great shape, no smoking or drinking, that died due to Prostate cancer. By the time he went in to check out the pain he was feeling, it was too late. He was diagnosed with late stage, terminal prostate cancer. He had waited for years before going to the doctor. Who knows how long he may have lived if he had a regular check up and caught this early. I do know that his grandson wanted him around longer than he was, as did my best friend.
Being fit and healthy does not mean we have to become vegetarians. We don’t have to give up every vice we have, nor ever pleasure. But it does mean moderation, and it means we have to be aware of where we are.
Doing the exercises and eating a good balanced diet (and cutting back on the cigarettes and beer if you are like me) is half the battle to becoming healthy and fit. Getting regular check-ups is the other part. You are probably paying for this anyway, so why waste the money you work so hard for. Get your money’s worth, see a doctor and get a check-up.
The life you improve will be your own. The lives you will affect are your wife, kids, children, grand-children and loved ones. I dare you to explain how that’s not worth taking a few minutes out of your year, on something you’ve already paid for.