I had a check-up today. Like many men, I avoid doctors. I haven’t had a physical for more than 25 years, and I’ve only seen a doctor twice in that time, but not for a routine check-up. So today I got the works. Being over 50, this means I was overdue for a variety of routine screenings and tests, so after being prodded and poked, grilled on medical history and told that I needed to lose a lot of weight (duh!), my doctor told me that, all things considered, I appeared to be in pretty decent health, but that I needed to be “labbed up.”
So after a tetanus shot and a conversation about how to improve my diet (which my doctor was pretty cool about, given that I have a pretty sizable gravitational field of my own), down the hall I went to have various bodily fluids sampled. The drawing of no fewer than five vials of blood was handled expertly (and relatively painlessly) by a lab technician–I was left to myself to provide a urine sample, thankfully, though I don’t understand why this particular lab requires one to carry said sample to the counter in front of a waiting area full of other people. Carrying a clear cup of one’s own liquid excreta in the presence of strangers is a surprisingly humbling thing.
The final indignity, however, takes place a few days hence–I will have my first colonoscopy. Woohoo. In this procedure, I will spend twenty-four hours consuming clear liquids and other chemicals designed to cause me to—how shall I put this discreetly?—crap my guts out the evening before the big roto-rooter job. On the following day, I will be hooked up to an IV, which, thankfully, will more or less knock me out for an hour or two while another doctor, assisted by heaven knows how many other people, will do some videography in a very dark portion of my person. I am told that the worst part of this entire procedure is the taste of the super-powerful laxative stuff you are required to ingest the day before (and of course, the resultant shock-and-awe diarrhea).
What does this have to do with biking? I suppose it is all part of the process of getting myself into better shape, changing my diet, paying closer attention to my health, and getting myself to the place where, one day, I might actually be able to ride a regular mountain bike. And I suppose that in the event that one of the tests turns up a bigger problem, going through all of this will help me take care of whatever problem may exist, so that I can enjoy cycling for years to come.
So while I await test results, I’ll be looking for recipes that will somehow make vegetables taste good, and trying to convince myself that I really can live without so many complex carbohydrates.