A couple weeks ago I went to my family doctor to have him check me out and sign a form for the Spartathlon entry ensuring them that I was fit to run in the event. He's a funny guy from Korea who can't really fathom the distances that I run. He was the one about five years ago who said I should stop running long distance (marathons at the time) if I didn't want the arthritis in my big toe to get worse. Also when I was driving the bread truck many years ago, because my blood pressure was so low (tired all the time) he thought I might have had bleeding in my stomach and sent me for tests. I'd rather not discuss those ones at this time. I've heard a lot of similar stories from people who's doctors simply advise them to stop doing what they're doing and that will make everything all right instead of seeking alternate methods of curing.
So he did a couple checks and was surprised at my heart rate (low) and wanted me to have an ECG done (it's been a while) and have some blood tests to make sure everything was on the up and up. I went to the BioMedical centre near by the other day right when they opened at 8a.m. because you can't eat anything for ten hours before the tests and, as you can imaging, I was starving. I get there right at 8 and there's already a line-up of at least ten people!! I guess everyone else had the same hunger pangs and wanted to get in and out as soon as possible. I went home and came back at 9 and went right in. Lesson learned.
I sat in the chair reclined all the way back while the assistant hooked all the wires up to my arms, legs, and chest. After a minute or so she said we were all done and was it normal for my heart rate to be so low? I said if it's under 50 then, yes, it is. She looked at it for another minute and said she wanted to have someone else look at the graph that printed out. A couple minutes go by and she says she wants to phone another branch where they have cardiologists working and fax the printout to them to look at it. I laughed and asked why? She said in her six years working there she hadn't seen a rate so low - 34!! That shocked me because I take my pulse quite often first thing in the morning and it's never been below 40 or 42. Afraid I was going to drop right then and there she asked me to sit down while she faxed them.
Another few minutes pass and she comes out stating that the cardiologists were a bit concerned but after faxing it to my own doctor, he assured them that because of what I do that it was alright. Way to go Doc!!
I had a similar incident when we were applying for life insurance nine years ago and my vitals were "below the normal range" and had to undergo another round of more detailed tests to prove that I didn't have some sort of malady. Sometimes it doesn't pay to be a freak. Carrie advised me that Miguel Indurain's resting heart rate used to be 28 so I have a ways to go.