Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
For anyone preparing for the Half Dome hike I highly recommend a physical exam if it’s been a while. Many folks never see a Doctor unless they are sick – gee, real tough guys, huh? An older friend of mine went in for a routine colonoscopy last Monday and they found cancer and on Tuesday he had 8 inches of his colon removed. Yikes. So you never know what those Blue Meanies are doing inside you. Get a doctor to bless you before you undertake a strenuous program – and Half Dome IS strenuous.
I went in Thursday for a Treadmill Stress Test.
This was my 3rd – I do it every several years just to make sure the ticker is A-OK. I love to try and break my previous performance. Here’s the process. After some routine health questions, you get hooked up to a dozen sensors that are clipped all over your chest. If you are a macho man with a hairy chest, you will be shaved to allow the sensors to be clipped on. This is a real odd looking condition – a real laugh in the locker room at my Health Club.
Next your heart rate and blood pressure are recorded at rest. Your max heart rate is calculated based on your age. A cardiologist doctor is there and watches your heart rate, blood pressure, changes in the EKG pattern, heart rhythm, your general appearance and ant symptoms. The treadmill is sped up to 1.7 mph and 10% grade. These increase by about 5 mph and 2% in 3-minute intervals – for 7 possible stages. By stage 5 you are full out running. By stage 7 (if you make it that far) it’s like running up a wall. Once the Dr gets enough data he quickly turns it off and watches how fast your heart recovers to a resting rate. A look at the EKG and blood pressure numbers give him an indication of your likelihood for cardiac problems.
So how did Mr. Half Dome do? Proud to say I beat my 2006 test. I ran for 22 minutes, hit level 7 and got to 106% of my max or 169 beats per minute. That was 22 METS of work (my last test I hit 17 METS). So it’s true, I am indeed from Krypton. Jor-El would be proud.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “White collared conservative flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me. They’re hoping soon my kind will drop and die, But I’m gonna wave my freak flag high, high”. – If 6 were 9, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com