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If You Read Just One Blog Post Today Please Read This One

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Many of you will know that each working day before starting work, I go to the gym. I’m one of the early ones and get to the gym as they open, 6.30am.

There are about 30 of us in the “6.30 club” and we nod, mumble “hello” as we wait outside.

Every single day I have visited the gym for the past 2 years there is one guy who works out in the ‘weights’ area. A big guy. A strong guy.

Over time we moved on from the ‘nod’ of saying hello to chatting.

He told me he was 65!


Honestly this guy looks at least 10 years younger.

He told me was an ex rugby player and now “He’s retired”, he does a few weights each day…every day!

A really nice, easy to get on with guy.

For the last 2 weeks he has not been about.

I thought he was on holiday.

I saw him today…he was in the gym coffee lounge…looking at least 20lbs lighter.

“Where have you been?” I asked.

“I’ve been in hospital for the past 2 weeks…nearly died. I’ve had a burst blood vessel in my brain and got to take it easy now. No weights, no exercise. Thought I would just come down for a shower and a coffee”

I was shocked.

He was as fit as a fiddle.

“…nearly died” he said.

Thing is, we all rush around, trying to get as much done as we possibly can.

Mobile phones, blackberry’s, emails, lunch on the go…life is just one constant rush…and then you die!

On the TV here in the UK, there is a ‘fly on the wall documentary’ called “24hrs in Accident & Emergency”. The cameras follow the doctors and nurses around while they treat people.

In the opening credits one doctor says:

“Every person should walk through a hospital A&E department at least once in their lives. It makes you realize what your priorities are. It’s not the rush, rush, rush and money, money, money.

It’s the people you love and the fact that one minute they are there and the next they might be gone”.

You just don’t know what is around the corner so…

…let’s all slow down…even if it’s just a little bit!

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40 Responses to If You Read Just One Blog Post Today Please Read This One

  1. Natasha July 28, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    Andrew –

    I’ll be reading more than one blog post today, but I saw the headline of this one and just had to check it out. I’m really glad I did! Moments like this, whether they happen to me or to someone else, really help me put life into perspective and it’s good to hear about them once in a while to keep that perspective fresh. I’ll definitely be slowing down a little this weekend!


    • Andrew July 29, 2011 at 8:44 am #


      You are right, it does put life into perspective. I might even have the w/end off!


  2. Jen July 28, 2011 at 9:42 pm #

    This is an exceptional post. You know, My family went to a funeral this afternoon. It was for my Uncle-in-law. The family stood up and spoke about what they remembered best about this gentleman. They laughed about the escapades he had, and shared their best memories.

    I came home and spent time with my daughter. She is four months old, and smiles all the time. Spending time with her makes me realise what I was born to do, and I don’t think it’s all about money for her. It’s about reading to her, bathing her, loving her. Making her smile.

    So, without being too heavy, thank you for your post as it’s reminded me what I care about – we all need to sit back sometimes and remember WHY we are striving for money, and trying to buy time. Each one of us do it for the people we love. And if that gets compromised for the sake of earning more, or doing more, then we may have lost our way.

    Jen 🙂

    • Andrew July 29, 2011 at 8:46 am #


      The problem I think we face is these ‘stories’ hit us hard…for about 10 minutes!

      Then we get back into the same fast-paced routine.

      We need to make the ‘slowing down’ a new habit!


      P.S. Thanks for dropping by

  3. David July 29, 2011 at 10:08 am #

    I always feel that there are so much things to do, I cannot afford to slow down. Thus I go fast, and faster… work day and night, afraid that I take over by my competitors.

    I want to set aside sometimes each day to put my life into perspective.

    • Andrew July 31, 2011 at 11:47 am #


      I understand why you work so hard…many of us do. We have to succeed.

      But do take some time out each day…just to relax.


  4. Joel July 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm #

    Great post, well said. Life goes by extremely quickly. I think of some people who live near by that I haven’t seen for months as “life gets in the way”. What are we all working for anyway if it isn’t to spend time with friends and family?

    • Andrew July 31, 2011 at 11:48 am #


      Exactly…there is the famous story about the fisherman…heard it?


  5. Ray July 30, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    I’m glad I dropped by to read your post…got me thinking of my priorities. We need to get them straight but usually succumb to life’s pressures.
    The irony of it is that most of are stressing ourselves out now so that we get to spend quality time with our loved ones in the later years, right?

    • Andrew July 31, 2011 at 11:51 am #


      That’s exactly right…to spend time with family. Why not spend a bit more time with them now?


  6. Robin July 30, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    The title attracted me to start with this today.. 🙂

    Being workaholic i really feel kinda bad now. 🙁


  7. Corinne Edwards July 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Dear Andrew –

    A needed wake up call for everyone. Thank you for that.

    We spend too much time fretting and worrying about things that never happen.

    As, my dear Mother used to say –

    “Different things happen – so why worry when you don’t know what to worry about?”

    Hope your friend comes back fitter than ever.

    Good for you –

    6:30 AM??? Can’t imagine that.

    • Andrew July 31, 2011 at 11:53 am #


      Good advice from your dear Mother.

      I saw the guy the next day…he did look better. He came down for a shower and a coffee.

      He still wants to have some sort of routine…which I can understand.


  8. Glynis Jolly July 31, 2011 at 1:40 am #

    Andrew, don’t freak out too much. He’ll be doing exercises again, just not that same ones. How do I know? He had a stroke. That is what I had several years ago. I ended up disabled but I still exercise. Exercise is a good thing. I just do different ones now.

    • Andrew July 31, 2011 at 11:55 am #


      I think you are right…he will be back doing a few light exercises.

      He is determined.


  9. sanjay July 31, 2011 at 9:03 am #

    Glad I read your post! About you’re friend hope he’s ok now. Thanks for sharing this kind of post.

    • Andrew July 31, 2011 at 11:56 am #


      He is feeling much better – thanks.


  10. Dr. George Carothers July 31, 2011 at 3:36 pm #

    Wow Andrew… This was very inspirational. Today’s busy world tends to blind us from what really matters. A lot of people think that they can’t afford to take time-off. The truth is, a day spent away from the computer, the phone, or the office will gain someone far more than the time they took off.

    • Andrew August 2, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      Dr. George Carothers

      Very true – I think many people spent far too long on their business. We have to take time out!


  11. fred August 1, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Well, I read a few blog posts today but I must say your title successfully grabbed my attention.

    Wow, I guess once you reach your mid-60s it’s time to stop the extreme weight training! I think there are exercises more appropriate for you as you get older, like taking a jog for instance instead of trying to lift the heaviest things possible. I could’ve guessed that might be bad for ones heart, among other things, as you get older…

    • Andrew August 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm #


      Thing is…he has been doing it for years and I suppose he thought he could go on and on and on…like a battery!


  12. Karen August 2, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    As soon as I saw the pic of the Yorkshire Dales I felt homesick! I am reading a favorite James Herriot book for the 99th time. I’ve been exiled here in Tampa Florida for 25 years, haven’t been home in ages and I miss it. I’ve been working so hard to save the money to go, I was only thinking yesterday I needed to slow down. Better to get there one day than to die trying!

    • Andrew August 2, 2011 at 4:31 pm #


      Is Yorkshire home?

      And yes we do need to slow down…evn if it is just a little.


  13. Debbie August 2, 2011 at 6:37 pm #

    Great story here Andrew. Life can be short and change in a second. You are right that people read that post and than will forget about it and go about there business.

    We do live to much if the fast lane. With the financial world in the mess it is in, is someone trying to tell us to get our priorites straight?

    Enjoy the moment, because you can never go back.

    Blessing to you for this post. Wonderful reminder to everyone.

    • Andrew August 4, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      Thanks, Debbie.

      It is easy to say but so much harder to do.

      Bit like going on a course…you have full intentions of using your new found learnings but when you get back in the office…back to normal work…it all goes out the window!


  14. John Glover August 3, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    Had to read your blog today. You always provide great information that’s easy to understand that I can apply. Thanks for giving back.

    • Andrew August 4, 2011 at 11:15 am #

      Thanks for dropping by, John.


  15. John W. Furst August 3, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

    What shall I say, life is short. Too short to waste it running around on other peoples’ agendas. One has to live on your on terms for sure and … you are absolutely right … watch your priorities.

    Thanks, Andrew.

    • Andrew August 4, 2011 at 11:16 am #


      Life is very short – many of us just don’t realize that!


      P.S. Plus we think ‘it’ will happen to someone else.

  16. Felicia August 4, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    Nice headline. It definitely caught my attention. You are right though, moving life in such a fast pace will make you lose track of the simple things in life. There are times we need to slow down and enjoy the view.

    • Andrew August 4, 2011 at 11:17 am #


      Agreed – we do need to slow down…are you?


  17. Kathy Ver Eecke August 4, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    Hey Andrew: I love this. Not just the message, but also the writing style. It read like a great short story. Thanks for sharing.

    I hope your friend continues to heal, and that we all walk away from his experience a little wiser.

    • Andrew August 6, 2011 at 7:40 am #


      My friend has been back in the gym and he is taking it easy.

      But I can see he wants to do more!

      He has spent many years going to the gym every day and working out, hard…it must be difficult to change that approach.


  18. Robert Doebler August 5, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    All of us work so much in order to live our passion, our dreams and in order to live a great life but somewhere along the way we push ourselves way beyond limit. I liked your message Andrew, we should try to slow down because it makes us wiser and more satisfied with our lives.

    • Andrew August 6, 2011 at 7:41 am #


      I agree – we should slow down – we could live longer for it!


  19. Satrap August 14, 2011 at 3:34 am #

    Wow, I just dont know what to say!

    It certainly is fascinating how we all know this, but we get so into our everyday lives that we almost forget that each one of us could be gone at any given moment.

    Thanks for posting this Andrew. We all do need to slow down sometimes and look at the bigger picture.

    • Andrew August 18, 2011 at 10:15 am #


      Do you think you will change in anyway as a result?


  20. Gustav August 15, 2011 at 11:47 pm #

    After reading this post, I realized that I am more guilty than most. By that I mean that I know better but still don’t exercise or take some planned breaks to relieve stress. I’m a workaholic who puts in at least 14 hours a day six days a week, plus Sunday afternoon. I do a lot of writing for various medical sites that I have, but I guess it didn’t hit me until I read this post and realized how frail the human body really is. I won’t tell you my age but I’m getting near the “fourscore years” and don’t know how to stop.

    • Andrew August 18, 2011 at 10:16 am #


      Four score years and still working that hard. What drives you?


  21. CelinaMac October 28, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    I’ve also met men who looked good and lean who are already more than 50 years old. And have you seen the 90 year old Japanese guy and 100 year old Indian guy running a marathon on tv?

    Though I also appreciate the 100 yr. old British guy who still works in a pub part-time and drinks beer!

    Whether or not exercise lengthens our life or not…it helps us live our older years in more good spirits —and more engaged with the world.

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