Monday, January 6, 2014

The Danger of Procrastination

Everyone has the same amount of time per day, and we can't be everywhere or doing everything at the same time. We always find ourselves in situations where we need to deal with either urgent or important matters. Some matters may be urgent but not necessarily important, and vice versa; but some are both urgent as well as important to deal with.

A friend of mine was a very active sportsman and he had been running marathons, ultra marathons and other multiple endurance races. He had conquered several ultra trail marathons and seemed impossible to fall sick, especially since he's just in his thirties. I raced the Vibram HK 100 in Hong Kong together with him last year and he finished the 100km of gruesome hilly terrain about 2 hours before me.

But far from having a perfect body, actually he had serious hypertension (high blood pressure), and had been under strict medication. He registered for the Vibram HK 100 again this year, but he had been quite occupied with other recent races including the Penang Bridge International Marathon, and the Beaufort 60km - A Bridge Too Far. However, things weren't looking too well—he ran his worst time ever for the full marathon in Penang, as well as declined quite substantially in Beaufort when compared to the previous year. It was obvious that he needed to embark on an intensive training programme if he were to do well again in Hong Kong later this month. In fact, he needed to train urgently.

As part of his training programme, he decided to train at our famous Mount Kinabalu. That was of course a brilliant idea, since there will be many, many hills and stairs in the Vibram. Unfortunately, it so happened that a few days before he went for that mountain workout, he ran out of his hypertension medicines. 

Now some people are unaware of the severity of hypertension. Yes, the training was urgent, but the medication was important. And in this particular case, the medication was urgent too! The tragedy was that my friend procrastinated on getting his hypertension medicines for the sake of the mountain training. He had barely started his mountain climb about a week before Christmas when he suddenly collapsed to the ground. He was then rushed to the Ranau Hospital and then transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here in KK where doctors found a blood vessel in his brain had ruptured. Christmas day and New Year day had come and gone, and he had undergone 2 surgeries but hasn't regained consciousness up to now. Things are looking bleak, but friends and family members are praying for a miracle that he would recover somehow.

I'm sharing this with my readers because I know many of you are active in sports like my friend and I. The reality is that contrary to popular belief, even sportsmen are not immune from illnesses. In fact, we have to be extra careful with our bodies because of the amount of stress we subject them to on a regular basis. Whenever there is any hint of problem, seek medical help as soon as possible. Procrastination in this case is the biggest enemy, because it may mean a matter of life and death. If you really love sports so much, then take good care of your body—it's the only one you've got.

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