For the past 15+ years of my life I’ve lived practically invincible. I drive too fast. I LOVE food and eat too much (~5-8,000 calories / day). I sleep too little (5-6 hrs / night). I work too much (currently about 80 hrs / week and never less than 60 over that time span). I rarely vacation or take time off. Most everyone I know is amazed or shocked by the lifestyle that I’ve been able to live and remain healthy. In fact, I’ve only been sick about 2 times in the past 10 years and other than a handful of speeding tickets I don’t have much to show for my hard lifestyle. I’ve never actually felt I was invincible….I’ve just lived that way because I never had a problem.

I’ve always gotten away with it just fine and it’s allowed me to be super productive. Last Friday, that all came to a screeching halt. Last week I had my first big health hiccup and it’s forced me to essentially become a different person. Some stomach problems have left me unable to hold down any food and I’m in constant discomfort. I’m hypocaloric (didn’t eat a meal for 4 days), weak, tired (sleeping up to 16 hours in one day), and generally unproductive compared to my usual self. I not only can’t eat the foods that I love (insanely spicy foods, coffee, lots of red meat, etc)…I can’t eat at all. I’ve been forced to eat foods I would never normally eat (crackers, soup broth) because it’s the only thing my stomach can bare. Consequently I’ve lost about 15 pounds in the 10 days since onset of symptoms. Driving fast is out the window too…it makes me sick.  And I’m sleeping (albeit not well) any chance I can get. Needless to say, I have to live as a practically a different person than I was just 10 days ago.

I point all this out to say that I’ve come to realize that there’s always a final straw. I had an endoscopy last week that showed significant damage to my stomach lining. The biopsy results have yet to come back but it could be a variety of things all with deep roots. The two months preceding the onset of these problems was particularly rough for work and travel. During this time span, my business has seen tremendous business growth, which is great, but it came growing pains that upped work levels and minimized the already minimal down time and sleep I’m usually able to take. I also had a crazy travel / speaking engagement schedule with 6 presentations in a row which compounded things. While I seemed to manage through this period just fine, I have no doubt that it must have compromised my immune function and ultimately lead to my current health issues.

I know the handful of faithful readers of this blog often push the limits like I do. Quick lesson – make sure you take the foot off the pedal every now and then.