© 2018 - St. Louis Showcase - Bo Bickley

A 2×4 from God

That’s what my son told me when he found out that I had a heart attack. “You haven’t been paying attention to the signs. You haven’t been listening, so he got out his 2×4 and broad-sided your head. Does he have your attention now?” he tells me on the phone. Every person in the ER and every cardiac doctor told me that I was very lucky to be alive. I was told that only 50% of first time heart attack victims even survive. I had 95-100% blockage in my main artery and 75-85% in a secondary artery. Two different cardiac cath operations were needed. Heart damage “unknown”. Six prescription meds and a bottle of nitroglycerin tablets I have to carry with me. Seriously! I’m only 55!! I’m going to be on these the rest of my life?!?

Every one of the important people in my life had been begging me to slow down. “You can’t keep working 16 to 18 hour days”, “Just say no!”, “We never go do anything”, “You’re not even off on the weekends really”, the list goes on. The requests have been echoing in my mind for the past … well… forever and then the spring market rush gets underway and the insanity starts all over again. This year I could really feel that I didn’t have the stamina I once had. I really want to spend some time with my grandson. Before I know it he’ll be driving. I had conversations with many of my clients, “this is the year” I’d say.  “I’m not going to do it again. It’s just not worth it to me any more, my entire life is just passing me by”.  I know of two real estate photographers that have died over the years of massive heart attacks while processing their photos from the day. “I’m not going to be one of them” I’d say.

If any of this sounds familiar then I’m asking you to stop and listen. No actually I’m begging you to stop and think for a moment, an hour, or (oh dear) a day. If you were to die tomorrow would any of this real estate rat race we call a career or business be worth it? If you’re a husband and wife team and the other suddenly dropped dead, would it have been worth it? Quite frankly it’s not even about real estate, after all, regardless of what it is we do for a living don’t we all think we’re invincible? It’s not going to happen to me? Let me assure you you’re not and it can or will.

Why am i writing all of this? Two reasons actually, the stress alone probably accounts for 80% or more of the damage our bodies undergo. Now take a look at most of our eating habits and lack of honest exercise. If that doesn’t push you over 100% then add in drinking and or smoking and you’ll be well over 100%. Reason number two – I’m not doing it anymore. One cardiac doctor told me my heart is at about 55% now. My life has changed, my endurance has changed, my outlook on everything has changed, pretty much turned upside down. I have to start a cardiac rehab program designed to strengthen my heart and build my endurance. I don’t know how many hours of my week this will take or how long it will go on. I do know that continued exercise and stress reduction is mandatory. I have a lot to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

I would like to thank each of you who have been with me from the very beginning, your loyalty I can’t put into words. I ask for your patience, continued prayers, and support as I travel down a new and uncharted road. As always I will continue to provide the same quality of product and service, maybe a little slower than before, not as available as before, but one thing is for sure, I am happy to be alive.