"Live a good life, and in the end, it’s not the years in the life, it’s the life in the years."

My Best Day: Just nine days into my retirement, I got a wakeup call

By on December 24, 2018 in Uncategorized with 1 Comment

Tom Bryant and his daughter Natalie stand in front of the ruins of a multi-room dwelling built into stone cliffs by ancient Pueblo people at Mesa Verde.

By Tom Bryant

This year has been a gift. A gift of life and lifestyle alteration.

After a 38-year career, I retired on April 27. I had aspirations of getting into better physical shape and making up for all the transgressions of the life I had lived so far.

After all, I was feeling pretty good and since I am only 62, I had plenty of time to set and then get on a healthy course.

Just nine days into my retirement on May 6, I got a wakeup call and had my naiveté revealed, big time.

Following a five-mile bike ride on the Sage Hills trail, I returned home and was experiencing pressure on my chest. It did not take me long to understand that I was not going to recover from this on my own.

My wife was out and I texted her about coming home as soon as she could. She was home in under 15 minutes and the EMS call was made and as I was on the way to the hospital they revealed that I was indeed having a heart attack.

I was rushed to the ER and the marvelous team at the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center got me in immediately to the cath lab. I had a complete blockage in my right coronary artery and got two stints, which provided immediate relief.

I had just received a new lease on life and recognized that it was on me to get things turned around. I have made significant changes in my life and along with the miracle of medicine, adopting major dietary changes, and getting lots of exercise I feel better than I have in years.

Since the event I have lost 65 pounds (I had plenty to lose) and spend every day focused on the gift I have been given.

My daughter and I were able to take a road trip in October and I did more hiking and felt better doing it than I have since I was in my 30s.

We went into Arches National Park at 6 a.m. on the morning of Oct. 10 and drove to the end of the park and while hiking the Devils Garden trail we got to see the sun come up on this spectacular segment of God’s landscape.

In this early morning setting, we experienced the real diversity and beauty of nature. We also did the Balcony House tour at Mesa Verde in Colorado, and climbed to the top of Independence Rock in Wyoming.

Getting my life turned around and the quality time spent with my family and friends this year has been the most precious opportunity I could ever have expected for 2018.

Tom Bryant is a longtime Wenatchee resident and a 1974 WHS graduate. He and his wife Maureen have been married for 40 years. He retired in 2018 following a 38-year career with Chelan County PUD. 

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  1. Teri Fink says:

    Tom, you’re an inspiration — a role model who shows we can always make our lives better and healthier. Congratulations on your new lease on life!

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