When entering medical school there are certain questions that you have to formally ask and that are assessed. One of which is of your fitness level. You need to be at a baseline for physical activity so that you can keep up to the strenuous workload being a doctor and of course physically manage cardiac arrests …..which involve a lot of running.
Now, I am of course at a good standard physically for my job but I am by no means a Greek God. I am not a well oiled machine. I never knew this better then when I was working on a transplant surgical rotation. Now, on this rotation I worked with, I can only describe as, human Hulk. Human Hulk was my senior (consultant/attending physician). He ran for an hour before the ward round, which I might add started at 7.30am. He would come in and there I would be, eyes barely open, wearing socks from the day before, and would kill someone for a coffee.
Human Hulk didn't believe in the modern invention of lifts nor elevators. This meant that as his junior doctors, we too could not use the lifts when working with him.
I recall one specific 7.30am very clearly. There I was carrying 5 large folders for the ward round with heavy paperwork, and human Hulk started the ward round. We started at one end of the hospital, and made our way like a human train to the other side of the hospital. Then we reached it - what I call the Tower. The Tower had one of our wards at level 13….I felt my blood sugars drop as we reached the stairs. We started up the stairs as I reached for my inhaler. I recall being initially behind human Hulk, and by level 3 I was at the end of the teams line. By the time I reached level 7, I noticed, behind the beads of sweat on my forehead, that the team had gone ahead and I couldn't see them on the staircase. When I finally reached level 13, after what felt like a month later, the human Hulk and team came out from the ward…..they had finished the ward round.
That evening I joined a gym.