Those of us fortunate enough to be given another chance at life have a responsibility to share our stories – and hopefully encourage others to aspire to better days. Part of my inspiration to live better after a near-fatal heart attack comes from a fitness tracker that offers a daily reminder how close a dream to walk the world is becoming a reality.

Actually, I never ever thought about walking the world. Who has the time or the money, let alone the endurance, to accomplish such a feat.

But my feet and a much-stronger heart on Monday earned me my “India badge” from Fitbit. The email reads:


“You’ve earned the India badge!

“That’s what happens when you walk 1,997 miles— the same distance as the length of India!

“For this universally admired achievement, you’re taking home the India badge!”

Holy cow! Cowabunga!

As a tenderfoot Boy Scout, I had trouble earning merit badges. But FitBit has inspired me to earn 19.


In just eight months, I have now walked/jogged/run over 2,000 miles (I added another 8.98 on Monday and am averaging over 50 miles a week.)

Making this total hard to believe, at least for me, is the fact that I should have dropped dead in my yard from a “widow maker” heart attack just a year ago.

Part of my “third life” (I’m also a Stage 3 colon cancer survivor) has become very intense physical fitness. I just turned 63 but as long as God decides I should keep breathing I am committed to pushing the limits physically and mentally to regain a better quality of life.

You can do it, too, folks.

I have lost 14 pounds.

My body fat is down dramatically as muscle replaces flab. Otherwise my weight would be even lower.

A side effect of better physical health is a more positive mental outlook.

Retirement? Not for me. Not yet.

So, to close …

When discussing ideas for WRAL TechWire Executive Exchange events in 2016, one came to mind immediately for me because of that fitness tracker from Fitbit.

Mobile health is the subject of WTW’s next event on Sept. 27.

Hopefully by then I will have added another couple thousand miles …

Just remember, so can you. Start today.

Don’t ever, ever, EVER give up, as Jimmy V. told us so many times.

Live a better life.