The director of the fitness center at the Claremont was looking for stories to post on the bulletin board and feature in the newsletter which would inspire the club’s members. She heard about mine, and thought it would work. (Things seemed a bit slow, since my immediate predecessor had been a 14-year-old girl who had mastered the hula hoop.) Here it is:

Book and film rights remain available.


For those who have followed my adventures in cardio-vascular land, here are the results of my 6-month checkup with my sainted cardiologist. (When I wrote about her in my series at The Broad Street Review, I referred to her as “Dr. M.,” but in the manuscript Adele and I have in progress, we call her “Dr. Fleur.” So “Dr. Fleur” she shall be.
Anyway, my heart is doing wonderfully. This is exceedingly good news because Dr. Fleur had just returned from the highly regarded heart surgery center in Cleveland, where a recent study showed that 40% of valve repairs, which is what I had, fail within two years; and I’ve been three with mine. (It wasn’t such good news to hear they failed at all. But I expect to forget about that soon.)
At the end of the appointment when, in answer to her question about how I was feeling, and I replied that I felt terrific; life couldn’t be better, she reflected that she often felt that “things happened
for a reason.”
I jumped in to say that I often tell people that, while I don’t recommend it, I felt this had been a valuable experience. “It made me,” I said, “a better person.”
“No,” she said, “you always had the capacity within you to be this person. But this gave you the opportunity. The blow cracked the concrete.”