As I worked out Friday at Planet Fitness in Fort Walton Beach, I thought about what a difference a year makes.


As I worked out Friday at Planet Fitness in Fort Walton Beach, I thought about what a difference a year makes.



The second weekend in April 2014, I had an episode that landed me in Fort Walton Beach Medical Center. Doctors thought I might be having heart problems, but all tests came back good.



To this day, I donít know what caused my body to overheat or why I felt so light-headed. I donít concern myself about what happened last week or last year. I just try to push forward.



It's safe to say Iím in better health than I was a year ago. I joined the gym in the fall, and was pretty good about showing up three or four times a week through the middle of February. The last few weeks I havenít done as well, but Iím getting back to the routine.



I usually spend 40 minutes on the stationary bike, and I try to ride 8 to 10 miles. I follow the bike ride with 20 or 30 minutes of weight training. Iíll soon be 57, and I no longer have to prove to myself how strong I am. But it's still nice when someone comments on the size of my biceps or forearms. I guess there is a little male vanity in this old body.



Another step Iíve taken toward a healthy me is Iíve cut down on Cokes. Before, I would drink 3 or 4 gallons of Coke a week. But I donít think Iíve had 4 gallons of my favorite beverage since October. I still drink the occasional glass of sweet tea or Sprite. My beverage of choice is now Sprite Zero, but I plan to cut back on it in the coming weeks.



The next big step will be getting chocolate candies out of my system. Yes, I have a sweet tooth that has helped lead to my Type 2 diabetes.



Forty years ago this spring, I was 2-miler for Gulf Breeze High School's track team. I weighed about 150 or 155 pounds, and I could run 7 or 8 miles with no problem. I was in the best shape of my life.



I donít want to be 155 pounds again, but it would be nice to get back to my young adult weight, 190-200 pounds. The good news is I donít have to make that goal to be a healthier me.



Deanna, my diabetes educator, has helped me understand that I canít judge myself for things I feel Iíve failed to accomplish, but rather to celebrate a day at the gym or another week without a Coca-Cola as victories.



Iím the one responsible for becoming a healthier me. Iím healthier today than I was a year ago, and this time next year I plan on being even healthier.



Getting healthy isnít easy, but it beats a stay in the hospital.



Email News Bulletin Sports Editor Randy Dickson, follow him on Twitter or call 850-682-6524.