Exercise the cancer away

Another story from the archives of my mind. I read this story a while back and both the author and the publisher claimed that this was ‘the whole truth and nothing but the truth’. If it is true then it is an inspiration for us all to exercise regularly. I don’t remember the source or the edition so I’ll just have to paraphrase it from memory. I remember that it was so inspiring that I remember it well even to this day.

The story is about an middle-age working man in eastern US in the early 80’s. Stable job, happy marriage, nice kids. Everything was well till the day he started vomiting in his office. He ignored the symptoms at first but his condition deteriorated over the coming weeks. He had stomach aches, fever, nausea… the works. He didn’t tell any of these things to his wife or friends. Then one day when things started getting out of hand, he went to his doctor for advice. After testing the doctor confirmed that he had cancer.

His world came crashing down. His wife was a homemaker and his kids were still small. He would be letting everyone down if he ditched them mid-life. He didn’t have enough life-insurance to support his family after his death and no insurance company would have increased his cover after the discovery of the cancer. He thought long and hard and in the end decided to increase his insurance cover ten times what it was. He didn’t tell the insurance company about the cancer. Since he had already had a clean physical earlier that year, the insurance company accepted that report.

He knew that if he died of cancer, the insurance would not be paying anything to his family. Nor would they pay if he committed suicide. He decided that he would run himself to death. In the original story, the man took several pages to reach this conclusion. He researched and considered many options before deciding along this line of action.

To make the long story short, he went out one morning to a park and ran his heart out. Since he was not in the habit of exercising, he lasted about two or three minutes before feinting. When he came to, he ran again. Again he collapsed. Disappointed, he returned home without dying that day. But he knew that if his family was to receive the insurance, there was no other way for him to die than from a heart attack brought on by exercising. His policy covered it.

The next morning he returned to the park and tried again. He feinted again. He tried it again that evening when he returned from work. Every day he went out determined to kill himself by running. But he did not die. Twice a day, every day, he tried till he fell from exhaustion. Before long, he started enjoying the run. He felt better. He could run a lot longer before he collapsed. Soon he was running for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.

I guess you all know where I am going with this. When he went back to the doctor after two months of this, the doctor could not believe the test results and neither could the man. His untreatable cancer was in remission. He had taken no medicines and there had been no lifestyle changes except his running to kill himself. It seems that the body fought back on its own after it was given the strength and stamina by his running.

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