Veteran Vic shows how it is done
PRESIDENT of the Hervey Bay Older Men Unlimited group David Dolan called into the Chronicle office a few months ago to ask me to come along and cover their sixth annual healthy ageing forum.
He told me that this year's event, thanks to the support of Queensland Health, would be bigger and better than anything they had ever done.
He also told me that one of the key ideas at the forum was to put as many mature men as possible through a medical check called a Pit Stop.
The Pit Stop is an innovative idea that involves sitting down at eight stations with health experts to discuss a particular health issue.
Blood pressure, prostate cancer, bowel cancer, obesity, exercise, mental health and mobility were all covered.
Having just completed a 100-day health program I was keen to go along and put myself through the screening process and at the same time provide coverage of a great community initiative.
Last Friday was forum day and I joined almost 200 older men and their partners at the Boat Club.
The key to the Pit Stop is they assess you as they would a vehicle.
You must get a pass at six or more assessment stations to be classed as roadworthy; otherwise you get hit with a yellow “fit it or you are off the road” slip.
The check stations see you move through with a partner and mine was Victor Turner.
He was a spritely 80-year-old who had obviously been looking after his health for years.
As we moved through, Vic was receiving plenty of commendations for his positive attitude to health; unfortunately while he was getting smiles I was getting a few concerned looks.
I was thinking to myself, “Thank goodness I didn't come to this Pit Stop three months ago when I was 14 kilos heavier. They would have called in a tow truck and shipped me off to the wreckers.”
After 40 minutes Vic and I had completed the health check and we moved across to the assessor.
With a beaming smile and some complimentary words she placed a blue roadworthy certificate on Vic's shirt.
“Well done Vic,” I chimed in.
Then she turned to me.
“Hmm Peter, we have a few concerns with you,” she said as the smile drifted from her face.
“I'm afraid you have been deemed unroadworthy and will need a further check up.”
Victor just looked me in the eyes and shook his head.
Now I know how our sports editor Richard Harvey felt when he was whipped on the golf course recently by 12-year-old Maryborough women's champion Katie Law.
Anyway, you will be pleased to know I beat Victor in a sprint to the car park.
Mind you, it was only because I caught the Boat Club bus and he ran behind.