Are you sitting comfortably, children? Then I’ll begin…
Once upon a time there was a man called Jim and a man called Jerome. Jim was an athlete and Jerome was a farmer. Both told many people how good their lives were, and how they should live the same sort of life. People listened to them and they all lived happily ever after. Wasn’t that a lovely story children? It’s a true story too. Well, almost true. After all, real life doesn’t have quite as many happy endings as fairy tales.
Jim Fixx was an athlete who started the jogging craze in the seventies with his bestselling “Complete Book Of Running”. What Jim didn’t realise at the time is that one of his coronary arteries was almost completely blocked, one was 80% blocked and another was 70% blocked. So, when he decided to go out for a jog he died of a massive coronary event after not going far at all. An autopsy showed Fixx had suffered from at least three previous heart attacks in the preceding weeks.
Jerome Rodale was the founder of Rodale Press and the creator of “Organic Farming and Gardening”, the magazine which started the craze for organic food. During an interview on the Dick Cavett Show, Jerome bragged that he’d live until he was a hundred years old thanks to his organic food diet. Then he had a heart attack and died in his chair before the interview could be completed and the show was never aired.
Before people started sugar coating fables with happy endings that made them more palatable to children, these stories were based on true events and constructed so that they’d carry a message to people. In this case the message is clear – healthy living kills.