Another person who was planning to do what I'm planning might think: "I should see a doctor for a checkup before I put this 57-year-old, overweight, stressed-out, desk-potato body through an intense training program and an 1800-mile bicycle ride."
Not me. My thinking was more like: "Okay, so my blood pressure has gone up a bit these last few years--but it's not dangerously high. I don't take medication for anything. If I pay close attention to my body, I should be fine." I plunged into training without another thought.
Through the Affordable Care Act (thank you, Obama!) I have a new healthcare plan that provides better coverage than I've ever had previously, and it's actually affordable as well. Unfortunately, however, this plan requires referrals for everything. (My previous plan no longer required any referrals.) When I tried to get a referral to see my chiropractor, I was told I couldn't have one unless I saw my primary care physician--since I hadn't seen her in over four years. Thus...I back-doored my way into a pre-trip checkup.
I saw my doctor today. She was enthused about my trip and had no concerns. The visit confirmed that I have, indeed, lost 20 pounds since I began training, and my blood pressure is fine (116/68). They took blood--to test for cholesterol levels, liver functioning, thyroid functioning, etc. I assume the results will be fine. I think I'm certified to go!