Mark Austry was healthy. Not an obsessed fitness nut, but healthy.
Played baseball at Texas Tech and with the Fort Worth Cats. Was a superb golfer. And, when he found time from being a devoted family man to wife and two kids, he got out and ran.
Sunday he dropped dead. At age 32. Literally seconds after crossing the finish line of the 13.1-mile half-marathon on Greenville Ave., Austry grabbed a bottled water, took two steps and collapsed. Never to be revived. Gone. Just like that.
Cue the chill bumps.
My annual physical check-up is scheduled for this afternoon. In the wake of Austry's death, it couldn't have come at a better time.
When the autopsy report comes out in a couple weeks, I'll be curious to find out if Austry died of some pre-condition, like an enlarged heart? Or did the over-exertion of running simply kill him?
Did being an athlete prolong his life? Or somehow short-circuit it?
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I finished three marathons last millennium and fancied trying another last year until I got busy taking on a new job and dropping a wife.
Stories like this always make me stop and ponder:
A. Do we actually increase our life span by working out and eating healthy and not smoking?
B. Or will fate/destiny/God simply take us when it's time, regardless of our lifestyle?