Akil Taher MD

Doctor in Gadsden, Alabama

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I am a 68 year old practicing physician who spent the better part of my life enjoying too much food and drink and getting too little exercise, which led to needing open heart surgery seven years ago.

After recovering from open heart surgery, I ran a half marathon in Nashville Tenn., in just 8 months to make good on a promise I made to myself before I was taken to the operating room. In the 6 years since my surgery I have run marathons (including the prestigious Boston and Chicago marathon), did Triathlons, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and circumvented the notorious Dolma Pass on Mt Kailash in Tibet both at 19000ft +, among other things. I have recently got certified as a recreational scuba diver.

Coronary heart disease is a number one killer in America today and it is preventable.

My advice to younger folks," Take time to listen to yourself or know what is going on with you. Don't be so much in a rush for life that you have completely neglected yourself.

Finally for those who have had surgery, don't let life by pass you after a bypass. It has a lot to do with the mind. Your mind can take your body to places you never thought would be possible.

Next on my bucket list: Free diving or snorkeling with with sharks in Hawai to understand the biology , physiology and behavior of these magnificent marine animals.