A review last month from the Mayo Clinic dropped a bomb on endurance athletes by suggesting that "excessive" exercise may "induce pathologic structural remodeling of the heart and large arteries."
That sounds bad. Or is it? Isn't the point of exercise to strengthen your heart and open up your blood vessels?
The study focused on what they call "long-term, excessive endurance exercise." And I am, in fact, a long-term, excessive endurance exerciser.
Running sometimes as much as 100 miles per week, I am one of thousands of endurance athletes in California and beyond who are increasingly exercising to an extent that some would call excessive.
But in focusing on the heart as simply a pump, the researchers may have missed some more subtle -- and more poetic -- functions of the heart.