Posted by Kazona (3055 posts) -

This whole week has been one of torn feelings and mixed emotions. On Monday, much like everyone here, I found out about Ryan's passing. Unfortunately that wasn't the only piece of bad news to be received on that day. A few hours prior to me finding out about Ryan there had been two calls already. One to inform my girlfriend that her cousin had passed away over the weekend (in his sleep, like Ryan). The other was a call from my mom, letting me know that a close friend of the family (whom we had unfortunately lost touch with) had been diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer and that he is likely to pass in the next few weeks.

Now, while it certainly wasn't easy having all that come our way in a single day, there is one thing that has me torn the most. We all know that Ryan wasn't exactly a poster-child for healthy living--far from it. So in that regard--and paired with his sleep apnea--it wasn't a huge surprise that his body would eventually give out. Obviously I am not saying that it wasn't a shock or that I wasn't devestated by the news, but even so, people on here had expressed their concerns regarding Ryan's health several times in the past already.

My girlfriend's cousin, however, was the complete opposite of Ryan. I had never personally met him, but from the stories told I knew that he was a healthy, fit young man. He had never smoked a cigarette in his life, never did any real heavy drinking, did his very best to stay in shape (he was part of the red barrets in the Dutch millitary), and generally lived a healthy lifestyle. And yet it made no difference because he, too, passed away in his mid thirties (36 to be exact).

So we have to people at opposite ends of the spectrum, yet both died at far too young an age. And honestly, it made me doubt everything. On the one hand I don't want to let myself go and become grossly overweight and unfit, but on the other hand it seems like staying in shape won't make a damn bit of difference either.

When I found out about Ryan, my first instinct was to completely turn my life around and live nothing but a completely healthy lifestyle. Now I should point out that I am not living a unhealthy lifestyle. Sure, I go overboard sometimes and according to my BMI I am still slightly overweight, but I do work out a couple times a week and generally I eat healthy. But still, when I found out about Ryan, I immediately wanted to start going the extra mile and live super healthy.

But then I think about my girlfriend's cousin, who did just that, who was super healthy and fit. He died. The healthy lifestyle made no difference for him. So who's to say it will make a difference for me? What difference does it make whether I take up smoking two packs a day or never smoke a single cigarette? Or if I stuff my face with nothing but red meat or vegetables? I mean, we're just going to die whenever either way.

I seriously don't get any of it anymore. Are we really all just numbers in a giant, spinning, ball, and when yours gets pulled, it's over? Does anything we do really matter? I honestly don't know anymore.

#1 Posted by cloudnineboya (698 posts) -

when ya times up,its time to go. so just make sure your bags are packed and ya haven't forgotten anything.

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#2 Posted by Mushir (2388 posts) -

I'm sorry about your cousin but don't use that as an excuse to not live a healthy life. The fact is, living a healthy life will extend your life. Yes, there are exceptions where a very healthy person will pass away at an early age, but those are very few compared to the unhealthy people who die young.

#3 Edited by hollitz (1181 posts) -
@kazona said:

But then I think about my girlfriend's cousin, who did just that, who was super healthy and fit. He died. The healthy lifestyle made no difference for him. So who's to say it will make a difference for me? What difference does it make whether I take up smoking two packs a day or never smoke a single cigarette? Or if I stuff my face with nothing but red meat or vegetables? I mean, we're just going to die whenever either way.

.

That's anecdotal evidence and the hard statistics won't bear it out. You can't know for sure, but you can make smart bets.

Besides, living healthily has far more benefits than just longer life.

Unlike OP, I've come away from Ryan's death with so many positive feelings. (Not about his passing, obviously. Loved the guy so much.) I'm so impressed and inspired by the amount of love that this community and the overall video game community has given (to each other, to Ryan's friends and family, etc.) It's really made me look at everyone differently. And I'm glad to have misjudged so many people. And I'm so proud of everyone for being so compassionate and understanding and empathetic.

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#4 Posted by Arabes (333 posts) -

@kazona: Don't be stupid, sure healthy people can die in their thirties, shit happens. But being very unhealthy or overweight means a lower life expectancy and lower quality of life.

#5 Edited by Ksaw (341 posts) -

It's all about the quality of your life leading up to your death. If you start smoking now it will inevitably (and greatly) affect the quality of your life. You could eat whatever you want, and spend all of your time sitting comfortably on your ass , but that will have it's repercussions as well. On the other hand you could keep in great shape and get hit by a bus while you're out jogging. All you can do is make the most out of the time you have and make sure you don't overindulge in activities that are likely to harm or kill you.

Ryan may not have taken the best care of himself, but by all accounts he lived the fuck out of his life, and I'm certain there's plenty of people who've lived to be twice his age or more, took better care of themselves but still didn't manage to squeeze as much joy out of their total years as that guy did. Basically just do your best to enjoy your life without being too reckless.

#6 Posted by AmatureIdiot (987 posts) -

At the end of the day life is a game of chance, the better you live the more you can massage the odds, but there is a overwhelming amount of chance involved. I've heard of almost perfect vegans who don't drink getting cancer young, and being vastly outlived by red meat eating, alcohol drinking peers. Life just sucks sometimes. Live a reasonably healthy lifestyle to take advantage of the obvious benefits, but remember to don't be a slave to fitness and live your life and do things you want to do. I see no benefit in being a ninety year old with seventy years of regret.

#7 Posted by Jimbo (9712 posts) -

@kazona:

There are no certainties, but you have the power to significantly shift the odds in your favour.

You shouldn't spend your life worrying about things you can't control, but some things being out of your control doesn't mean you need to fatalistic about everything.

#8 Edited by TruthTellah (7688 posts) -

Living healthier isn't just about living longer; it's about you feeling better in your life from doing it. All of us could die at any time, and many of us die young or very suddenly. But that doesn't mean we just give up planning ahead or working to improve ourselves. We must always strive for what may ultimately be out of reach, as that's what keeps us living and growing.

Being healthy is part of your wellness of life, and while it isn't necessary for happiness by any stretch, it is generally helpful in feeling better and possibly being able to do more. If you want to feel that way and invest in your future(even if it's only a prospect), then pursue greater health. It isn't just about living longer; it's about the quality of your life and an investment in your future.

Ryan lived his life as he did, and your girlfriend's cousin lived his life as he did. You choose how you're going to live your own life.