I wonder if it's true. That we're each programmed to have a certain number of heartbeats.
Doesn't sound like much, does it? A billion. A thousand million. And half again that.
Makes me want to slow my heart down.
I heard it on NPR a while back, and made myself a note on a scrap of paper. 1.5 billion. Us, and the whale, and the elephant, and the shrew, and the wee timorous mouse. Accordidng to this site from Baylor University, the average human heart rate is 70/minute. The mouse goes at 500/minute, the elephant a mere 28/minute. I can't vouch for their facts, though, as they claim the African bull elephant can weigh up to 28 kg. Hm. I know a lot of people with dogs bigger than that. A lot bigger.
Hard to know for sure, about the number of heart beats. There are so many mitigating factors. I mean, how can you do a pure scientific test. Who ever gets the whole 1.5 billion. At 60 beats a minute, it gives you 17,361.1 days. Can't be right. That's only 47 years. I'm dead already.
But I find the concept that we're preprogrammed for obsolescence in a certain number of heartbeats interesting. Other factors enter into it, of course: disease, accidents, predators, how much time you spend with a high heart rate just burning those puppies up.
Might be why people who do cocaine tend to die young, and those on beta-blockers live long, even if they don't have as much fun. Beta-blockers slow down your heart rate.
Why those animals with slow heart beats, elephants and blue whales, and tortoises live so long, and those with staccato heartbeats go in a flash. Us, we're somewhere in between.
Makes you think about the idea that stress kills people. In addition to raising hell with your cardiovascular system, it runs right through those heartbeats.
New leaf for me. Meditate. Take a beta-blocker. Stop, smell the roses. Fat chance.
[Image from Australian Fauna.com]