By Matthew Adams
“It’s what inside that counts” is more than just an expression for first time National Senior Games competitor James Krenis – it literally saved his life.
At first glance, you’d think this attorney and certified NFL Contract Advisor in Jackson, Tennessee was a healthy guy and in excellent shape. In fact, until recent times he never had a major medical incident or even taken a single stitch in his life.
However, looks can be deceiving. During his normal workout routine a week after qualifying in Pickleball in the Tennessee Regional Olympics, James experienced extreme fatigue to the point that he headed for the doctor and a heart CT (computerized tomography) was scheduled. James was about to get on a plane to go to another pickleball tournament when his doctor intervened. James found himself kissing his daughter goodbye on the way to the hospital for triple bypass surgery. “I wasn’t sure I would ever see her again,” he recalls.
James recovered and considers himself lucky that caught it early. He chooses to look at it as a “great thing” and a new purpose in life. “It’s the beginning of a better life for me,” he says emphatically. “There’s always someone going through something worse and it motivated me to set a goal of competing again.”
He made good on that promise to himself, and this past week he won a gold medal in Pickleball and competed in team triathlon, and tennis. He has had a fantastic first National Senior Games experience and it has been far better than he imagined. James is not a back-off, take it easy kind of guy and he wants to make the most of every minute.
Getting blood work done is not an activity that people look forward to, but it could be the difference between life and death. “Although my family would love for me to slow down, the flip side is then it wouldn’t be me,” he says.
The experience has James actively sharing a message: “Go talk to your doctors and get checked out. What you see on the outside may not necessarily reflect what’s happening on the inside,” he stresses. “If I didn’t get myself checked out, I very well may not be here to tell my story.”