According to my Google Assistant, the average heart moves 60 to 90 millilitres of blood with each beat. That’s a lot. Especially considering that on average throughout a normal run, my heart works at roughly 150 beats per minute. That’s roughly 11250 mL of blood every minute. 11.25 Litres! A minute!
I haven’t run since March 1st, but the last couple of days over the March break, my family has been out skiing, well, snowboarding in my case. My watch tells me that while I ride a safe distance behind my daughter and follow her turns and moves down the slope that I average 104 bpm. A little less than while running.
And over this March break, with my wife away in Europe working during a school trip with 40 kids, I am pretty sure there have been moments that my kids have forced my heart to beat much much faster than the average run or ski.
There’s the spike in my heartbeat every time they bicker. And they’re kids, so they bicker often.
There’s a clear jump in bpm when I: solve their problems; remind them to make their beds or put away their dishes for the 10000th time; sweep up the broken glass from something else busted by carelessness; try to explain that the last muffin was cut as evenly in half as possible… … …
There’s an uptick in my heartbeat with each of their stumbles on the ski hill. That fraction of a second when they lose control, spin or slide or just plain smack the snow. That gets the blood moving.
But, watching the two of them master the T-bar lift for the very first time and ride it up the slope chatting and laughing and nattering on the entire way, then helping each other out at the top after a little stumble, that really gets my heart.
I’m not sure if my beats per minute rise or fall during those endearing moments. But I can tell you that, however much is moving through the aorta and such at that moment, it’s bloody heart warming.