Lindsay Dunn was on a training trip to Italy with Barry Smith. (He coached Barry to win the IAAF’s Golden 5,000m; AAA 10,000m and to an Olympic Semi-final.) They were staying in a hotel with full board and they had the same waiter every day, Paolo.
Lindsay was always interested in the latest technology and he was often the first person to start using new running gadgets. Just before this trip, he had bought a new running watch that, among other things, could measure your pulse. He was showing all its functions to Barry at dinner one night when Paolo asked them what it was.
Lindsay explained that it was a watch, a stopwatch and could measure your heart rate. He was still wearing it, so he said, “Look, that’s my heart rate, 44.” Barry then tried it on and it showed that his pulse was 42.
“Can I try?” asked Paolo. He put it on and looked a little surprised because his reading was 76. (Which, of course, is completely normal for a non-athlete.)
Lindsay said, “76? Are you sure? That’s nearly twice fast as ours.” Then with a tone of serious concern in his voice he said, “Do you feel alright?” Paolo mumbled that he wasn’t sure, gave the watch back and wandered off looking worried.
The next day they had a different waiter at their table. They asked where Paolo was and the new waiter said, “He called in sick. Something about his heart.”