I'm new here (and to any such web exposure!) so I'll do my best at brevity on my AF history and current state.
I'm 68 and ran for 50 years (inc. the very first London Marathon) until my ninth cardioversion three years ago only maintained sinus rhythm for a month. I first went in to AF around 17 years ago following three days in bed with "I want to die" flu. Each cardioversion had a progressively longer positive effect until the penultimate one was successful for four years. After the short-lived last one, I was told that at my age any further cardioversion wouldn't be successful.
I was able to discuss possible ablation and read all I could on that subject, including the Dr John website. I was devastated at the notion of not being able to run again and initially felt sure I'd opt for ablation, however invasive and scary it sounded. But a section in the Dr John pages made a real impact. Paraphrasing, it said that doing nothing is a perfectly logical strategy: that whilst you wouldn't be as good as you once were, at least you would continue to be. I went back to the hospital and said that was what I intended to try. The person overseeing my care there was an occasional contributor to Dr John and felt my decision was sensible, not least because it was mine.
So since then, I've not run, taken my daily Warfarin, cycled a bit and walked a lot. I used to do ultralight backpacking and last year did half the Anglesey Coast Path to see if I could. I was slow but that made it better somehow. If I overexert myself, I feel my pulse rise and I slow down or stop. I was advised to consider 140 bpm as my ceiling but though I was once an avid pulse checker, since having persistent AF, I've not taken it at all...makes me anxious! I was also advised to get a blood pressure monitor. I did immediately...but I've never used it, again because I know that the anxiety of hospital used to elevate my readings and I think I'd feel the same at home. My response was to move from 35 years as a teetotal, non smoking vegetarian, to a vegan at home and a veggie elsewhere.
So, to summarise (having failed my own brevity aim), I've been through the process (with two cancer ops in the middle of it and had two failed attempts at chemical cardioversion), decided against any further medical interventions and settled into life at a slower pace. I wouldn't go for ablation as the success rate, the resultant need for repeat treatments and the invasiveness didn't, and don't, appeal to me. Maybe if I'd been younger when it started, I'd look at that option differently...but now...not for me.