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My Journey Back to Strength
Cheers everyone....I know it's been a while since I've written anything but I've been busy getting strong and fit again. Lifting heavier and heavier but also doing my daily walks as well as heading to the beach once a week to run....that's right you read that correctly...I said RUN!! Perhaps I should describe it 'as rhino stampeding through peanut butter' but dammit I'm going faster than a mall walker!!! I have really been focused and driven towards regaining my lost strength but I have to be careful as my doctor has given one very important bit of advice that I can no longer do but that has been engrained into my DNA and that is holding my breath when I lift or the Valsalva Method. Boy I'll tell you that is seemingly the hardest part about lifting heavy again!!!
I've posted a few pictures and videos to my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages and I always get awesome and inspiring messages from people all over the world (along with a few messages warning me to be careful....yeah I think I know the limits of body a little better than you.) When I first started to share my story I was touched by the people that reached out to me with their own stories of recovery and how I was an inspiration to them but in their words every one of them shared the same thing and that was a desire to go back to lifting the way they had been before and wanting to know how I talked my doctor into letting me go back to strength training at week 10. News flash.....He told me to go back to lifting!!! I learned there are guys out there that are 8+ months post surgery and only allowed to use rubber bands or light weights while I'm at 5 months and I'm in the gym doing snatches, cleans, pulls, presses and tons and tons of squats.
So I began to ask myself and Sally
What makes me so different?
Why did my body heal so quickly? (believe me it sure as hell doesn't feel that way)
How am I able to do everything in the gym that I had been doing prior to the surgery?
and now my biggest question....Why did the Good Lord decide it wasn't my time?
As I progress in My Journey I am getting a better understanding that the Good Lord spared my life for a reason and believe me when I tell you I was begging him for a second chance as I struggled to breathe during my heart attack but also during the 3 days I laid in CICU leading up to my triple bypass surgery. I feel that the Good Lord wanted me to remain here on Earth to inspire others in the same boat as I am in and to challenge them into getting back to the gym but also for others to know the importance of strength training in combination to the cardiovascular fitness that is so important in recovery and the battle against Heart Disease. I also want to challenge the world of medicine into accepting the fact that not everyone that has a heart attack and/or bypass surgery is the same. There are some of us out there need to get back to the gym and feel the iron again. I will warn you right here and now that it is an unbelievably humbling experience that not everyone's psyche can handle. It was very difficult for me to accept the fact of where I had to begin and how hard things were but also how damn heavy the empty bar felt in my hands. I reluctantly went all the way back to square 1 so I could progress safely and not injure myself but I worked hard and there were times I wanted to quit and just sit my fat ass on the couch but thankfully I have Sally who wouldn't hear any of that nonsense and helped me work through these times. I am truly blessed to have her at my side. I also spent and continue to spend time on my knees in prayer and that has given me strength as well.
Today, I am 5 months from my heart attack and triple bypass surgery. The sternum that was glued and wired back together is healed (and yes the wire is still in there), the scar on my chest has healed so well that I will need to shave my chest and get a tan just so you can see the scar but the scars in my mind are still there and healing and yes when I'm lifting and running I am a little afraid sometimes but I drive on and push myself. I am not doing this because I think I am some badass or anything I am doing this because I have to heal so I can live my life on my terms.
Strength Training has always been my love and passion....I can remember back in Kindergarten lifting the end of the long class table spilling everyone's milk because I wanted to prove how strong I was!! I have many goals that I will accomplish in the World of Strength and I will also continue to challenge the thoughts about recovery and rehabilitation from this nasty disease.
Play Hard...Train Harder...NO EXCUSES