The reality, that I needed to make changes in my life, came in 2004. While retrieving a folder from my file cabinet at work, I almost passed out. I sat down at my desk, drank some water but still wasn’t feeling too sporty. I announced to my office partner that I was heading to the Nurse’s station. The nurse thought I was having a heart attack. My blood pressure was sky high and my pulse was rapid. She put me on oxygen for 20 minutes and retook my vitals. Although the oxygen had lowered my blood pressure, my pulse it was nowhere near normal. So off to the emergency room I went. They determined I had not had a heart attack, but decided to keep me overnight for observation.
By morning my vitals were back to normal, and I was released, after I promised to schedule a stress test with a Cardiologist. The stress test revealed an irregular heartbeat. The Cardiologist ordered an angioplasty procedure, to determine whether there was blockage in my arteries. To say I was scared, would be an understatement. I was 48. This happens to people much older, like my Uncle in his 70’s, not me.
Once the procedure began, it was quite interesting to be an active participant. The surgeon spoke to me throughout the procedure, explaining what he was doing as it was happening and I was able to ask questions and let him know if I felt any discomfort. I could watch on a monitor above my head as he shot dye through my arteries. Fascinating! My arteries were not blocked and my heart was healthy. He said to me before he left, “You need to figure out what is stressing you out.”
I had become so use to being in stress mode I thought it was a normal part of life. I also realized that after I retired from the Air Force in 2000, I had allowed my weight to balloon, (225 lbs) and was no longer doing any kind of exercise to stay in shape. My sedentary job in DC, and my long commute from DE, (4 hours round trip) was taking its toll on me. So when the opportunity for early retire (2006) came, I took it. No more long commute. It was “me” time!
Since that time, I have been working towards balance – mentally, physically and spiritually. Although the mental and spiritual parts of me have grown, the active physical part of me was still lacking. This discovery was realized during Alan Kovitz’s Mastery Program through the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce (CDCC) Leadership Central Delaware (LCD) Program. Alan recommended I speak to Chris, and the rest is history. A year and a half later, I’m stronger both physically and mentally. Not perfect at it, and I fall from grace from time to time, but always get back up, stronger!
Thank you Chris, Karen, Steph and all the Punchkins (Breakins or BTrs doesn’t sound right) for assisting me in my quest for balance. You’re the best!