Hearttalk Part 2: Training and lifestyle before cardiac arrest

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Hearttalk Part 2

HEARTALKMy whole life has and will be dedicated to sports and training others to achieve their chosen goals. I suppose growing up I was involved in a wide variety of sports namely soccer, Gaelic football, horse riding, tennis and swimming. As I got older I started to concentrate more on soccer and Gaelic Football as it was very hard to keep everyone happy in terms of attending training and matches for the various sports.

I played all my underage soccer with Willow Park in Athlone and Under 16s in Dublin with Cherry Orchard. A highlight was when I played with them in the “Milk Cup” in Coleraine on its 25th anniversary. This is seen as one of the most prestigious cups in Europe. It was the Christmas of that year I started to feel unwell, I was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome in the kidneys. This is basically passing protein and blood in my urine and high blood pressure.

So I was in and out of hospital from then on, flare up after flare up occurred and my condition was not controlled adequately. Having the problem of high blood pressure at just 16 years of age was a lot for me to cope with. Not giving up by any means I was always training and playing matches as much as possible even tho it was not one bit easy on me as I new I was capable of a lot more.

The months leading up to my cardiac arrest I was training consistently but I was not reaching the fitness levels I knew I was capable of. I had my diet right, I did extra training on my own but I knew I was not achieving my full potential. This was frustrating and especially when I had good knowledge of the fitness area.

I completed my gym instructor’s course with Fit Cert so I was well educated in the fitness industry. As time went on I was finding even doing a pre match warm up was becoming a struggle for me, so I pretended to be stretching a hamstring to buy me time. I did have chest pain when I was running more like a tightening feeling in the centre of my chest but I did have a chest infection so I thought that was it little did I know what I was in for.

So to sum everything up I always gave everything 100% even though I knew it was going to be a struggle with the on going medical conditions but whatever I set my mind to do, I always completed it. Since my cardiac arrest my kidneys have been perfect. So if there is a problem with our car we always check the engine! So why don’t we do this when it comes to our body seen as our heart is our only engine makes sense to me those it for you??

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