My Roller Coaster I Call Life

I have been missing in action for a couple months now.  Life has a funny way of throwing curve balls at you and saying not so fast now.  After heart surgery, it was quite the roller coaster ride to get to a normal health routine.   Your body adjusting to a pacemaker is a whole new game your body isn’t used to, they also have to figure out how to put the settings on a pacemaker installed in a “healthy” 33-year-old. The statistics are staggering 84% of people with pacemakers are over 65. So, they won’t be in the same health or have the same resting heart rates as someone who is 33 and was an avid runner up until I had the heart issues.  That was the biggest issue I had to deal with is that my resting heart rate is in the 50s.  They set the low setting to 60 to start with which in turn made my pacemaker go off like crazy, and I got next to no sleep because it was constantly kicking my heart rate up to 90 bpm.

Due to the time, it takes for my heart to get used to the pacemaker I got told I wasn’t allowed to run because my heart would in turn go too fast.   I had joined a running team to help me get back on track, you know me balls to the wall or nothing at all.  The first two races of the year were great.  Here comes race 3, I was pacing great at about a 10-minute mile maybe a little less, half way into the race my heart went crazy and it was over 190 and I couldn’t get it to drop or slow down.   I had to walk the rest of the race, I would have kept running if it weren’t for momma Trudy and Anna, slapping some sense into me.   Anna walked the rest of the race with me, it was a blow to my ego I finished dead last.  At the same time, it was humbling, I knew I needed to ease my way back into racing, I couldn’t just jump back into running sub 9’s and be ok.

So, in the meantime of no running allowed I decided to focus on power lifting.  I needed to find my escape. I knew lifting would be good for me, I could work on my strength at the same time and not get my heart rate too high.  I met an amazing trainer in Colorado Springs at Gold’s Gym. Max was my power lifting coach for three months, and in that time, I was amazed at how quickly I gained my strength back.   I had found the perfect coach who would discuss sushi with me while I lifted heavy.   I told him three weeks before my first power lifting competition, oh by the way I have a competition in three weeks, on Father’s Day.  With focusing on my diet and building all my muscles, I competed in my first power lifting competition on Father’s Day of this past year.   I was nervous and excited.  I had so many amazing people come and watch me:  my momma, Kym, Trudy, and Jen.  They all came to support me which is so amazing and I cried a little bit.   For my first competition, I hit 270 lbs on back squat, 280 lbs on dead lift, and 115 on bench.   I lit a fire in me and now I wanted more and more.

Once again life has other plans and after my competition I ended up taking almost a month and a half off, I moved out of Colorado chasing my career.   I moved here to Texas to follow a job opportunity that seemed just too good to be true.  It’s been the best move I could have made.  This job is taking me down paths and opportunities that I wouldn’t have had in Colorado.  It was scary to leave my friends and family but something I needed to do for me.  I want to be a manager in the engineering world one day, helping to show other women that we can be successful in the engineering world too.

Back to it, after moving to Texas I had to find a new cardiologist.  Working with the new guy and my cardiologist in Colorado I finally got cleared to run.  So, what did I do?  Turned around the same day and signed up for a Spartan Beast race.  Seems legit, right?  I turned around and was dedicated to the gym and lifting.  I would lift for an hour and jog/walk on the tread mill for another 45 minutes. I was bound and determined to be good and finish this race. The irony of this is that the race fell just two days after the one year anniversary of getting my pacemaker. There are so many reasons why this race was important.   I have lived so much of my life having doctors tell me that this health condition or that health condition isn’t going to allow me to do the things I love. I am a stubborn ass I will admit that and I am not going to let a doctor’s “diagnosis” be the final tell all. I didn’t with Lupus and I wasn’t going to now that I had a pacemaker. Getting a pacemaker brought me through some serious bouts of depression and lows. Lows that had me questioning the will to continue to fight.  But something inside me said I couldn’t give up and had to keep fighting.

So here we are race day October 28th.   An amazing lady, Lacey, signed up to race with me on short notice.   I can’t even put into words how thankful I am that she ran with me to keep me in check, let’s be honest sometimes I need a leash to keep me from going faster than I should be going.  But for 14.7 miles she was not only my cheer leader but she also kept me in check so I wouldn’t overdo it.   I was determined to try at least all the obstacles.   We came upon Bender, a metal elevated inverted wall, I was going to do it, well I achieved to get myself stuck at the top, and thank god for the volunteer who talked me down and was just about ready to climb up and get me.   But holy hell I did it all by myself.  I was proud of the accomplishments I made on that course.  Was I able to complete every obstacle, no.  I also found out that the only time my heart rate spiked was when I did my burpees, I knock them out to fast and end up way too dizzy.  I need to learn to slow down so that I don’t pass out.

Long story short, we signed up for the ultra beast next year.  Two laps of the beast course.  I am focusing on me and continuing the battles that God hands to me.  I am training for the next adventure in my life and can’t wait to see where this journey takes me.  Back to blogging now that I am out of my slump.  More to come in this journey of my life.  Who knows maybe I can find another power lifting competition in between now and then.


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