I'm normally fond of anniversaries, but this one strikes a deep chord for me. One year ago, July 21, 2020, I had a mild heart attack at the young age of 32.

I replay the day back in my head often and each time that I do, it gives me the chills. I was in great shape and I was playing rugby for the Providence men's team. It was truthfully the last day I can remember having any actual energy.

The doctors and nurses still don't know what triggered it or provoked the heart situation, but I'm lucky and that alone has stuck with me for the past 365 days. That first realization of shortness of breath, the heavy pressure, getting admitted to St. Luke's and finally that final punch within my chest that struck with a mighty blow. That pain I felt will never be forgotten, no matter how short-lived it was.

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I made a promise to myself soon after it happened to take better care of my heart and my body. Some of the things I've cut out since are:

  • Energy drinks
  • Pre-workout at the gym
  • Fast food
  • Daily coffee (currently down to three cups a week)

Coffee was the most difficult, but I've become accustomed to waking up without it. This is a huge change since I was drinking two, sometimes three cups per day. No more "Jagerbomb" shots (because it requires an energy drink as a chaser), no more experimenting with fitness supplements that can easily be taken from the shelves of GNC if you're over the age of 18.

It's been a really nice detox for the heart that I plan on continuing.

On the other hand, I'm still far from where I was prior to the incident. My energy is only at 50 percent of what it normally would be and I struggle when it comes to working out or even running. My muscles are still pretty locked from the amount of time I was bed-bound, but it's all in moderation. I'm still working out, it just takes a lot out of me.

These days I've slowed down as much as possible to enjoy the world a little more and to listen to what my body is telling me. "One day at a time" has always been my mantra. For now, I have a date that I'll be able to look back on with a whole new outlook on life.

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