Today was the beginning of my starting to Carpe Diem. Carpe Diem, Latin for seize the day is just what I did and I encourage you to grab the chance at life and take the leap.
For me, I took the first step to begin trusting my body again, to trust it during exercise outside of cardiac rehab and I went about my life as if I hadn’t had a heart attack and it was wonderful.
I woke this morning with the feeling today was the day, I had laid awake during the night thinking it over and just knew today was the day.
A nice slow morning, reading the papers and enjoying a hot cup of tea (one of the favourite parts of my day), I completed a few quick chores and changed into my workout gear. Sure they fit a little differently now – gone is the muscle which I had worked hard for. Down 10kg since the heart attack I have been consumed with my muscle loss and the lack of fitness I have now (I get puffed walking up two flights of stairs to our room), sure the weight loss is great but my muscles….. I loved.
I quickly pushed this out of my mind and focused on the positives, my heart is beating strong and although I do get puffed walking up the stairs, I can in fact walk up them.
After telling the kids what I was up to, I walked down to the basement and climbed on my spin bike – it has been over 4 months since I have ridden and I admit there were nerves. I know from cardiac rehab what my current ability and fitness are and I knew that 20 minutes was the focus. During that 20 minutes, I checked my heart rate only once and concentrated on the smoothness of each peddle rotation. Soon, 20 minutes was over and 8kms had been ridden. Sure it had been a steady pace with only a few clicks on the dial but I did and it was fantastic.
Whilst this little feat is just that, little, it was reassurance that yes, I can trust my body, I can begin to enjoy the living and trusting my body every day. One of the hardest parts after having a heart attack is the after pains, just like an earthquake there are little shocks that follow. Learning how to read these after pains is confusing and gut wrenching but everyday becomes easier and they become less frequent.
Today was my day to seize and I hope each and everyone of you follows – life is precious and I wish you all the opportunity to Carpe Diem.
42 year old Heart Attack survivor with something to say
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