All my life I have had heart problems, from open heart surgery (age 1) to being fitted for a pacemaker at 8 years old. However, I truly believed that as I grew older that apart from yearly checkups and the odd pacemaker change I would be fine. This changed at age 32, when I was taken into hospital and diagnosed with heart failure. My life as I knew it was about to change. I was advised to stop work by my heart consultant, and was introduced to a concoction of drugs which I was told would help.
Over the next three years, I had a stroke, a bad case of pneumonia, and I fell into depression. I felt confined to the house with a TV and Playstation. I ate the wrong foods, not really caring about myself. My weight went up and up to 262lbs. I just felt that I didn’t have a purpose in life. I needed something to help me get out of the slump I had found myself in. I was lucky I found it.
I met a great guy call Simon Wheatcroft, yes the very same guy who ran from Boston to NYC. He lives around the corner and as time went on we became friends. Having asked me if I would like to help him on his American adventure, he made me think that if a blind person can do that, what can I do? I knew I would never be able to run far or even run again, but I must be able to do more than what I was doing. Meeting the people at Runkeeper and all the people in America was amazing and having that opportunity was just what I needed.
Returning to England with this new thirst, I started looking at my life–with an amazing wife, who now runs with Simon three times a week and is running her first marathon in April, two beautiful girls, a nice house, and great friends. My doctors said that the better condition I’m in, the more chance I have of finding a heart for my transplant. That was all I needed; I was ready.
I decided that 2015 would be my year to get fit and lose weight. I knew where to start: Runkeeper. It’s the perfect app for me. I know I don’t run, but it is perfect for knowing the distance and time of my walks. It helps me so much with my determination to exercise. I don’t try to push out more miles or a faster time but just steady walks to get my heart working. This helps improve my heart muscle. Reading other people’s blogs on the feed helps me too. Thats why I wanted to write mine, so that hopefully it would help someone, somewhere.
I don’t know how far I will be able to go with my exercise, but with Runkeeper with me I feel safe and to me that’s very important—knowing I’m not pushing myself too hard.
So if my body only allows a couple of miles, that’s fine. The fact that I’m out walking and trying to better my health is all I need.
So to this day so far I have lost 24lbs and I feel great. I know I have a long way to go with my weight but with Runkeeper I feel I can get there. Thanks Runkeeper.