Thursday, 22 December 2011

The story of my trusty Heart Rate Monitor

So I mentioned in my last post that the Christmas hustle is hitting me hard this week. And I guess I am not the only one to notice - since my pup decided to show me that he felt neglected by destroying my beloved heart rate monitor! Nooo! (but you can't be mad at that face...sigh..)

I rule with an iron fist...clearly
You guys know I am a little obsessed with my HR monitor, and never exercise without it. My little timex monitor has been through many fitness ups and downs with me. And it is my always faithful workout partner. But this wasn't always the case. I didn't even know I needed it, until one fateful day in September shorty after I began my fitness transformation.

I had been running, biking, yoga-ing and was down 55 lbs. I had the girlie pop blaring and I was feeling good. I was feeling fit and fabulous! And I was pumped and ready to tackle that hill on my 8 km loop with gusto. So off I went, rocking out to No Doubt's "Just a Girl", feeling strong as I chugged up that hill. My legs were moving and I was feeling powerful...until BAM! I felt something hit me hard right in between the shoulder blades. I stumbled forward a little bit, feeling confused as I looked around to see what had hit me. I slowed down, looking for the someone or something that had just stopped me dead in my tracks. But the only people remotely nearby were across the street and waiting for the bus (note: I often wonder what they were thinking as the watched the next few minutes of my bizarre antics). I walked a few more steps and BAM! It hit me again, and this time it hit so hard I fell down. That when the lightbulb went off - it was my defibrillator firing.

"Well now I had gone and done it, hadn't I? I got a little to cocky thinking I was some sort of athlete or something and not the Darwinian Fail  with a heart condition. DAMNIT!"

I said several other explitives in my head because a) it hurt like a mother-F**cker and b) I thought I was sure to pass out alone in the street at any minute. So there I was, sitting on the sidewalk, waiting to see what would happen next...and nothing did...So I got up and walked my dejected and confused self back home to call my cardiologist.

This was the first time that had ever happened to me (note: not the last I am afraid - a story for another post), so I was a little shaken up to say the least. I had always been told that if the defib ever fired then my ticker was in serious distress and I would also not likely be conscious (hence why I was waiting to pass out on the sidewalk). This made total sense since it felt like someone had just beat me the back with a 2x4. It is not really a sensation you want to be conscious for. Once returning home I immediately made an emergency appointment at the pacemaker clinic to figure out what went wrong. They had me in and under observation in approximately 15 minutes flat.

Oh the horror!!
As it turns out most people who have heart condition and ICDs are typically elderly and inactive, so being a 20-something runner wasn't exactly the norm around the clinic. They had made my threshold (aka the heart rate when the defib will fire) 200 bpm. Which is usually pretty standard, but given my new active lifestyle - just wasn't going to cut it anymore. They gave me 2 options that day... 
Option 1. give up running - to which I quickly responded "NEVER" Or...
Option 2. allow them to change my threshold to 230 bpm and wear a heart rate monitor everytime I laced up my sneaks - to which responded equally as quickly "DEAL".
And with that my love of my heart rate monitor was born. I went to the local Running Room and bought my trusty timex that day and haven't exercised without it since.

So I definitely felt a a pang of grief when I saw the destruction. We had a good run old friend. You served me well. But since I plan on sticking to my normal routine this holiday season I wasn't able to grieve for long. So just like I had done that day 7 years ago (man time flies), I went to the Running Room and bought myself a new workout buddy. This time in the form of a Polar Heart Rate monitor - which is supposed to be the best and is regularly endorsed by my Fitfluential friends. So I guess it is a New Year and a New Heart Rate Monitor!

Happy Holidays!
Love your Favourite Darwinian Fail,