Ironman Racing, Iron Hearts and Saving Lives

With all the stories we read now about chronic cardio and how going long is a bad idea, here’s an example of the exact opposite, and it’s on a personal note that I share this story with you, as it’s about a very dear friend.

Nearly ten years ago, a private training client introduced me to her friend, Jenn, who was also looking for someone to work with on her own fitness regime.

Jenn did become a client, but she and I also became fast friends and when both our spouses coincidentally had to relocate at the same time to Seattle for work, we were thrilled to know we’d have at least one friend in a new city.

Over the years I’ve gotten to know Jenn more and more, and she’s one of the most amazing woman I’ve ever had the honor of spending time with.

Aside from her demanding career as a court reporter, she has the toughest mental constitution I’ve ever come across.   She doesn’t let anything stop her!  Her will and determination took her from being a short course triathlete to an ironman athlete, and if that’s not impressive in and of itself, take into consideration that she found out at a very young age that she has a heart condition that could’ve proven fatal….had she not been engaged in endurance training!

Had it not been for the fact that  she was so fit, according her her doctors (not just conjecture) she would quite likely have not survived the condition she has, which is called sudden cardiac death syndrome.

Having lived to tell about it, and having come back even more the fighter she already was, she has a mission to raise awareness and support for the organization whose goal is “to get the world heart-smart and heart-healthy. Along the way, we seek to inspire, educate and motivate individuals, organizations and communities to live a heart healthy life”, the Ironheart Foundation.

Her is her story:
I had always been into health and fitness, but in 2006, my friend Nell put the little thought in my head that I could do an Ironman. It was an amazing moment when someone I respected so much thought I could do something so big. It took four years, but in June of 2010, I completed my first Ironman. The finish line was the most magical experience of my life.

In November of 2010, I had my “heart incident.” I never knew I had a congenital heart defect known as sudden cardiac death syndrome. My doctors told me that had I not been as fit as I was, I would have never survived. So endurance sports saved my life. Literally! Since the incident, I have completed 3 Ironman, 10 Half Ironman, 3 marathons, and countless half marathons and triathlons. My heart demands that I do this, and I refuse to let it down!

I am now on a mission to raise awareness about heart disease and help others. I am raising money for an incredible organization called Ironheart Foundation. By doing this, it also helps me to continue to compete in endurance events.

This is what Ironheart is all about: We make a difference by showing the power of our hearts. WE INSPIRE. By competing in endurance events, we show that our hearts can take us farther than we think. WE CONNECT. By partnering with some of the world’s leading cardiac professionals, we give you a link to the best care possible. WE SAVE LIVES. By putting AEDs in public access areas, we’ll create communities that provide the best chance of survival if a sudden cardiac event happens. All funds raised are tax-deductible and go to support these Ironheart initiatives.

Please support in any amount possible. Every dollar goes to great use and is very appreciated. Here is a link to donate:

http://www.active.com/donate/kickstartyourheart/jennsheart

Please take a quick moment to contribute; even a small amount will help, and please do your part to spread the word.