At 49 there are not so many people who can still make it to the gym and workout so hard the way I did. At times when I look back to everything that I went through, I still cannot believe I came out of it alive. I battled heart attack and blood clot scares from time to time, and each time I literally thought my time was up. My story is no different from that which you will hear from any other individual, I guess. I was a shop floor supervisor and was promoted to a senior manager. At first I thought it was all going to be easy, having been at the firm for a long time it actually was the kind of challenge that I wanted. There was the stress to perform, which I eventually handled because I was prepared for it. However, soon after we had a new general manager, things just got worse because he had a really aggressive management style and the pressure to live up to expectations was omnipresent.

When it all started, I had these instances of chest pain, headaches and pain in my shoulder blades. We discussed this with my doctor and together we came to the conclusion that I was just under a lot of stress especially with the new role. However, I was certain that this was not the case. Naturally I was this calm person, I knew how to manage stress, and I had a lot of control over my body. I knew how to spare time and relax, so I was pretty sure it was not just stress, but there was something else. When things suddenly took a change for the worst, I cannot say I saw it coming, but one evening while watching football at home my wife had to rush me to hospital since my pulse was getting out of control.

Being a go getter, I figured that I had two options, either to keep wallowing in the challenges that I was facing and take warfarin for the rest of my life as my medical consultant had advised, or to get up and face life like a man. I mean, it never gets that serious, and none of us will make it out alive anyway. I kept on with my weight training and decided to record my progress and nutrition each day of the week. I went on to train and even thought of competing as an over 40 bodybuilder. I never gave up on my dream to keep fit, and to beat the life threatening condition that my heart was all about.

Accomplishing my goals was not easy, and I cannot lie to anyone about that either. Having been in the mechanical engineering field, it was rather natural for me to track my progress through the workout sessions. I took notes and kept records of everything that I ate so that I could later refer to it if necessary. The most important thing that helped me through however was the fact that once I set my mind on something, I never looked back.