Top 5 things to avoid to avoid your next cardiac event!!

Hi, so I think of myself as the luckiest guy alive. I always thought like that when I considered my life…. my lovely family, beautiful wife (punching way above my weight as my friends said at my wedding!), great appartment in middle of the city in my home town of Berlin… I have truly been very lucky.

But then fate started to deal me a cruel hand…

I love my sport, particularly cycling (and its sporting cousin, triathlons) and one balmy palmy evening in Berlin’s mid summer in 2018 I was really excited to kiss my wife goodbye, don my cycling kit and ride to the edge of town to sign up for the first time on a weekly duathlon series on my carbon bike with all the bells and whistles.

The rest of the evening is pretty much of a blur. I remember vaguely lining up at the start and a friendly guy asking to go in front of me… But thats it.

I know that the race entails completing a short course three times… cycle 8km, run 1km and repeat and I know the course like the back of my hand as it is my local training routes.

What I didn’t know was where I would end up that later that evening…

I still have not completed the picture from that evening but that kiss goodbye to my wife and daughter were or so nearly my last…

Apparently, whilst running in one of the leading groups ( it has to be said — always the competitor!) and approaching the last 400m to the finish… I collapsed.


Game over.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest.

It sends a chill down my spine just to write it now.

The Widow Maker.

What happened next makes me a good contender for the luckiest man alive prize…

Not one, but two of my fellow competitors were doctors…

They quickly heard of my predicament, having already finished, and jumped on their bikes and rushed to my motionless body. They saw immediately by the colour of my lips, blue, what had happened and they started without hesitation CPR.

Others cordoned off the scene and called emergency services.

The two of them relentlessly continued with CPR even when the flashing blue light of the ambulance sped past, having taken a wrong turn and could not find me.

25 mins they pumped my heart and broke my ribs…

My next conscious moment was 6 days later in the intensive care ward of the hospital when I opened my eyes to see my wife at one side of the bed and my sister at the other, both with massive smiles on their faces.

I am going to save the near death experience stories for another time.

I am going to skip right back to today…

The 5 things I avoid to try and avoid another cardiac event:

No 1: Avoid arguments with your loved ones before leaving the house! It really could be the last time you will see them and you dont want to be remembered like that.

No 2: Avoid breakfast — we are going to talk a lot about diet in the forthcoming weeks but lets just say for now missing breakfast is a GOOD way to start the day for your body.

No 3 : Avoid birthday cakes and sweet treats from colleagues. In the same vein, we are going to talk more about diet, discipline and denial but your body will thank you for not giving in to a sugar rush.

No 4 : Avoid putting off awkward calls. I think for me, all things considered, stress is probably the major culprit in my illness, and I think putting those awkward calls off only builds stress, a kind of unconscious stress, but its there nevertheless. I would rather face the short term awkwardness than wake up at 4 in the morning fretting about what I didnt do. And besides whats the worse that can happen…. I have been there… I know.


No 5 : Avoid looking sad. There are many reasons to feel sorry for yourself, you dont have to go through a near death experienc to know that life can be a bitch -but you know what? I am still here, I am still alive! WTF I am going to be as happy as I can!! What is interesting too, is that everyone complements me on having a positive attitude… I refuse to be a victim. And I have survived death, and maybe it was for a reason… and maybe that was the cashing-in of all the positive brownie points I have collected over the years. Maybe not but i am not going to gamble with it.


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