Image result for Letter: Stop the cycle of heart diseaseI was at a new height in my fitness journey when I had my heart attack. I thought I had been doing everything right for my health, which is why I wasn’t concerned about my indigestion. The acute pain in my chest that followed, a grind-your-teeth kind of pain, was over before it started, as was the cold feeling down my spine and arms. On a whim I decided to go to the hospital, because I was going on vacation soon.

My tests came back normal. I never had high blood pressure or cholesterol. My family didn’t have a history of heart disease. The only numbers that were off were my troponin levels, which were coming in high. It was then determined that I was having a heart attack.

The week before, I was cycling 20 miles in under an hour; now I was having a stent placed in my heart for a 90% blockage in a secondary artery.

Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 killers of all Americans, but they can be prevented with exercise, a good diet and taking care of your mental health. I thrived on stress before my heart attack, not knowing it was taking a toll on my body.

On Nov. 14, I will be cycling for heart disease and stroke awareness at Executive Health and Sports Center for the American Heart Association’s first-ever CycleNation in New Hampshire. Join me in my journey to be heart-healthy. Visit CycleNation.org/NHManchester for more information.

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