Friday, August 10, 2012


To say that I'm disappointed with the re-occurrence of my cardiac arrhythmia would be putting it mildly.  Since the beginning of 2012, I have committed myself to the goal of completing a Half Ironman distance triathlon (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run).  Along the way, I have had a truly stellar year - including:

2011 was the year or rebuilding (after a disappointing 2010 - the first occurrence of my arrhythmia).  This was really supposed to be my year.  I rode the wave of PR after PR, and the momentum of my successive successes just pushed me harder and harder.  Starting in June, the symptoms of my arrhythmia returned, and have been getting progressively more frequent.  Stress tests, EKG's, home monitoring were the next diagnostic steps, which finally confirmed the diagnosis.  

Doing some research, I realized that this isn't an uncommon problem, even among endurance athletes.  I might be a big on the young side to be dealing with this, but at least this isn't some sort of exotic condition that leaves people scratching their heads about what to do with me.

As of now, I'm on medications (it remains to be see the extent to which they will impact my performance), and I have another procedure to schedule some time in September / October.

Obviously, I'm disappointed.  I'm actively reconfiguring my marathon plans for the fall, and am completely uncertain as to how my 70.3 will go (as of now, I'm going to compete, and my only goal is to finish).  It's just another curveball that life has thrown at me.

I just have to keep reminding myself:  It can always be worse, this too shall pass - and to just focus on health, family and the good things in life.

I can be proud of my accomplishments this year, and look forward to continuing them when this latest episode is squarely in the rearview mirror.  Until then, I'm going to do the best with what I've got - and I'm not going to let this thing get the best of me.

1 comment:

Abbe Lew said...

Joe, you are a true warrior, hero, and friend, and I have no doubt in my mind that you will overcome this and have many more races and PRs in your future.

Your courage and positivity is inspiring.

(Also, thanks for making me well up before I've had my morning cup of coffee.)