Just a Little Heart Attack…..

Today as I checked my News feed on Facebook, I came across this Video called “Just a Little Heart Attack.”   on my friend Marcie’s Page.  It is a very entertaining and yet informative video and it got me to thinking.

Thinking….Oh my Gosh, this WAS me.  OK, me, minus some of the humorous parts.  All of my signs and symptoms were common with what women experience having a Heart Attack. I did not have typical “Male” symptoms.   Just like the woman in the video it was others who pointed it out.

I did the same things she did, brushing it off, thinking….No, not me.  I am not the type to have a heart attack !  I ignored what was obvious.

Truth is that a Heart Attack is not discriminatory and you could be very healthy with only a small blockage and have it still happen.

Remember that a Heart Attack happens when the flow of oxygen-rich blood to a section of heart muscle suddenly becomes blocked and the heart can’t get oxygen. If blood flow isn’t restored quickly, the section of Heart muscle begins to die.  This can happen by a piece of your blockage merely breaking off and stopping the flow.

Anyway, enjoy this funny yet very true video.  It is lighthearted and very well made.

Courtesy of Go Red for Women- an organization in conjunction with The American Heart Association.  I enocurage you to visit their website, read the stories and educate yourself and the women in your life.






Not All Superheroes Wear Capes



In a world where many people are starving for people to look up to or to be heroes, I can say I am blessed to know a few everyday heroes.

Superheroes.  As  a young boy I loved reading comics.  My favorite Superhero was Superman.  He could fly and go fast and beat up the bad guys.  He was strong, brave,  yet as his alter ego Clark Kent he was nerdy, awkward and slightly shy.  In recent adaptations he became more extroverted.  I related to Superman because I was that awkward kid.  A kid who in some ways wished he could save the world, get the girl.  He was my favorite fictional superhero for that reason.

Now, in my older years I look for different heroes.   On June 7th of this year and over the last 3 years I have seen my friends become everyday superheroes for me.  They don’t wear capes nor have secret identities or the ability to leap buildings in a single bound (They do have MAD Dodgeball skills !)

Of course, given the opportunity most will dress up in various costumes because…well, who doesn’t like to dress up right ?

These people range in backgrounds, age, height, weight, race, religion, sexual orientation, social structures, personality and talents but three things they have in common are big hearts, love for the Alberta Children’s Hospital and a love for playing Dodgeball.


On June 7, 2014 I hosted the Teddy for a Toonie Dodegball  Tournament.  Teddy for A Toonie 2014 was the 3rd annual tournament held to raise money for The Alberta Children’s Hospital.  The theme this years was Create your own Superhero

Each year I ask nothing of my friends other than to join a team, pay a fee and come play dodgeball combined with various fun games and skills competitions.  Everyone involved has stepped up even further than anyone could expect to support me in this endeavor each year

Here is what these superheroes really do rather than just show up and play?  They hold drafts for teams so we can all play against our friends, they create swear jars. (this is for the kids afterall.)   Make Bacon and Ice Cream sandwiches, bake cookies, assist in planning, scheduling,  take videos and photos  and edit them,  they use the money they may have spent on costumes as donation,  they re donate the money they win in the 50/50 Battle Royale back to Alberta Children’s hospital, the buy Teddy Bears, One friend last year donated one of his photos to be auctioned.  The list could go on and on.


The support, the selflessness, the fun, the crazy fund raising ideas, the costumes, the encouragement, the “want” to help and give, the care and closeness many of these people have within their groups and teams is like family but they also have an innate ability to welcome others ( even if it means you may get hit hard by a dodgeball.)  It is common to see a lot of hugs and laughs being shared throughout the day.  Egos, in most cases get put aside and my friends focus on the fun part of the tournament rather than the winning.  That is what makes this tournament unique.   


All these things mentioned are why these people are heroes to me.  I look up to them because they care and want to make a difference, they care enough to want to do this and support this little mini guy even if some things don’t always go as planned for.

I am blessed to know each person who has played each year and yes I am closer to some than others, some I consider an extended family.  My Dodgeball family and what they do for The Alberta Children’s hospital and for the support they give me makes them superheroes to those around them, especially me.

Everyday we encounter Superheroes in our world, most are not recognized or noticed and most likely would pass the credit to someone else.  Today I recognize my superheroes, my Dodgeball friends and family.  Thank you, I love you.

Who are your superheroes?



The Inspiration Inside.

Sunday June 1st I completed the Jugo Juice 10 K race at the Calgary Marathon in a time of 1 hour, 10 mins, 47 seconds unofficially at the moment.

The moment I crossed the finish line I finally became my own inspiration and my own hero.


Why do I say this ?  Because I became a firsthand witness to all it took to get there, to take the first steps and fight back on the hard days. There were definitely hard days. So. Many. Hard. Days.

 Is it narcissistic of me?  Maybe.  But not really.  I rarely toot my own horn.

Most people I know have people who they look up to for inspiration.  It could be an actor, athlete a friend or family member.  I too have had past inspirational people I have looked up to. But I wonder why can’t someone be their own inspiration ?

The answer:  because we focus on what’s wrong with us or are ashamed of our stories to really inspire ourselves. We are afraid of Judgement, ridicule.  We pick at the lack of success or the body parts we hate or the last 10 lbs.  We do not realize how great we really are or even how others may see us.

I am willing to bet you have at least one person who you have inspired.  Think about it, you may realize by someone’s actions that it was you who helped them make that change or take that step.  Now…look in the mirror and realize that you can and have it in you to inspire yourself to new levels. Stop worrying about what others think of your story, you may be surprised at the support you get.


I use to hate when people said I inspire them, I was uncomfortable, uneasy.  Who am I to inspire?  I thought I was a complete screw up.   A life screw up.  I focused on my bad decisions, the failures.  I hated my so called lot in life for so long.  Not anymore.

Then I had a Heart Attack. It was the best thing that could have happened. Truth.

It wasn’t until after that I really started seeing my own self worth and yes even why some people said to me that they are inspired by me…..even long before this Heart Attack. 

Through months of rehab, to making better lifestyle choices and never giving up and realizing the sweat and pain was going to get me somewhere, I took the step to the start line of the 10 K.

My friend Sam ran this race with me and I met up with  2 other Cardiac Rehab graduates before the race.  15,000 people took a step that day, that is a huge accomplishment in itself.


The race wasn’t easy but wasn’t hard either. It was amazing for me, exhilarating, fun.  I spent the previous week being nervous.  Could I do it ?  Would my heart hold up ?  Was my training adequate ?

Yes, Yes and Yes. 

As each step brought me closer to the finish line I smiled knowing that all I have been through made it all worth it.

As I crossed the finish line I realized for the first time, that all along as I was looking around for inspiration to get better, to be healthy and take steps forward in my life but it took finishing that race to realize……I had it in me the entire time.  My own will to succeed, my determination and my attitude of never give up.

Me and my litel buddy Olaf !
Me and my litel buddy Olaf !

I will still get uneasy when people tell me I inspire them, for I don’t do well with compliments and I am just simply a man trying to live as best I can for as long I can.

 I will smile knowing that as long as I keep inspiring myself then maybe, just maybe I can be an inspiration to others.

June 1, 2014, I became my own hero.  My own Inspiration.  Friends, YOU have this inside you, just look a little deeper when you look in that mirror.


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