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Express Yourself



Aug 22

Posted by: ACHA
8/22/2013 9:48 AM  RssIcon


My story begins near the wheat fields and red flecked buttes of Western North Dakota where I was born on a hot summer day in 1975. In fact, it was so hot that day that the air conditioning in the hospital had quit working and as my mother was laboring with me, the repairmen were working around her bedside. When I was born, the pediatrician knew something was not right with me, but he was not quite sure what the problem was. In fact, I was quickly flown to Minneapolis for further evaluation but no real answers were found. Eventually I was given a diagnosis at the University of Nebraska, Omaha and it was there my Tetralogy of Fallot repair was done when I was 17 months old. As a child, I never thought much of my condition. The only ways it really affected me was that I had to go to Omaha (and later Cleveland when we moved to Ohio) to see the cardiologist 1 or 2 times a year and also that I had restrictions imposed on me. If it was too hot, to strenuous or too dangerous I was told I couldn’t do it. As an adult, I found a wonderful adult pediatric cardiologist. It was there, 13 years ago, that I was able to safely give birth to a healthy baby girl. Since then we’ve adopted 2 more children and I am a busy stay-at-home-mom to 3 children ages 13, 9 and 3. Prior to my life as a stay-at-home-mom, I had a career as an elementary school teacher and I also spent 13 years owning and operating an in-home licensed child care. Let me tell you, staying busy is the way I like it; resting and taking it easy are not in my natural personality. Of course this frustrates my husband when he just wants to take a nap on Sunday afternoons and I want to do something; ANYTHING! Several years ago, my cardiologist reminded me that I was gaining weight; this was not healthy for my heart. So, I set about losing nearly 40lbs and finding a life in fitness from which I have not looked back. I am now a certified personal trainer who trains clients at our city’s local recreation center part-time as it fits with my family’s schedule. Through strength training, traditional style and through equipment like kettlebells, I love teaching others to overcome their fears, trust their bodies and push themselves just a little further than they think they can go. After all, if I hadn’t been able to do those things, I wouldn’t be where I am today, nor would I be dreaming of the things I still want to accomplish in my life.

Tags: Tetralogy;
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