“Doctor! Doctor!” The nurse exclaimed as she ran into the hallway and away from the room where I had just completed my stress test. The day was October 16, 2019. The diagnosis was not what I expected. At age 35, I have a heart condition.
In the almost year leading up to my diagnosis (and with the birth of my two children behind me) I had resolved to become a stronger, healthier version of myself. This is where OrangeTheory Fitness came into play. My first workout at OTF was really tough. Honestly, I could barely do a sit up. But slowly and steadily with every class I got stronger, faster and began feeling more fulfilled in so many aspects of my life. In September of 2019, one month before that stress test, I finished the Dri Tri in second place among all females. I truly felt in the best shape I had been in years!
It was also during this time that I began experiencing severe waves of dizziness while on the treadmill. Sometimes I could run through it and other times I would sit until it passed, but when it was really bad I’d have to leave class. Having grown up a competitive soccer player I knew this wasn’t normal for me, but I chalked it up to a change in body chemistry post kids or a potential inner ear infection.
When the dizziness began to interfere in my daily life I knew I had do something. My doctor sent me to a cardiologist who ran a slew of tests. I was diagnosed on the spot with a heart condition called Right Ventricular Outflow Tract Ventricular Tachycardia (RVOT VT). RVOT VT is caused by a malfunction in the heart’s electrical system. Your heart rate is controlled by electrical impulses that trigger each contraction and determine the rhythm of the heart. When this process is disrupted and the electrical signals are sent too quickly, Ventricular Tachycardia can occur. Patients experience rapid heartbeats causing dizziness, fainting and in some very severe cases sudden death can occur.
On December 2, 2019 I underwent surgery to repair my heart. And on January 15, 2020 my doctor cleared me to come back to OTF!
I am so thankful to OrangeTheory Fitness for having brought this issue to light. This workout and this community have changed my life for the better. I’m so glad to be back!