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PLEASE HELP US CELEBRATE CLOT SURVIVORS and spread awareness about blood clots and blood clotting disorders.
If you are a CLOT SURVIVOR you need polka-dots to inspire others and CELEBRATE that you are Survivor.
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Sunday, May 01, 2016

May Athlete of the Month

How is it May already...?!?!?

Not too long ago we were only a family of 4... and now we are 5 strong with this kind of smile to keep me going every day...

We are very lucky for sure not only to have him but for EVERYTHING!

I suppose that part of the luck has to do also with my interactions with clot survivors over social media.  Everyday brings me the opportunity to meet new people and keep up with those that I already know.  Every story of survival is inspiring regardless of who it is. 

Not too long ago I saw a post about a clot survivor completing a Spartan Race which caught my eye.  I've heard of the Spartan Race Series before and the newer format of obstacle course racing but I don't recall seeing blood clot survivors going after a demanding event like that.  So naturally I had to look into this and find out who was brave enough to take on that sort of physical challenge after surviving blood clots...

Please allow me to introduce to you Mr. SCOTT FISHER and his blood clot survival experience and come back! 

1)  What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
I love participating in boot camps and spin and for the last two years my primary focus has been high-intensity interval training with Orangetheory Fitness.  They are 1 hour group training sessions divided into different blocks consisting of a combination of cardio (on the treadmill and water rowers) and weight room training, which combines TRX straps, BOSU balls, medicine balls, dumbbells, and other non-weight exercises like burpees, push-ups and step-ups.  You set your pace of base, push and all-out running on the treadmill and rower.  You have the choice to wear a heart-rate monitor that displays your heart-rate and calorie count on an overhead board during the work-out and your results also get emailed to you. I enjoy it since it is total body conditioning in only an hour and I burn the most calories than any other exercise routine I do.

2)  How did you get started in that sport? The local Orangetheory Fitness franchise opened in my neighborhood about two years ago.  Prior to that I had been doing different boot camp training sessions at my local gym and I thought that the Orangetheory  Fitness concept would take me to the next level, which it has.

3)  What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve?(Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)In mid April 2016, I participated in my first Spartan Sprint Race at Citi Field.  My work outs at Orangetheory Fitness helped prepared me for the endurance, strength and power I needed to complete the Spartan race.  It was intense and I pushed myself to the limit to finish the race and tried my best to complete all of the course obstacles.

4)  Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
In early May 2015, I developed flu-like symptoms.  I was feverish, lethargic, and developed a wet cough.  I also felt like I could not focus.  After a week, I went to my primary care physician, who felt that I probably had a virus and prescribed antibiotics.  I took the antibiotics for almost a week and felt no relief.  During that week, I also developed severe pain in my right calf.  After a few days, I was unable to work out and by Mother's Day I could barely walk.  The next day I went to the orthopedist, The working diagnosis was a muscle sprain and I was recommended for physical therapy.  Right before I was leaving the office, the orthopedist said that the chances were extremely low but he gave me a prescription for a sonogram of my leg to rule out a blood clot.  I immediately went to the radiologist and a DVT was discovered in my right calf.  It was after business hours by then and the orthopedist told me to go to my local emergency room with the radiological results and tell them to start me on blood thinner.  The ER doctor had the foresight to consider all of my symptoms and scheduled me for a CT scan of my chest.  The CT scan revealed multiple bilateral PEs and I was admitted to the hospital, where I stayed for 5 days.  I started a course of treatment on Xarelto and I am still on it almost a year later

5)  When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?  
I was told not to work out for about a month.  The pain in my right calf substantially subsided after about 2 weeks.  I decided to go back to working out by the end of June 2015.  I started slowly and took my time getting my stamina and strength back.  When I started back, I felt like it was the first time I had ever worked out.  It was a slow process to get all of the strength back.  I am back to my regular work out routine but my stamina and energy levels are not where they were pre-blood clots. I now also try to take at least 1 day off per week from working out and try to listen to my body if I am sore and tired.

6)  What is your favorite piece of gear for your favorite activity? (Bike brand, running shoes, perhaps a running singlet or the Clot Buster's Running Polka-Dot Technical Shirt...)
I don't really have a favorite piece of gear but I would say that my running shoes of choice are New Balance 990s.

7)  How much are you getting out doing your sport?  (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
If I am feeling strong, I will work out 7 days/week.  5-6 of those days will be at Orangetheory Fitness and 1-2 days will be at a local gym doing spin or other cardio machines like the Stair Master.  If I am tired, I will work out most likely 6 days/week and follow the same schedule.  When the weather is nice I may also go for long walks and cycle outside. 

8)   What is your favorite food?  Either generally or after a workout.  For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito...
I don't have a favorite food.  I like to generally maintain a healthy lifestyle so I tend to avoid eating red meat and pasta.  Lately, I have been eating Bird's Eye frozen Protein Blend - Italian which combines whole grains and vegetables in a tasty, light sauce.  For a treat, I enjoy Yasso Greek Frozen Yogurt bars (all the flavors) which are high in protein and low in calories.  Of course, I'll eat at Chipotle but I tend to go with a salad bowl with grilled chicken.

9)  If you could go some place to visit and explore, where would like to go?
One of my bucket list items was to visit the Grand Canyon.  I had the opportunity to go a couple of months ago and it was a surreal experience.  It was so majestic and peaceful to see the beauty and grandeur of nature at its best.

10)  What would like to say to someone who is going through a clotting episode, perhaps very similar to yours?  How can people return to do what they enjoy? Tells about your concerns and what you look out after as you got back.
The key is to never give up.  To be strong in the face of adversity.  There was no way I was going to let blood clots prevent me from continuing to work out.  Being active and staying fit are essential to my life and I was not going to give that up.  Fortunately, my strength came back and even though my stamina is not where it was, it is close enough that I am satisfied with my journey back.  You have to be smart and listen to your body.  It is also easy to worry that every ache can be a clot.  If there is doubt, then seek medical advice. I have learned to try to find the right balance between pushing myself and knowing how far is too far.  When you have a passion for something, you can't give in.  You have to mentally and physically challenge yourself to keep that passion alive and to strive for continued success.  And the support and encouragement from family and friends also helped tremendously.

THANK YOU Scott for your willingness to share your story and your personal experiences with blood clots.

There is not question that you will have plenty more obstacle course races to conquer in the future as you celebrate that you were able to overcome your blood clots.

For sure someday we will find the CLOT BUSTER #STOPTHECLOT polka-dots participating on that sort of event... I just hope that it is one of those in which the polka-dots can stay relatively clean...

Blood Clots CANNOT stop us!

Thanks for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!