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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.
If you are a FAMILY MEMBER or FRIEND of a blood clot survivor you need polka-dots to spread the word, create awareness and CELEBRATE your Survivor's Accomplishments!
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Monday, September 30, 2019

October Athlete of the Month


Blood Clot Survivors CAN DO ANYTHING!

Friends or Family of Blood Clot Survivors CAN ALSO DO ANYTHING!

This is the time of the year when the inspiration is abundant from both camps... 

Blood Clot Survivors and Friends or Family of Blood Clot Survivors join together wearing the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots while running in the iconic NYC Marathon.

But this effort is not only about running it also about raising funds to support the great work that is doing everyday.  Take a look at the team's fundraising page...

On this edition of the Athlete of the Month post I would like to highlight part of the 2019 volunteers who will be taking part on this iconic race representing the CLOT BUSTER #StopTheClot polka-dots.  Each of these runners have an unique reason as to why they are running which can provide a great of inspiration to us all.

Read on and get inspired!

Perhaps next year you can consider joining Team #StopTheClot to participate in the experience of our life while running through the streets of NYC!

Here we go BRITTANY...

"When I was a sophomore in college I woke up at 4am one night with an intense sharp pain in my abdomen and chest. Thinking I was having a muscle spasm  from  a  work  out  earlier  that  day, I loaded up on Advil and tried to sleep it off. A day later I found myself in the emergency room and after  a few ultrasounds, x-rays, and cat scans, I was admitted to the ICU with a pulmonary embolism. For those who do not know, a pulmonary embolism is a condition where one or more arteries in the lungs are blocked by a blood clot. At 19 years old, I didn’t understand why this was happening. I was a healthy, fit and young college student and overnight found myself to be the youngest patient on the ICU floor. 
After further testing, I was diagnosed with Factor V Leiden, a genetic blood disorder, which makes me prone to clotting. The combination of flying for spring break trips, birth control pills, and my unknown blood clotting gene created the perfect storm. I am thankful for my parents who pushed me to go to the ER and for my doctors whose immediate attention and care is why I am still here today. I feel compelled to share my story with others and help educate those, like me, who knew so little about blood clots until I experienced first hand."
Here you go CHRISTY...
"When I was 25 years old, my mom passed  away very quickly and tragically from a Pulmonary embolism.  This is a blood clot that had traveled from her leg into her lungs.She had just had a simple outpatient surgery and two days later she was gone. We were extremely close and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss her.

Over the years, I have always wanted to do something to honor my mom and raise awareness to blood clots.  The New York City Marathon has always been on my bucket list and I know that this would be an amazing way to honor my mom who has been such an influential person in my life."
Here you THOMAS...

"My name is Thomas and a significant portion of my life has been dedicated to running and being in the best shape and health possible. However, on 10/21/2018* I woke up with a cramping pain in my rib cage and upper back that would change my life forever. It turns out I had a blood clot in my lungs aka a pulmonary embolism. I went from being in the best shape I had been in years to not being able to walk down a hallway without getting out of breath. My primary care doctor was in shock when they recieved the report from the hospital saying I had a pulmonary embolism  and that it happened to someone so young and in good health up to that point.  Since then I have fought hard to get back to where I was before the embolism. I still get dizzy often and have about half the energy I had before, but I'm fighting every day to get back to where I was before I got sick. Since it's considered an unprovoked embolism meaning they do not know what exactly caused it I am on anti coagulants(medicine that keeps your blood from clotting normally) indefinitely. 

The NYC marathon has been on my bucket list for a while now and when I saw that I had the opportunity to run for Team Stop the Clot almost exactly a year after my pulmonary embolism I had to give it a shot. Nothing would mean more to me than showing myself that this embolism didn't beat me by running a marathon in the Big Apple almost exactly a year after it happened. 

One silver lining of all of this is that I found a race team to represent in Team Stop the Clot and I now don the Red Polka dots of the Clot Busters for every race I run. Another reason is because I want to raise awareness about blood clots and blood clot related illnesses and their symptoms. I waited almost 4 days to go to the hospital because I had no idea what was happening to me. I thought I was just sore from doing pushups, and when it got worse I thought that I had broken my ribs or something. It wasn't until it felt like I was being stabbed while driving to my parents house that I decided to go to the ER. So I would like to use my running, something that the pulmonary embolism almost took away from me, to raise awareness about the symptoms and hopefully give people information that could save their life or the life of someone they love. This has taught me what is important in my life: My wife Allison who has been my ride or die through all of this, my pets, my family, the runners I coach, and just being able to run, something I took for granted until I could barely walk without losing my breath. I hope you will consider donating to this cause and educating yourself on the symptoms and risks of blood clots."

Can't wait to see these runners in their very own polka-dots running down the streets of NYC.
Next month we will get to meet the rest of the crew of volunteers that are part of the Team StopTheClot.
Without a question their tenacity and dedication is very much appreciated!
Here is wishing the team the best of luck with what is left of their training and the race itself.  This is an experience they WILL NEVER FORGET.
Thank you for reading,
The Clot Buster

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

September Athlete of the Month

Change is always challenging.

From the very simple or minor to the more complicated or major.

From the outdoor pool closing for the season the change of the season is certainly upon us... I don't like it one bit... Not because fall is coming but instead the dreaded winter... But this type of change is certainly minor and I can suck it up...

But the major changes are the ones that take a lot of effort and dedication to overcome.  Health issues like facing the diagnosis of blood clots is one of those major changes that represent a mountain that you must climb in order to return to normal... or at least the best normal that you can given what your body and mind went through.

Anything is possible for Blood Clot Survivors... time and time again it has been demonstrated... and it never gets old because it is INSPIRING!

Speaking of INSPIRING... September's CLOT BUSTER Athlete of the Month is a story that without a question will make you reflect on how anything is possible to those who believe.

LESLIE has been able to overcome the challenges of her own clotting incident and turn things around that are truly inspiring.  Please read below to learn more about her story as she has been willing to share it with all of us.

What is you sport/activity of choice? Why do you enjoy it?
My sport of choice is boxing. In addition to it being a great cardio workout it is an amazing mental release for me. However, I also incorporate weight training (slightly below boxing) and other forms of cardio. I am definitely doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) That said, I go for a walk every morning which I refer to as my moving meditation.

How did you get started in that sport? 
I fell into it by luck. Back in the mid 1990’s I had a personal trainer who introduced me to it. The first time I worked with mitts I missed the mark and the first time he had me jump rope I tripped over my feet and could not get past 15 seconds without getting winded. But I loved it and got much better!

What is the latest milestone you achieved or plan to achieve? (Long bike ride, some race coming up or that you did)
I have never been a runner but after my PE I discovered the Alt G treadmill. I loved it, I was weightless! It was part of my rehab. Once I got good at it we progressed to interval training on a regular treadmill. I am now running and in October I will be running my first ever road race!!! A 5k. I am nervous but excited to do it. In the back of my head I am already thinking about my first mini triathlon! I truly did walk before I ran.

Tells about your clotting episode.  Are you on blood thinners now? How long were you out of commission?
My PE happened in June 2018. I live in NYC and the hospital I went to could not figure out my shortness of breath issue. 6 hours later they finally did a scan of my lungs. I had bilateral clots.  I was immediately taken to the ICU where they put me on heparin. Up until that day I had no idea what a blood clot was.  When I left the hospital I transitioned to Xarelto. 

I started short walks shortly after my PE. Literally walking around the block. I remember two weeks after my PE I had a day where I actually felt “good” and I walked up a hill. When I got home I had to get in bed because I was so wiped out. I could hardly function. That day happened to be my birthday. I kept telling myself to think forward one year from today. My 2019 birthday was very different. I exercise with intensity 5 days a week. And I have lost 50 pounds since my PE while also incorporating a vegetarian diet. I hate that word because my food intake is anything but a diet. Fuel is probably a better four letter word than diet!

When were you able to get back into your activity?  How did it feel that first time?   
I started boxing again about 8 months after my PE. I was terrified my lungs could not handle it-and I have had moments of anxiety when I became winded-but it is simply me getting to an anaerobic state, it means I am working hard! And I recover.  After my session I went home drenched and so happy, I cried walking home. But they were tears of joy. I was back!

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 love my fitbit and my apple watch! It is great to be able to monitor my results and set goals. For several months after my PE I was obsessed with monitoring my SPO2.  I still monitor it but I monitor all my stats!

How much are you getting out doing your sport?  (Everyday you do some training, 2, 3, 4 times per week)
I walk 7 days a week and get those 10,000 steps! Or at least try. 5 days a week I do a combination of boxing, running, strength training, HIIT, swimming and balance exercises.  I mix it up so I don't get bored. 

What is your favorite food?  Either generally or after a workout.  For me there is nothing better than a Chipotle Burrito..
You may laugh but I am obsessed with the Beyond Meat burger. I crave it!

If you could go someplace to visit and explore, where would like to go? 
Rome. I have been there several times but the art history is amazing. You can just walk everywhere, into a small church for example, and find a priceless piece of art. And through different time periods. They all thread together and tell a story. 

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.
For me, I got very depressed after my PE. Eventually I started to feel a little better and setting small exercise goals helped me tremendously. Setbacks were normal, still are. But I kept moving forward and telling myself “a year from now” think about where will you be “a year from now”. Last year I was just starting light weights. This year I am deadlifting 175!  I hope “a year from now” I will be telling you about some great event I am training for. Nope, I will be telling you! Honestly, you can come back from this. I am probably in the best shape of my life now. . Keep thinking about where you can go not where you are. 

Can't wait to see how Leslie will tackle her upcoming 5K!

Without a question that she will overcome the distance challenge with the same dedication and effort as she was able to overcome her clotting incidents.  Small steps will add to great distances and MONUMENTAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

Everyone has their own monumental accomplishments ahead of them.  Go ahead, find them and achieve them!

Thank you Leslie once again for your willingness to share your story.

Thank you for reading,

The Clot Buster

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!

My 100th Triathlon Finish !!!