Cardiac Arrest to 5K

While (I’m sure) many people recovering from a heart attack with cardiac arrest get back in the fitness game before me, I was never in the game. Well, when I was in high school I went to the gym, I once ran (okay walked) in the Gasparilla 5k but in the last 25 years you could not call my daily, weekly, monthly and/or yearly activities “fitness”.

Early morning of April 11, 2014, my future wife (without her and the grace of God I would not be here today) whisked me away to the hospital and before we arrived, I went into cardiac arrest. My wife tells me that as soon as this happened she called 911 and they informed her to pull off the road and wait for an ambulance. Thank God, she did not take this advice; with only 2-3 minutes away from the hospital she rolled on…Sliding into the emergency room the attendants and doctors began CPR followed by using the defibrillator.

After bringing me back, implanting a stent placing me in deep freeze and 6 days of recovery in the hospital I was back home. What is even more of a “God Thing”, 9 days later (April 26th) I married the love of my life. She saved me and now I get to spend the rest of my life with her.

Now, I was not in that bad of shape, I wasn’t too overweight, probably only about 15-20 lbs. but I was not active and I ate whatever was placed in front of me. I loved to stop at the fast food joints and I could not drive by a donut shop without getting one, two or three. My cholesterol was bad, I was not listening to my doctor and I was not active one bit.

After our wedding, my wife (and my life) began to take a stroll every evening after dinner; we began to eat only chicken and fish and stayed away anything considered not good for you. At first, the stroll lasted about 15 minutes and was about a quarter of a mile; eventually we got up to 1.8 miles in about 45 minutes. I know that is not much but for me it was a great stride.

After a few months, we decided to join the YMCA and now my goal was to be in the gym at least 3 days a week with a stretch goal of five now, I usually get in 4 days a week. About a month ago, it began to dawn on me that for the first time in my life I could possibly jog a 5k. As I pondered this revelation, I wondered if I could be ready to jog in the Carillon Classic 5k at Bok Tower Gardens.

In its 4th year, the Carillon Classic by the Dick Pope Polk County Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association in partnership with Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales Florida. In the first and second year, I was honored to be the host and emcee of the event, last year I was once again slated to be the emcee but three weeks before is when I had my heart attack.

Therefore, finally my goal is to complete the Carillon Classic 5K in 35 minutes or less. I know this is not a great pace; however, I do not like to jog (at all) I only do it because it is great cardio and good for the heart. Since my heart attack, I have lost 15 solid pounds, eat healthier and have two blood tests over the last 8 months that showed my cholesterol is “PERFECT”. God is good and it is my responsibility to honor his decision to keep me here on this earth.

The Carillon Classic 5K will be held on May 2, 2015 at Bok Tower Gardens and I (God willing) will be there. Over the next 4 months I plan to provide snippet updates so that I am held accountable. You’ve heard of “Couch to 5K” this is my “Cardiac Arrest to 5K”.

Currently: the best time and distance I have (on a treadmill) is…2.75 miles in 35 minutes and my goal is 3.2 miles in 35 minutes with a stretch goal of 3.2 miles in 30 minutes.

Follow the Carillon Classic 5K on Facebook and if participating, use the #Hashtag #CC5K

Follow the Dick Pope/Polk County FPRA on Twitter and Facebook

Follow the Florida Public Relations Association on Twitter and Facebook

Follow me on Twitter

Finally, find out more about the race and Bok Tower Gardens and register for the race here.

Danny Kushmer



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