A Cryptic Attack: The Importance of Prevention

Each morning, I follow a fairly simple routine. It truly is nothing out of the ordinary, at least not me, and it is one I’ve come to adapt to. Both during and after breakfast, NBC’s The Today Show is my companion. Throughout the course of several years, I’ve come to know the hosts, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Dylan Dreyer and Al Roker as though they are my close confidantes, turning to them for both breaking and lighthearted news. Their interactions, true passion for journalism and news is captivating and leads me to trust to them, turning to them for a daily synopsis of the latest happenings.

With that being said, I took note of the commercial airing last night as NBC’s Nightly News with Lester Holt, briefly detailing the exclusive live interview set to take place tomorrow (this morning) with Bob Harper, the renowned personal trainer, star of The Biggest Loser, and frequent guest on talk shows such as The Rachael Ray Show. While I’ve never been that much of a fan of Harpers, his recent heart attack caught my attention. When I first learned of his heart attack, I was in shock and disbelief. How could someone so fit, so into health and fitness, with such knowledge and awareness suffer something as potentially-devastating and life-threatening as a heart attack? Often times, as you are probably aware, when hearing of a heart attack, it is quickly attributed to poor health and eating habits, weight or obesity, perhaps family history, lack of self-care, etc. Of course, with that being said, naturally, there are an assortment and vast array of other contributing factors not related to any of the aforementioned risks.

Bob Harper photo             Today show

This morning, I watched the interview unfold between Bob and Savannah Guthrie, captivated as he spoke and detailed his experience, suddenly collapsing mid-gym workout. Though an interview, it felt much more like a conversation between two acquaintances or friends detailing one’s life-threatening episode and experience. During the interview, Harper stated this was his first time publicly recounting all he’d been through and though he has no recollection of that particular day, he stated that he was told it was how the day all unraveled. To his benefit, shockingly numerous doctors just so happened to be working out at the same time as his collapse, ultimately saving his life with the assistance of the defibrillator, thankfully on-site at the gym. As he spoke, tears began to build in his eyes, overcome with emotion and gratitude. He noted that he was “on that ground dead, with nothing more than a 6 percent survival rate.”

Bob Harper photo 2

As it was to countless of others throughout the world, Harper was nonetheless stunned by his sudden heart attack, coming without warning. Looking back, however, he stated he recalls dizzy spills in the weeks leading to the heart attack. During the interview, he issued imperatives statements to those watching, “It was hugely shocking for me, I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned a lot about the fact that genetics played a part in this. It is so important to know your health.”

For me, hearing about how important it is know one’s health and to really take note of the feelings, both physically and emotionally one experiences, truly resonated with me. There is nothing more important, in my mind, than paying attention to one’s body, no matter how subtle those “signals” or “feelings,” may be. In my mind, it is always worth it to pursue those sensations, those little pains that may seem so small and insignificant. Even though they may be benign or of little concern, it is still worth it to be proactive and to be an advocate for oneself.

As the interview continued, Harper stated, “I think about before the heart attack I was having dizzy spells and I thought, maybe I should have really taken that more seriously. It’s been a huge wake up call for me. In addition, he has a family history of heart disease, as his mother passed away from a heart attack. Though he is now on the mend and progressing well, he made it a point to note, “It’s been hard. I’m going through some depression. You really face your mortality and I’m really understanding what’s important in life.”

Bob Harper recovery

His interview with Savannah today was eye-opening. For me, I cannot even begin to explain my own experiences with health and how important it has been throughout my life to trust my body. Those personal experiences have led me to encourage family, friends, acquaintances and whomever I may cross paths with, including those who might be reading this today, to really take the time to listen to yourself. No worry or concern is really ever too small, it is worth it to be considered and if you find you are nervous or afraid to reach out and question doctors or professionals on your own, I encourage you to ask for help, ask for someone to accompany you to those appointments to help you ask those questions, or to serve as a reminder, or even as a support, just being there physically present FOR YOU. Whether that person is a family member, a friend, a neighbor, an acquaintance, if it provides you with the support, confidence and reassurance you might need to be proactive with your health, then I strongly encourage you to ask for that help and for that hand. Sometimes a helping hand and a listening ear may be all we need to get us to where we need or want to be.

I’m truly grateful for the interview between Savannah Guthrie and Bob Harper today, for it’s shear honesty, truth, and imperative message of self-care and personal health maintenance with the take-away message being prevention is key.

Your health is worth it and YOU are worth it – worth the time, the energy and compassion. Take care of you, because you deserve health and happiness.

 

What it Takes to Know: A Month of Reflection

It’s hard to believe about a month or so has passed since I last posted. At the beginning of this month, I embarked on a new venture in the job realm. While I was apprehensive about it, I decided to take a chance, feeling as though the possibility of success and at least some type of learning experience could come of it. That said, the morning of the first day, I awoke with a sense of fear and dread, questioning what I’d gotten myself into. Did I act on a whim? Should I have given my decision more thought? These were real, true wonders I had and I could feel my sense of dread growing with every minute inching me closer towards my 8:30am start.

What I walked into is nothing I’d like to describe. In fact, I’d like to keep most of those thoughts for my own private reference and reflection, but what I’d like to share is mainly what I’ve learned, even if it might seem cliche, or obvious to some people.

  • The easiest and quickest way to be sad and lonely is try to be someone you’re not. Whether it is through working at a certain-type of job or environment, spending time with people who don’t understand you, don’t respect you, or most importantly, celebrate you for who you ARE, quirks included.
  • I like to do my best, whether I am going to receive a benefit or not. It doesn’t matter to me if I will gain something monetarily, emotionally, or anything else. If I am going to do something, I will strive to do it with all my heart. It doesn’t matter if someone else has snubbed me or lead me astray, I will still try my best to do what I feel is right.
  • Intention means more than doing something the “correct way.” For instance, I didn’t always complete each task the “right” way when learning new skills in different jobs, or in school, but what I’ve learned through the years is that if my INTENT is to help, or to do something with all my heart and effort, than that is what really matters.
  • When I make a mistake, I OWN UP to it. I don’t deny that I haven’t always made the right choices or decisions, whether small, insignificant or not, but I will always admit to it. Sometimes admitting to certain mistakes are easier than others, but I will still admit fault where and when warranted. I’m not ashamed to show people I’m not faultless. Yes, I have quirks, insecurities, fears, worries, sometimes I can come off as a perfectionist, sometimes I can talk too fast, sometimes I can obsess over things other people might give little thought to. These all make me who I am, but I’m not trying to pretend.
  • What I’ll never understand is why people choose to behave one way towards another person and then completely turn around and snub them in the worst of ways. I’ve contemplated this for weeks now, as to why other people choose to bring other people down. I will never understand why or how people would be able to obtain personal satisfaction and gratification from knowing they’ve hurt someone, insulted them, or made them feel awful. I could never understand or imagine someone feeling remotely happy or pleased with themselves knowing they’ve made their coworker hang their head in shame, or sit in their car sobbing to themselves, feeling as though they are worthless. I know that as individuals, we really shouldn’t give people the power to decide our fate and feelings, but sometimes, feeling badly when someone has used repugnant words or expressed negative and discerning emotions towards us, it is beyond difficult to not feel badly. For me personally, throughout my life, I’ve been guilty of internalizing the way other people treat me. I’ve taken their harsh words and emotions and used it against myself in ways to cause myself even more pain and for this, it makes me human. It makes me human to admit I’m not faultless and sometimes I care too much about what others think and how others perceive me. When it comes down to it though, my goal in life is to never make someone feel like they need to question who they are, or be ashamed of who they are. Everyone has something about them that makes them unique and rather than question or criticize these quirks or creative differences, I’d rather be the one celebrating them.
  • I’d rather make someone smile each and every day, then be the one who is making them cry. Enough said.

So yes, this month has been one filled with tumultuous emotions, tears and smiles. This month brought the celebration of my niece’s first birthday, and also allowed me to make choices and reflections on my life path. While others might question my choices and scratch their heads wondering about my reasoning, that’s not for them to decide. Not everyone’s path is for everyone else, and you know what? That’s exactly how it should be. It all goes back to that one Robert Frost quote I’ve come to know and highly regard: “I took the road less traveled and it has made all the difference.” I first acquainted myself with that quote on a college admission essay question to Northwestern University. I never thought that very quote would prove to follow me throughout the course of my life, a decade later.

Belief Quote

Nonetheless, here I am. I’m filled with ideas, dreams and goals. I try to see it as not a mess of a life, but more so a maze. Yes, a maze, that while the path is not always crystal clear, or easy to navigate, but one filled with adventure and promise, and though I might have to work a little harder than some to get through it, I tell myself, “don’t worry, you’ll get there soon.” For now, I’ll enjoy it and tell myself, life has ways of surprising us and to trust it’s process.

Belief Quote 2

If the Shoe Fits…

Welcome to a new week! I hope the weather is holding up where you are. Right now, winds are starting to pick up and it has been raining on and off throughout the morning and early afternoon. From what I hear, it is expected to get worse during the evening rush, but hopefully it will taper off and end up not being as bad as anticipated. Anyhow, this weekend was a bit different than the usual. More often than not, I spent the weekends relaxing at home and catching up on favorite TV shows and reading, however, this weekend was spent venturing out for a yummy dinner at P.F. Chang’s, as well as an event hosted by one of my favorite local radio stations since I’ve been young – 94.5 PST, based in Princeton, NJ!

Image      Image

While perusing PST’s website a couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon their contests section and noticed an invitation-only event entitled, “Choose Your Shoes.” In order to attend the event, you had to “win your way in.” Therefore, being the self-professed “shoe fiend” I am, I jumped at the opportunity to enter! Much to my surprise, I ended up winning an entry, therefore guaranteeing me a pair of designer shoes! I was also told I could bring guests, so my mom came along! Everyone who attended had the chance to win a pair of shoes, but all names were placed in a jar and randomly selected, whereas those who won their way in, each checked in upon entering the catering facility where the event was held and were given a number. I was in shock when I noticed the number I was given – 3! Since I’ve been a child, the number 3 has been my favorite number as I am often assigned it AND my birthday just so happens to be on May 3rd! It’s funny how it happens to turn out that way. Anyhow, I took that as good luck and hoped that the shoes I wanted would still be available by the time my number was called.

Image      Image

The shoes available for picking included a vast array of brands and styles, from classic UGG boots and moccasins, to Sperry’s, Tory Burch and Burberry flats, Michael Kors boots, Coach sneakers, Jessica Simpson heels, Ivanka Trump pumps, plus the heels I chose…

Image

Enzo Angiolini Fayson Suede Pumps in Crimson Red!

Ahh, how I love them! These shoes, in my opinion, are truly high-quality showstoppers! Unfortunately, they aren’t my size (they are an 8, I am 6), therefore I need to do a quick exchange, which should be pretty simple, since PST provided all winners with a gift receipt! I’m VERY excited to sport these with a black dress, leggings, or even skinny jeans! They are apt to instantly take a simple outfit to the next level!

I’m so glad I was able to attend this very special event in that it not only commemorated my favorite accessory – Shoes, but also supported a cause I am particularly passionate about – Breast Cancer Awareness. EVERYTHING purchased that night (from the signature Pink cocktails, to the candy bags, raffle tickets, t-shirts, and game chances) all went to Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Research! Plus, a local hair salon and spa provided attendees with a signature “pink nail,” nail polish, as well as an opportunity to have a massage done!

Image    Image

                                                                       My mom and I at the event!

QUESTION: I noticed I haven’t posted a question in quite awhile, so here’s a query to spark your thoughts: Have you ever attended an event such as this? What type of shoes would you choose?