I have a lot to be thankful for, and without Endorphin I’m not sure any of it would’ve been possible. On August 5th 2014 my life changed forever, my heart and lungs crashed during a routine surgery and I almost died. The doctors would later tell me just how lucky I was and that they needed to keep me a few days to find out what caused my heart and lungs to stop. What they found was in a word, terrifying. I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension, my lungs weren’t oxygenating my blood and it was taking a toll on my heart. During my stay in the hospital they realized I also had a pretty good case of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, my blood o2 would plummet down into the 50’s as soon as I fell asleep and that’s scary, that’s organ killing zone, stroke and heart attack town!  I was terrified, and I had to wait three weeks to get a sleep study. Those were the longest three weeks of my life, every night I would go to sleep hoping that I would wake up in the morning.

The three week came and went and I finally had the sleep study done to confirm the Sleep Apnea and gauge its severity. What they found explained a lot, I had extreme OSA, my longest period of uninterrupted sleep was 35 seconds. I had one of the worse cases they had ever seen, and if I wanted to live I had to make some serious life changes. I was going to have to wear a BIPAP while I slept to help take the stress off my heart and lungs, I would need a surgery to reconstruct my airway and I needed to get active and lose some weight. When you have Sleep Apnea, you’re robbed of the restorative sleep that repairs the body and your left feeling exhausted every day, all day. It’s hard to want to go workout when you feel exhausted much less exhausted and feeling like you can’t breathe, but I knew I didn’t have a choice

I didn’t know where to start, I didn’t know what I could handle and I was afraid, luckily I found Endorphin and its amazing instructors. I remember being really discouraged after trying my first Kinesis class with Sara, I couldn’t finish the class, I just could not breathe and I had to quit after 15 minutes but she encouraged me to keep coming back. So I decided to try some Yoga classes with Kristina and Ashley to hopefully dial in my breathing and work on my flexibility. Best decision ever, I found my breath and was learning to work past the initial panic of not being able to breathe. A few weeks later I went back to Kinesis and I finished the class, I wasn’t the most graceful and I modify hell out of some of the movements but I finished, and for me that was a start. I began to branch out to the boxing, spinning and after a couple of attempts I made it through a Warriors class! I’ve actually started to “crave” coming to Endorphin, I need it now. I need the yoga to help me find my breath and balance in life, and I crave the a@s kicking I know I’ll get from Sara, Nick and Briana.

The hard work has paid off, a few weeks ago I went through every kind of medical scan you could imagine. The results were spectacular, I’m no longer showing any symptoms from the Pulmonary Hypertension and I’m finally sleeping a full 8 hours. The doctors were amazed with how big the improvements were in my vital statistics, they described them as life changing. If I keep it up, I’ll have an opportunity to live a long full life. I really don’t know if it would have been possible without Endorphin.

I’ve gone to other gyms, and Endorphin isn’t just another gym, it really is a community. It is an amazing feeling to know other people are invested in your wellness and that’s the feeling I get from everyone at Endorphin. I know at the end of the day it’s up to me to do the work and push myself, but Endorphin is the perfect place to find your breaking point and to learn to push past it.  I’m a long way from where I want to be physically but I know without a doubt that if I keep showing up and putting in the work I’ll get there. Thank you Endorphin, you’re a life a saver!