15 months ago I nearly died. In January of 2017, I had to go to the emergency room because I had been having trouble breathing and was severely fatigued all the time. I thought I just had a very bad flu, or possibly pneumonia, but I was not prepared for what I was about to find out. An X-ray showed that I had fluid in my lungs, so the doctor ordered a CAT scan. The CAT scan showed that my heart was enlarged, so the doctor ordered an Echocardiogram (ECG). 10 minutes after the test, The doctor came into my room and told me that he had heard that I was a Physicist, so he wasn’t going to sugar coat what he had to tell me. I knew it couldn’t be good news. The ECG showed that my Ejection Fraction (how much blood your left heart ventricle pumps out to your body with each beat) was only 13%, when a normal Ejection Fraction is over 50%. Even though I had no risk factors, I had Congestive Heart Failure, and I was only 38 years old. The doctor told me that he had called “Flight for Life” to take me to University Hospital Cardiac ICU, because they did not have the equipment or expertise necessary to treat me at SFMC. He told me that if I did not go to UCH CICU immediately, I was going to die. He said to call my wife, and left the room. I cried. Once I was in the UCH CICU, the news got even worse. The doctors told me that my heart was like a weak, over-inflated balloon that was not efficient enough to keep me alive. My resting heart rate was 130 BPM and my Ejection Fraction was now less than 10%, and the doctors told me that I needed a heart transplant, or I would not survive. I asked them what the best possible outcome might be, and they told me that the best case scenario was receiving a heart transplant and being on a slew of medications for the rest of my life, however long that might be. They told me that once a person’s heart is in the condition that mine was, that it is impossible for it to become fully healthy again. At this point, I made two choices. I chose to believe that it was possible for God to heal me and give me a second chance, and I chose not to believe the doctors telling me that there was no possibility of recovery. I was not ready to give up and die. It wasn’t until the 3rd day in the CICU that I began to rapidly and steadily improve. My doctors could not believe or understand how I was getting better. After removing the fluid from my lungs, and stabilizing my blood pressure and heart rate, I was able to go home, but my prognosis was still very grim when I left the hospital 9 days later. I could barely walk up a flight of stairs and felt even weaker than when I came into the hospital. I was on four different heart medications, and I knew that this was going to be a long and difficult road. It took me almost dying to convince me that I need to take better care of myself. My wife, Stephanie, had been going to Crossfit for a couple years, and had been really pushing me to go with her for the entire time. Eventually, after several months of slow recovery, I finally listened to my wife and agreed that I needed to take care of the gift of life that God had given me. When I started Crossfit, I had extreme difficulty with almost every exercise and movement. I had terrible mobility and was in constant pain during the WOD. I was so weak that I could barely lift the barbell over my head, and I would have to stop and catch my breath after only a couple of burpees or a very short run. I wanted to give up so many times, but I was determined to persevere. Although doing Crossfit has been one of the most difficult and painful things I have ever done, I cannot see myself going without it now. After much practice, I can now do almost all of the movements and lifts. I have much greater mobility and a great deal less pain than before I started. I have lost over 20 lbs. overall and significantly lowered my body fat percentage. Additionally, I have more energy, I am sleeping more soundly than I ever have before, and I am stronger than I have ever been in my entire life. If you stick with it, Crossfit can completely change your life! Recently, after only 6 months of consistently doing Crossfit, I had another ECG done. The nurse showed that my resting heart rate is 54 BPM and my Ejection Fraction is now 50%! The doctor said that my heart is COMPLETELY NORMAL and fully recovered, and told me to stop taking all medication related to my previous heart failure diagnosis. He almost did not believe that I was the same person that had almost died just over a year ago. I would not be alive and healthy today if it weren’t for my wonderful wife, Stephanie. She introduced me to Crossfit, and she has been by my side constantly giving me encouragement, love, and unwavering support. She is the one who held my hand, dried my tears, and picked me up during the most difficult times, and I could not have done any of this without her. It is also very important to mention that I couldn’t have made the progress that I have without the encouragement of everyone at Crossfit 719, especially the coaches! People here are always leading you to push harder, believe in your ability to succeed, think positively, and to never quit. Both the coaches and Crossfitters at our box make it a joy to come and workout. Above all, I must give God the glory for miraculously healing my heart when eight different cardiologists believed it was not possible, and giving me a second chance at life.