Fountain City Fitness Celebrates American Heart Month

‍-FCF Member, F, 35
February 19, 2024
Fountain City Fitness Celebrates American Heart Month

When I was fifteen, one of my best friends, Heather, died of cardiac arrest following a medical procedure to repair her ACL. As a teenager, I had very few tools for dealing with loss, and it took a long time to come to terms with the reality of life - and of death. She was a teenager - full of laughter, full of music, and full of heart. It was impossible to believe that it would be her heart that would bring her life to an end.

Twelve years later - to the day - I lost my favorite person, my grandmother. Her passing, like her mothers’ before her, was due to congestive heart failure. You see, my grandmother was the picture of a healthy lifestyle: she exercised regularly (mid-day Jane Fonda workouts in her living room), ate a decent diet, spent time with loved ones, and got enough sleep. It was hard to believe that she could have had all the pieces in place, and still not “done enough” to keep her heart healthy.

What I didn’t know for many years was the crippling anxiety my grandmother dealt with - most often, on her own. Anxiety is something we share, and attempting to hide our anxiety (albeit, not very well) from our loved ones in effort to protect them is something we share as well. But I also know that I have an opportunity she may not have: to change the course of my health and wellbeing and take better care of my heart, for the long haul.

February is American Heart Month, and heart disease is the leading cause of death in both women (1 in 5) and men (1 in 4). Nearly half of US adults have hypertension, and 75% of those aged 60 and over have some form of cardiovascular disease. Each time I walk through the doors to FCF, I know that I’m doing something positive to change that outcome for myself. Each workout is a legacy I am creating for my family, but it goes beyond a Crossfit workout. It’s the connections with other members that remind me that I am loved and I belong; it’s the encouragement to push forward when difficulties arise; it’s the resilience I build because, at FCF, I do hard things.

Here, we are more than a workout. We are a support system, changing lives and changing outcomes in a way that reverberates throughout Kansas City. Here, we look stress and anxiety in the eye and say “You will not win”. Here, we're all heart - and that will never change.

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