Selina's Journey To Becoming Hearth Healthy

"So what you're saying is, I literally have a broken heart?"

That was what I said to my cardiologist 2 years ago when she finally found the cause of my constant chest pain and shortness of breath. For many years, I had symptoms of a form of heart disease and I had no idea. After many doctor visits, I was told: I don't fit the profile, I didn't carry excess weight, I was young and a woman, and each doctor just told me to not work so hard and it was just stress causing it. And I believed them... for years.

My mother, a nurse of over 30 years knew in her own heart that something was wrong and pressured me to keep watch and not to ignore the signs. But, as someone who prides herself in work and keeping busy, I did ignore them – that is until my symptoms got worse. I could barely catch my breath when I ran; walking up the stairs should not have turned my face beet red. Then one day at work, I could barely breathe. So I quietly excused myself, went to the urgent care and they took my blood pressure – it was 170/109 (normal blood pressure range is 120/80). I did not feel any pain and would not have thought this was such a bad thing and I was eager to go back to work, but didn't until they brought that pressure down. After that, I was put in the care of a marvelous cardiologist who changed my life. She put me through many tests until she figured out what caused the issue. I saw her every 3 months, I practically lived in her office, and each time she tested further (never discounting my age, weight, gender, until she discovered an insufficiency) I was put on meds and then she gave me a choice: "change your lifestyle or face surgery sooner rather than later". I chose the lifestyle change.

Through that change, came JOYRIDE. I rode with Mo my first class, then became committed to a regular schedule, Monday's with Rhodie, Tuesdays with Mack, Wednesday with Rhodie, Thursday doubles – until I made the leap to lead from the orange bike and give riders what JoyRide has given me: a new outlook and a fresh lifestyle change. When I went to the doctor for my check ups, my pressure was down, my energy up, my focus clear. She gave me the  "I'll see you next year" clearance and my broken heart is now full of strength. Which is why each class I teach, I walk in that door with a purpose and it is never for anything else but for my amazing riders and to help them overcome whatever they may be going through.