listen to your heart

ImageI feel blessed.  Blessed because I have my health—and that, is more valuable in life than all the money in the world.  People ask me why I workout everyday, or why I eat so healthy.  Does that really require an answer?  Because I want to live long whilst still enjoying life—who wouldn’t?   I always thought that eating well and staying physically fit was the way to get there, but when my world got turned upside down last May, I began questioning and fearing that I was pushing myself too hard…

It is difficult for me to write this, but I feel that this is a cause worth spreading and shedding light on.  I use to just dismiss the “consult your physician before participating” warnings when signing up for a race.  I would just check off the waiver, then continue my training without stepping foot into a doctor’s office or thinking twice about pushing myself when I felt a little under-the-weather, but how is that taking care of myself?  Wake-up call: it’s not.  I realized that just because my shin splints “disappeared” and I could run 9 miles without puking did not mean that I was unstoppable.  It really meant that I should be seeing my physician more often.  The annual or bi-annual physical may seem to be a pain in the side or a waste of time, but it is the sure way to know your body from the inside-out.

According to an article recently published on, a runner should be his/her own advocate for proper healthcare.  Some tips shared by the author Sarah Wassner Flynn: go get that physical, get your heart looked at with an EKG and ultra-sound, and always listen to your body.  

(Read full article here)

You can bet that the next time I register for a race, I will heed the warnings and go straight to my primary care doctor.  In the mean time, I am being my own “advocate.”  I listen to my body more and slow down when I feel slightly light-headed, I fuel my body before long runs, and I have invested in a heart rate monitor.  I highly recommend this purchase.  Mine came in the mail yesterday from The Vitamin Shoppe (my usual health store supplier).  

vitamin shoppe goodiesI chose the Polar FT4 Heart Monitor in pink, naturally.  (Oh, and some Vega Protein mix, my favorite!)  This watch measures your beats per minute, percent maximum heart rate used, and calories.  It is an easy way to make sure that I am staying in my zone and not pushing myself past dangerous limits.  Plus, it makes working out even more fun, but I am a fitness nerd and I love health goodies.  

I think I had a little too much fun learning about my new watch and my heart.IMG_3924

As much fun as new workout gadgets are, they still serve a very valuable purpose for your ultimate health.  So, this morning I laced up Jessi’s shoelaces, hooked up my heart rate monitor, and headed out the door for my run.  I am no longer as fearful because I know that as long as I listen to my body and treat it properly, and listen to my heart, then I can pray for a long, healthy and happy future.


4 thoughts on “listen to your heart

  1. Hi Emily – thank you so much for starting this blog. I was in the middle of having cardiac testing when Jessi died. It turns out that I have an abnormally high resting heart rate and my doctors and I decided that I should have it looked at. When she died I was completely blown away that someone so wonderful and so healthy could be taken so suddenly. The day before Jessi’s service I had an ultrasound of my heart and was hooked up to a 24-hour heart monitor which I wore during the service. It was very hard for me to know someone who had no know heart issues had died so suddenly and it made me want to find out if anything was wrong with me. The cardiologist did not find anything that would lead them to think I have a heart condition so I just need to be aware of my heart rate at all times. I was put on medication to lower my heart rate, which will also help with my migraines, and they told me to just take it slow while exercising until I know my body can take it. I too have a heart rate monitor and use it when I walk and run. This helps me to be very aware of what my body is doing and what it is saying. I love your advice about listening to your heart – both for the physical reasons but also for the emotional ones. Jessi lived her life with the biggest open heart of anyone I’ve ever met. I will also try to emulate her life and fitness routines. I hope to follow your blog to help me achieve this!

    Thank you!


    • Thank you so much for sharing! It really does mean so much to me. I hope I can make more people aware of their bodies because each one is unique. Much love!



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