Hey guys! It's been years since I've visited or posted on this page. I figured it was time to come back and pay it forward with my experiences thus far. I got my pacemaker almost 11-12yrs ago now at the ripe age of 23yrs old. I have finally triggered for replacement so Ill go from St. Jude Accent to whatever they are now? Boston Scientific? I don't know, but hopefully in a month or two here I'll have another generator that'll last another decade. I'm very lucky in my condition; I only pace about 6-10% of the time and it won't let my HR drop below 40BPM, so mainly when I'm sleeping. In that span I've participatd in 6 tough mudders, hit PR's for just about any race up to a half-marathon, and have maintained a vigorous exercise routine. I play in a competitive mens softball league, golf, and go on exensive backpackign trips. You could say I push myself to the extremes when it comes to cardiovascular endurance. I was so determined at one point that I went way overboard with crossfit back in the day and cracked my leads 2yrs after original installation...whoops...It was all those damn overhead movements! However, It did make me realize that I have to be careful with those types of movements though because I'd rather not have leads ripped out of me again, it was a weird feeling.  

Once I made it through the initial shock of having to get a pacemaker at such a young age, I was able to change my mentality from victim, to "this is not going to stop me from pursuing my dreams in life." I thought I was for sure a goner back then, and had it in my mind that pacemakers were for old people and that I was going to die relatively young. That could still happen, but I don't worry about it any longer because of the better qaulity of life my pacer has provided me with...and my faith in our lord Jesus Christ. I've lived with a chip on my shoulder, and have tried to show people that it doesn't matter if you have one of these pacemakers. You can still live a normal life given your condition allows for it. Being an exercise science major, and being in the career I'm in...I've battled lots of questions and doubt from others simply because I have a pacemaker. I think that's why I've always had that chip on my shoulder. I'd try to make em eat their words and beat them in any physical category whether it was running, or ground fighting. I told myself that I was going to be in the best shape out of anyone around me and that no instuctor could make me tap or quit. In a way, this whole experience had changed my life in positive ways...it made me healthier, and gave me that drive. 

ANYWAYS, haha...I'm thankful and appreciative that I'm still here on earth, working my dream job and trying to be a positive influence to others like us, and to people around me in general. I'll float around on the forum again and answer newcomers questions and give my 2 cents to anyone else wherever I can, but if anyone ever wants to reach out...Im here. 

Stay safe my fellow Cyborgs!



by Lavender - 2023-03-16 09:06:48

Inspiring post for sure! Love your determination and focus in turning this into a blessing and giving credit to Christ. Giving back is wonderful and can help those on the path behind you. Thanks for this upbeat post!  

What an uplifting message

by Gemita - 2023-03-16 10:16:36

So inspiring Mike to receive your post.  Even after cracking your leads, you still bounced back.  It all seems to have been plain sailing for you, but I am sure it wasn’t in the early days.  

Apart from your strong faith what would you say has been the other main reason for your success?  Would you perhaps put it down to exercise effort, determination to succeed, or to your device working well to provide you with excellent support?  Also with regard to your device, were there any specific settings that were adjusted do you recall, that helped you to lead such an active, successful lifestyle?  We all want to follow in your footsteps, I am sure, so please continue with your uplifting message.

I hope your replacement will be all you could wish for going forward.  Make sure you have a discussion with your team about the best device for your activities and do some homework yourself, so that you won’t need to slow down.  

And please float around more on the forum to let us all know what can be achieved through self motivation.  

Love it!

by Tracey_E - 2023-03-16 10:23:10

It's always great to hear someone living such a full life! Keep it up. 

Did you skip the electic wires on the Mudders? I've done Spartan and half a dozen other mud/obstacle runs but haven't tried a Mudder because of that. 

St Judes was bought out by Abbott. 

Thanks guys!

by IronMike - 2023-03-19 05:52:32

Thanks for the kind comments @Lavender! 

@Gemita, I'd say that my success has to do with the military environent I grew up in. That mentality of toughness, not showing emotions, and fighting through anything and never giving up was taught across all sports I participated in (football, baseball) and in school too. I have a very supportive family as well which has been awesome. Since I was young at the time, the docs wanted to let my heart do most of the work. Being an athlete, my resting HR was below average anyways, that's why I'm set on the lower end of 40. Thankfully my condition isn't tachycardic so I'm essentially able to push my max HR when I'm exercising. So, some of it has to do with mentality, and some of it is just being lucky enough that my condition allows me to work my heart hard. Everything is good structrally, I was just skipping beats and my heart would stop for seconds at a time trying to kickstart back up. 

@tracey_e, I definitely skipped the electroshock therapy, haha! I did burpees as punishment. It's not like you HAVE to do every obstacle. I did them all, minus the ones that would put electical currents in my body! 

You know you're wired when...

Your ICD has a better memory than you.

Member Quotes

But I think it will make me feel a lot better. My stamina to walk is already better, even right after surgery. They had me walk all around the floor before they would release me. I did so without being exhausted and winded the way I had been.