Thankful to be alive!!
Sunday, September 13th, feeling the need to burn off the extra calories from our lunch at In N Out Burger, I headed out for an afternoon ride at a local trail network. Little did I know that this quick little rip would alter my perspective so drastically.
About 5 miles into my ride, I found myself really struggling to get my breath, and was feeling like I was in the worst shape I've ever been in. During the climb, I would stop every so often, put my head down on my bars, and just struggle recovering. Honestly, I was mentally kicking myself in the butt because I had let myself get so out of shape that I couldn't even complete a basic fire road climb. This only continued to the point where I had to sit down on the side of the trail to keep from passing out. Knowing something was clearly not right, I called my wife to let her know what was going on, and to keep an eye on my phone's location. She urged me to call 911, which I did next. I've never used that emergency button on my phone, but it came in pretty handy because by this time I was laying down flat on my back losing strength and it was all I could do to focus on holding that button down. To say I was disappointed in the 911 "experience" is an understatement, as I was on the call with them for 25 minutes, trying to help them locate me. I was wishing that the 911 operator knew more about locating someone using Strava Segment names instead of major cross streets! It was also eye opening to me that they have no way to locate you without you telling them where you are.
Realizing I wasn't going to be rescued, I was able to get enough strength to stand up and start hiking my way toward the nearest road. Within a moment, my hero wife came running around the corner, tracking me down with our Life360 app. By the time we reached her car, paramedics were just pulling up (from a station 2 miles away so not sure why it took them 30 minutes to get there). They quickly took my vitals and assessed me as dehydrated, and let me know that there is such a thing as a "bonk" and that was likely what my issue was. I declined the ambulance ride and headed home to try to rehydrate myself. On the way home, I felt odd sensations coming on (soreness in my jaw, numbness in my left shoulder, and tingles running down my left arm into my fingertips). Megan, I asked, can you google heart attack symptoms, and sure enough, I was checking the boxes. We headed off to the ER where I spent the next two days getting poked and prodded and assessed as having a "non STEMI" heart attack.
Pretty stinking crazy and I'm pretty stoked to be alive!!
I’m incredibly grateful to be on this end of it, and feeling pretty much back normal. I look at it as a God given warning shot over the bow to get me to take a close look at my life and do a better job at prioritizing what really matters in this life. So many stories of other 47 year old men that don’t get a chance to survive so unscathed…
So what means a lot to me that I want to focus on more? Well faith, family, and friendships (community) are the three that top my list. One of the things that I have been thinking about a lot lately, is why I chose to build this brand. From that day 5 years ago when I turned in my papers to the corporate job, and took this leap – building a brand from the ground up has proven to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It has been an absolute passion project because of how much I enjoy the personal interactions I get to have with so many great people who represent the TASCO community. Fostering this community with our brand is what keeps pushing me to continue to build!
What to expect from Nate and TASCO moving forward? More appreciation to each of you who support what we do! More transparency on how we operate as a business. More sharing sneak peeks behind the scenes of what’s coming down the pipeline, more visibility of what efforts we are supporting, and what decisions we are making to build our brand responsibly. We won't do everything perfectly either, so you'll probably see some of that too!
Thank you for listening to my ranting! I’m going home now to grab my kids and go for a quick surf!