New Found Heart Health

New Found Heart Health
By: Elizabeth M. Munoz

In the year 2001, at the age of forty, my father was told that due to high blood pressure he would be required to take medication for the remainder of his life. One year later, my father, who for years had been over weight and ignorant to the importance of heart health, would run his first full marathon. How did the sudden change come about? “The medication was too expensive, the only other options that seemed to work, were to eat right and work out”, he had stated.

Heart health, was what drove my father to consider increasing his activity levels, and soon his heart health was no longer just a matter that belonged to his self, but began to impact the family in its entirety. Local running events, such as a 5K Thanksgiving “Turkey-Trot”, became a family tradition and inspired every family member, to join together in a fight to better heart health. As a family, meals began being planned in accordance to the knowledge we had recently gained in regards to proper nutrition.

The advantages of living in a small country town soon began to surface, as my father began to gain more and more attention from onlookers who had seen him running the highway and back roads of our home town, Granbury, TX. The community was ecstatic in supporting my father during one of his greatest accomplishments: in April 21st of 2008 he qualified to run the Boston Marathon. Pretty soon, the entire town had read about it on the front page of the city newspaper. He completed the entire 26.2 miles, with a time of 3:22.31. With a city inspired, the following year became the first year Granbury would hold its first New Years’ Day Run. My father with the help of some local friends rallied together in efforts to get the community up and running, literally, a small community joined for the first time at the local town square to start the new year with a morning run. Both five and ten mile courses were available and runners came eager to join. Since then, the New Year Run has completed its 5th annual run, and inspired many new runners to get started on a track to a new found heart health. The shared journey has continued amongst Granbury participants, and even more so in its attempts to persevere toward new found heights and challenges. 2010 was the year my father completed his first Ironman in Cozumel, Mexico and another in 2012 located in The Woodlands, TX. Within the same year, my father had held numerous events for the local community, such as; a 4th of July Sprint Triathlon, a 350 mile Summer Bike Trek, and the 2nd annual 90-mile Relay Run.

The importance of heart health is a reality, but it doesn’t have to be an ending. I believe that instead it is only the beginning to a journey that fuels our lives. I have gladly become a student in regards to proper activity and nutrition, in order to serve the promotion of wellbeing and physical wellness amongst society.

I will couple my education of psychological development and brain nourishment, in order to share truth in regards to properly nourishing one’s body. I believe that this is a noble goal and it will serve to strengthen lives, relationships, and physical elements of the heart. My father did all these things when he decided to take control of his heart health. The decision fueled his life to do things he never had imagined he would accomplish, brought our family together on a journey to wellbeing, and ultimately gave to a community, the picture of a healthy heart in action; dreaming, achieving, and living up to its’ fullest potential.