had Wulleman is another example of circumstances leading him to a better place with his fitness and overall health. Shortly after Chad’s office moved, The Club opened. Chad took full advantage of what The Club had to offer, knowing that his health depended on it. For Chad it hasn’t just been about losing 15 lbs. since joining The Club, getting his hypertension under control, and feeling motivated to want work out. It’s also been about becoming part of The EVERYBODYFIGHTS Community. Thank you for sharing your FIGHT with us, Chad. We’re lucky to have you.
I was 16 when I was first informed that my blood pressure was very high for my age. It caught me a bit off guard, as we tend to think of this as something more common with older people and those who don’t exercise enough. I was a three- season varsity athlete in soccer, cross-country skiing, and lacrosse. Having high blood pressure made little sense to me at the time so I ignored it, in hopes that it would resolve itself.
Needless to say, over the next few years the results were always the same and the doctor recommended I start taking medication. My blood pressure was not high enough to cause immediate danger. However, the fact that I was so young meant that left untreated, I’d be looking at potential damage to my arteries, heart, brain, or any combination of issues before even reaching the age of 50. It was initially difficult to accept the fact that I had to do something, because the truth is, I felt completely fine.
My first attempts to lower my blood pressure prior to medication started with trying to adjust my diet combined with additional cardio workouts to my typical routine. I pushed myself for nearly an entire year in this fashion only to find out at my next doctor’s visit that nothing had changed. Shortly thereafter I started taking a low dosage of Benicar to manage my blood pressure. It seemed to be working.
In 2011, I was on the medication and moved from NYC to Boston for a new job. As I changed jobs, I was without insurance. At this point I discovered how much blood pressure medication really costs. Needless to say I stopped taking it with the intent of going back on it when my insurance could cover it, but never did.
Fast forward to 2013. I had been skipping my regular doctor’s visits for a few years and when I finally returned found myself in the same situation again. I didn’t want to take medication and decided to try once again to fix it through exercise and “healthier” eating habits. I had begun playing indoor soccer again but only 1-2 days per week.
WHYIFIGHT Chad – Our architecture office had recently moved to Channel Center in Boston, which so far had been a great experience. It looked like a new gym was opening next door. Even better, it was a boxing gym, which was exciting, as I had done some kickboxing in the past and was thrilled because I knew the level of fitness I had reached back then.
Prior to The Club’s official opening, we were allowed to participate in a few classes including “BOXFIIT”, the keystone of my current workouts. I continued to visit the gym 2-3 days a week, sometimes participating in multiple classes per day or doing mittwork with one of the trainers. I was working out, maybe harder then I ever had, but I was having a lot of fun at the same time. I was going to the gym but never felt like I was forcing myself to go to the gym. The trainers were great, the workouts were great, and the other gym goers were great.
On May 12, 2014 I had my most recent visit to the doctor’s office. I prepared for the usual process where they grab the small cuff, take my blood pressure, then decide to use the larger cuff, followed by a concerned look and mention of my blood pressure. This was not what happened.
The doctor took my blood pressure and wrote it down but didn’t say anything. I had to ask. My blood pressure looked great. I hadn’t heard that in almost 15 years. I couldn’t have been happier and told my family the moment I left.
I have always worked out and tried to eat healthy, but I’ve never felt so good about going to the gym. I had never gone in the past simply because I enjoyed it, and now I do. The workout gives me what I need, in an atmosphere that motivates me. It makes me feel great about not just going to the gym, but truly being part of it.