Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Open Heart Surgery Update and a Few Personal Goals Crushed Along the Way


It’s just the end of August to most people.  A time when summer is winding down and kids return to school.  High in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, we’re letting go of summer and embracing fall before it soon begins to snow. No I’m not complaining...stay with me.

Open Heart Surgery

I have plenty of business, security recruiting, career coaching, resume writing and career development topics to share before this year ends but this particular August is significant for me. This August has been and continues to be part of my open heart surgery recovery timetable.  

If you’ve followed my Security Recruiter Blog or you’ve followed SecurityRecruiter.com on LinkedIn for any length of time, you’ll know that I recently went through an open heart surgery to repair a genetic problem in my heart.

Whether a person is in great shape or lousy shape, open heart surgery is similar to being run over by a fully loaded mile-long train.  That’s the only way I can describe the pain connected to the experience and I still have pain to this day.

I approached my surgery having skated over 200 hockey games in the past 4 years.  I’d just finished a 225,000 vertical foot, 500 mile ski season as well.  I asked for help from friends and colleagues to help me get through my recovery (still working on this). 

Setting Goals

A couple of weeks prior to my surgery, I met with my heart surgeon.  From that meeting, I picked up enough information to set goals.  

I set goals for walking, skating, playing hockey and mountain biking.  Rather than facing my goals alone given that I had no idea what to expect after having my chest cut open and separated, I enlisted hiking, biking, skiing and hockey friends to help me with various parts of my recovery.  

I owe thanks to a number of people.


I’m excited to say that prior to July 1, I got back on the ice to skate.  To my shock, after speaking with the heart surgeon’s office on Monday July 14, I was released to play hockey on Tuesday July 15.  This accomplishment came a full 1.5 months before I had planned to be back on the ice. I shocked my entire hockey team when I showed up in the locker room on 7.15.14.

In early August, I rolled the dice again and rode my mountain bike down the mountain at Park City Mountain Resort.  This accomplishment happened a full 1.5 months prior to when I had originally planned to be back on the mountain bike based on the plans on my white board.

Public Speaking

In June and again in August, I flew to Dallas and Las Vegas to participate in conferences as a Keynote Public Speaker.  I won’t tell you that either trip was easy but I got through both and I’ve been invited back by both organizations.  

The reward for this work is that as of last week, I’m scheduled to speak at least 8 more times in 2014 in September, October and November in Austin, Colorado Springs, San Antonio, Houston, Orlando, Phoenix, Northern New Jersey and Toronto.  If you live in any of these areas, please let me know so we can meet in person.  I'll share updates as each speaking opportunity gets closer.


Just so you know that I'm 100% human, I have had and continue to have setbacks.  It hasn't just been a forward moving progression based on my goals and plans.  I just prefer to not focus on the setbacks because I've either overcome them or I'm currently working on overcoming.

Crushed This One!

Over the weekend, one of my walking, skating, skiing, hiking, biking buddies talked me into getting on my mountain bike for a 12.11 mile ride at 9,000’.  This is a different ride than having your bike carried up a mountain on a ski lift and then you just have to navigate the downhill portion on the bike

For this kind of ride, you are powering the bike up and down hills for the full 12.11 miles. While the lake might be flat, the trail around the lake is anything but flat.  I won't lie to you.  This event hurt and this was the greatest physical challenge I've taken on since my surgery.

I made it through this entire loop around the reservoir after donating a little bit of blood to a slab of granite, having to fix a flat tire and having to borrow Eric’s last Power Bar to give me enough energy to complete the ride.

didn't plan to be able to take on and complete this kind of ride until at least mid-September. 

Check that Accomplishment box! 


As much as I didn't feel like doing it, my wife joined me this morning for a 2.1 mile walk before I got my business day started.  

There is truth to the statement: 

“No Pain, No Gain”

There is also truth to the statement that is engraved on my mountain bike handlebar stem:  

“All Work and No Play Is No Fun At All”

Coming Soon

It’s almost ski season in Colorado.  My next written goal is to get through my first ski day of the 2014-2015 season to include 12,000+ vertical feet of skiing and to still feel like I could do one more run when the day is done.  Stay tuned!

How Can I Help You?

I share this story with you to let you know that I'm human, I'm a goal setter, I know how to deal with adversity and I'm passionate about helping others to win.  I'm an executive recruiterjob coach, career coach and executive coach and I can help you get from wherever you are to where you want to be.  

 I'm ready to share my qualifications and experiences with you!

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