In this guest blog post, MySwimPro Community Member John Rowley shares how swimming helped him walk again after major complications from open heart surgery. 

About Me

I am a lifelong fitness enthusiast from Wake Forest, North Carolina, and have been an avid weightlifter for more than 50 years. 

I’m also an entrepreneur. I worked as a high-powered real estate executive in Manhattan, New York and owned a well-known gym in Brooklyn. I have also authored 3 books, including the best-selling Old School New Body. Now, I own the supplement company UX3 Nutrition.

In whatever I’m doing, my mission is to help people perform at their best, think more efficiently and live a more passionate life.

How I Found Swimming

My active lifestyle came to a halt two years ago, when I got sepsis and blood clots in my lungs, and lost my hearing and my sight. When my son got me to the hospital they told me I had maybe 2 hours to live. I ended up having open heart surgery. Fast forward 2 years and I still had lots of complications. 

Related: How MySwimPro Helped Me Stop Taking Medication

I couldn’t walk a few months ago, so I decided to try swimming. I was on bed rest, and it was really frustrating to go from being extremely fit to not being able to get out of bed. I started with 50 yards the first time I swam, and had to stop a ton to catch my breath. 

I kept working at it, adding 50 yards every day. I recently reached 1,800 yards! It takes me 90 minutes or so and I still have to stop every 50 yards, but I keep going. Now that I’ve broken 1 mile, I’m going to start working on speed and endurance.

How I Train with MySwimPro

I use MySwimPro to track every workout. It really motivates me! The analytics are helpful, too. I have to keep track of my blood pressure — I can’t let it get too high because of leaks in my heart.

Thanks to swimming, I can walk the stairs again. I am working hard every day to build a healthy heart and lungs, improve my overall fitness and increase my energy.

My Tips for Swimmers

  • Just get in the water! Make it a habit. 
  • Learn proper technique early on. 
  • Start off slow and make incremental adjustments as you go on. In my case, I added 50 yards a day. 
  • Don’t give up! Tell the little voice in your head that wants to wait until tomorrow to shut up 🙂

Follow John on Instagram at @johnmrowley and join the MySwimPro Global Community Facebook Group to keep up with his journey!

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