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Darren's journey: From heart surgery to Spartan Races!

Darren Rice is a 51 year old Red Deer resident who has always enjoyed living an active lifestyle. He has always been very involved in physical activity with his family; going out biking in the summer with his wife Donna, snowboarding in the winter while volunteering with the ski patrol, and enjoying the outdoors with his daughter Chantelle. Darren says he had kept himself fit by trying all of the fitness trends, from big box gyms to fad diets and everything in between.

When Darren was in his mid forties, he started to notice that the fun activities that he enjoyed doing with his family were becoming more and more challenging. One day he noticed that he was having chest pains. He went to see a physician and was told that one of his coronary arteries (an artery feeding blood to the heart muscle) had narrowed due to a buildup of fatty deposits called plaque. This obstruction was reducing blood flow to his heart and causing fatigue. Darren was then told that if his condition wasn’t treated, it could possibly form a blood clot which would inevitably result in a heart attack.

Darren was booked in for a procedure called a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) or angioplasty. Darren's procedure included placing a stent in the blocked artery to help keep the artery open, thus improving the blood flow to the heart muscle and relieving symptoms such as having chest pains.

While recovering from his (PCI) procedure, Darren had a lot of time to think about his current situation. It was undeniable for him, despite the fact that he was very active, what he was doing wasn’t enough to keep him strong and healthy enough to enjoy the lifestyle he wanted.

Darren started searching for something or someone to help him get healthy and stay healthy. That’s when he noticed an ad for a Fitness Challenge at Absolute Fitness. Darren knew his goal was to gain better health and fitness, and because Absolute Fitness was promising exactly that, he acted and signed up.

Darren jumped into his training and nutrition plan but was a little cautious and opted to start slowly with movement and mobility. It wasn’t easy, a lot of the exercises were challenging for him, and 2 weeks in he was feeling like maybe he had made a mistake. Darren thought back to why he was doing the Challenge in the first place, Darren stuck with the program, and stayed consistent.

And guess what.. his hard work paid off! Darren ended up winning first place in the 2015 challenge, losing 25 lbs of fat, and gaining

10 lbs of muscle, in just 6 weeks!

Darren was excited about his results, but now that he had reached his goal, he was not as driven as he was before. He lost motivation and trained with less consistency. It didn’t take long before he saw that he was falling back into his old habits, he felt aches and pains begin to return such as numb and tingly finger tips.

Darren realized that he needed a new goal, and new challenge to overcome. Darren figured he’d check in with his old training facility, Absolute Fitness, to see what was going on, and maybe he’d find something to strive for there.

He found that Absolute was doing an Obstacle Course Racing, (OCR) bootcamp, and he signed up and ran his first race in 2016. He had found his new passion... Obstacle Course Racing.

With this new goal in sight, he has found his drive to train again! He signed up as a member at Absolute and has been consistent with his training for the last 6 months attending an average of 10 classes a month. Darren's dedication to training has lead him back to those amazing results he saw in the beginning. We asked him about his numb and tingly fingers, and he says he hadn’t realized that they weren’t numb and tingly anymore, until now that we asked him about it, he’s pretty happy about that! Even Darren's 26 year old daughter, Chantelle Rice, signed up to our OCR boot camp specifically “to keep up with my dad”. Way to go, Darren!

Darren has ran 2 Spartan Races in the last couple of years, and he plans on running 3 Obstacle Course Races this year with two of them being on the same weekend! He’s running so many races to prime himself up to run a Spartan Beast next year, which is a 26+ km race up and down a mountain with 30+ obstacles! Big plans!

In less than 5 years, Darren has gone from nearly having a heart attack and having to get a stent placed in one of his arteries, to being in such good shape that his daughter started training just to keep up with him, talk about inspiring!

Darren's advice to others looking to get in shape is to start training at Absolute Fitness and get themselves mobile.

Mobility has been the cornerstone of Darrens fitness and is the reason, that at the age of 51, he is able to enjoy an active and fulfilling life doing the things he loves, with the people he most loves in life.

What a story you have Darren!

We are all super proud of what Darren has accomplished so far, and look forward to continue working with Darren and seeing what he will accomplish next!

If you're looking for that new goal to strive towards, follow Darrens lead, and give us a call at 403 347-9669 or email us at it’s your first step to getting started and finding something to strive for.

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