Member of the Month: Eduardo Aravena

Posted on Friday, 28 May 2021

Congratulations to Eduardo Aravena, C-Life’s June Member of the Month.

Eduardo was nominated for his inspiring story after overcoming some major health issues earlier in the year. You may also recognise him as Milena’s dad.

How long have you been training at C-Life?

This June will be 10 years, I joined C-Life in June 2010.

What has been the big change for you recently?

I had an emergency triple Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery on the 27 January. The first symptoms were on 22 December, my chest felt very heavy, and I had sharp pains performing my normal daily activities.  These symptoms progressed until I was admitted into hospital on the 20 January for an angiogram which revealed that the main heart artery was 99% obstructed and two other arteries had 80 and 70% blockage. The doctor’s comments were that “you’re lucky to have not had a heart attack.” I was alive, as result the blood vessels surrounding the heart took over the task to supply blood to the heart.

How did you feel coming out of hospital?

The second day after the operation my daughter Milena came to visit me in hospital, she helped to get out of bed and I walked about 5m holding onto her. I was in pain, dizzy, extremely weak, with two tubes to the lungs, one tube to my heart three tubes around my neck. Becoming aware of my deplorable physical, psychological and emotional condition, in my dizziness and confusion, at that precise moment, I made the decisive move to actively, disciplined, progressively and consistently reach a wholistic strength to live a better and longer life.

How was your recovery out of hospital?

My first attempts to start gaining strength was taking short, once a day, 5-10m strolls in the hospital ward. On the fourth day the physio asked me to walk a set of stairs to see if I was fit enough to be discharged, I did it more for pride than signs of early recovery, I painfully managed the task, dizzy and with great difficulty.

I was discharged six days after the operation, so I started taking 200m strolls on the street, an effort I increased the distance slowly daily. Concurrently I was attending weekly zoom sessions with the cardiac rehabilitation unit at Canterbury hospital. Then I began my weight training at C-Life which was very slow, in brief and light weights sessions.

How was having an EP as a daughter (Milena) helped you?

Milena, my daughter, who is a Sport Science graduate, and an Exercise Physiologist has been the person to confirm the recovery progress and beyond and to corroborate the recommendations from external health professionals, as I have consistently followed all medical advice from the surgeon, cardiologist, GP, rehabilitation clinic at Canterbury hospital and a dietitian. Milena was a great help to me in my recovery.

What sort of goals do you have moving forward?

My goals are to continue training with the greatest emphasis on cardiovascular fitness as it is already having a positive impact on my overall health and I have noticed a difference. My motivation in and out of the gym has stemmed from my goal to complete the city to surf running non-stop.

I regularly set running PBs on the treadmill, I hope soon to reach a PB of 6kms in 38 mins.

I also enjoy lifting weights and I am trying to increase my leg press and bench press as my daughter, Milena has mentioned that increased upper and lower body strength is a great indicator of overall health and longevity.

Why do you like to train at C-Life?

C-Life is conveniently located, it caters for all my basic training needs, the staff are friendly, supportive and approachable.

Congratulations Eduardo for being our June Member of the Month. We wish you all the very best with your future health and fitness goals.

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