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Health and the City

That winning feeling! O

By Stephanie Ross in association with Virgin Active Barbican Corporate financier Sid is bouncing back from a massive heart attack. Personal Trainer Gil is working his way up the adventure racing rankings. Stephanie talks to two very different people at Virgin Active Barbican about how it feels to win.

n the morning of January 12th fifty-six year old Barbican resident Sid travelled from a remote rural area of Gujarat to the

Stephanie Ross

Virgin Active personal trainer Gil Cramer

GioStar Stem Cell Therapy Hospital (the only one of its kind in the world) in Ahmedabad to visit Giostar’s co- founder Deven Patel. During their meeting Sid’s heart suddenly stopped and he collapsed. Deven’s medical colleagues rapidly resuscitated Sid and sent him to the nearby CIMS hospital that boasts a cardiology department of international repute. Sid had suffered a massive heart attack due to previously undiagnosed hereditary coronary artery disease. A huge blood clot was cleared

from the right coronary artery and three stents were inserted. Such immediate expert treatment saved Sid’s life and ensured little or no damage was done to the heart. What helped Sid’s recovery was the strength of his heart muscle thanks to a lifetime of various sports and regular gym sessions.

Some years ago Sid stopped competing in amateur tennis and squash tournaments due to increasing work pressures and a change of

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employer. However, he continued regular gym exercise - week in week out – motivated simply by feeling fit and healthy afterwards. The goal he set was to increase performance in a regularly reviewed gym program – with the periodic help of a trainer. Given the experience in January Sid feels that this time and effort spent at the gym has more than paid off and he continues setting aside an hour each day to exercise with renewed commitment. South African Personal Trainer Gil Cramer competes in solo and team adventure races, involving mountain biking, trail running, kayaking and orienteering. He is currently preparing for a mid-June two-day event in the New Forest; the July twenty-four hour Adidas Thunder Run race in the Lake District and an August five-day non- stop Adidas Terrex race in Stirling, Scotland. He enjoys these outdoor endurance sports and stays motivated by achieving the high level of fitness, will power and skills in people management that is needed to succeed. It’s also a sociable activity – weekends are spent away with like-minded people (guys and girls).

Gil trains many different clients at

Virgin Active Barbican including people new to adventure racing. He finds that over the past two to three years as triathlons are increasing in popularity and so are harder to enter, adventure racing is becoming an appealing alternative. Team members each have their special skills in one or more of the disciplines. But mental strength and calm character are essential for winning. You motivate yourself and your team- mates though something will always go wrong like a flat tyre or getting lost. You have a map and compass and then it’s up to you to find the best way to the finish line.

But when you get there first that wonderful winning feeling makes it even more worthwhile.

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