On Todd Melinger’s 41st birthday, he raced and qualified for the Ironman World Championships. It was the culmination of a significant racing career: 13 Ironman events, 20 years of endurance racing and a year of great events. What happened next surprised Todd: after another race like any other, his ears hurt. “I figured it must be something post race so I take a nap and it goes away.  Two days later I head out for a hard training ride, notice my heart rate is 10 beats higher then it should be and just can’t quite push the power as I (normally do.)” The day wears on and Todd’s ride and lower power gives way to a feeling of doom and anxiety. He just doesn’t feel right. A virus? General fatigue? He finds his way to the doctor thinking bronchitis but even en route Todd is losing focus and feeling progressively worse. When he gets to the Doctor, Todd realizes that there is something seriously wrong with his heart. He’s instructed to take five Aspirin. He’s given a shot of nitroglycerin. Even with the signs and symptoms of heart disease, Todd’s lifestyle is something that obscures the truth of what’s happening. “I spent the afternoon in the ER, everyone thinks that I have a virus attacking the heart lining, not uncommon among athletes and they nearly send me home until tests reveal something different.” Todd’s doctor came in and told him that he had a 50% blockage in his coronary artery that he needs and angiogram and that he has coronary artery disease. Todd explains his surprise, “ I couldn’t understand how someone who is young, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t drink, is a top ironman age grouper, with virtually no risks, has heart disease??” I think ‘ This can’t be happening to me, I’ve done everything right!”  Todd’s heart was 85% blocked in the LAD. He had a STENT placed immediately. Todd missed warning signs and though he was able to escape with no heart damage, Todd’s life was interrupted by a heart attack. “A few simple tests could have identified my issue early, I could have prevented that heart attack.  That alone could have been worth a lifetime” Todd Melinger is MIaware. Are you?