Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Steve's Pumping Iron!

Well, all right! Steve Williams is in the house!

Steve had a kidney transplant in February of 2009, and had a heart attack during the surgery. Over the next six weeks, he had two more heart attacks and two more surgeries -- the last of which resulted in the heartbreaking removal of the living donor kidney so kindly given by niece Teresa. Steve was no stranger to heart disease. He had a CABG (coronary artery bypass graft - or "cabbage") ten years before, complicated by a life-threatening post-op infection. It has been a rugged road.

Steve has roots deeply imbedded in the fitness industry, having worked for several companies -- Cybex and Technogym being the most recognized. He was always a gym rat, leg pressing six hundred pounds back in the day! He told me his forearms were once as thick as tree trunks. I didn't know him then, but we have the photos to prove it. He was a formidable lifter in his younger days.

Anyway, over the last few weeks, Steve has been participating in a program of cardiac rehabilitation. I knew the minute we talked about it that "the worm had turned." Something was new and different about Steve. There was a sparkle in his eyes, and a new commitment to try again.

Now, monitored by the very same nurse who cared for him during that near-calamity CABG, Steve plods through upper and lower body aerobics -- sometimes stopping when angina squeezes in. He told me today that he's up to forty minutes of cardio at a session.

The program also involves strength training. Steve -- who comes from the land of deadlifts, bench presses, Sumo squats, "the heavy bag," preacher curls, and quad sets -- started with two pound dumbbells which, unfortunately, came only in Barbie pink. But little by little, he's progressed. Now, he's up to the six-pounders -- in a more fitting blue-gray.

I'm so proud of him. I've been strength training myself for the last ten years, and so appreciate the difference it makes in my overall quality of life. There is no end to the pride and anticipation I feel when I see that Steve Williams is back in the house! 

We've got reason to be hopeful, big guy. Keep it up!
Take care. Linda Gromko, MD 


  1. Well, he's back in the gym: HOOORAAHHH (hear Pacino as Col Frank Slade in Scent of a Woman).

    Are you sure those weights one size up from the little pink ones weren't Barney purple? Did they have glitter on them?

    I'm sure Arnold is standing by, smiling and anxiously waiting for Steve to get back into Venice Beach shape again so they can move some serious iron at Gold's, like they did back in the day.


  2. Good to hear Steve is moving steel again. We will overlook the pink and baby-blue plastic coating for now. Steve… don’t forget the calf raises! (Steve has calf muscles that Lou Ferrigno was Jealous of... best calfs in the business!)


  3. Thanks for your encouragement, guys. It means a lot to Steve. I imagine Arnold and Lou are trembling now. Take care. Linda