Woman Overcomes Heart Condition to Participate in Rigorous Obstacle Course

Rebecca Esser has battled a bicuspid aortic valve for the last few years

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Over the last few years, Rebecca Esser has dealt with a bicuspid aortic valve, a condition where she has two aortic valves on her heart instead of the normal three.

“The cardiologist and doctors say to exercise especially so going to the gym has been a lifesaver especially in the past three years,” said Esser.

When Esser works out, she can’t do pushups or lift more than 25 pounds.

Although her disease has gotten worse over the years, she still has her three years at Dion’s “DANGERZONE” Gym in Detroit Lakes to thank for helping her maintain an active lifestyle.

“The positive energy at the gym keeps you going. I can’t imagine not having it in my life right now, and I just had a cardiologist appointment two weeks ago, and he said to keep doing what I’m doing,” said Esser.

Esser decided to put her defect behind her by taking part in the Dangerzone Crazies Crash Course, where people had to run, lunge, crawl, and lift their way through several obstacles.

“They love to push each other, motivate each other so you’ll see that a lot where if someone is struggling, someone will push and help them,” said Dion Sgro, the owner of Dion’s “DANGERZONE” Gym

The runners had a variety of different reasons for participating in the obstacle course but the one thing that kept them pushing towards the finish line was the support system developed at Dion’s gym.

Even though Esser’s condition prevented her from completing some events on the course, she is proud that people at the gym have her back.

“Just pushing me to stay active and healthy. I feel great and it’s one of those addictions almost when you go to the gym and as much as it’s hard, you just can’t wait to go the next time,” said Esser.

Tomorrow is Family Day at the Water Carnival, which includes face painting, a turtle race, and a hula hoop contest.

Categories: Community, Local News, Minnesota News