Aortic dissection & aortic aneurysm information support group

Aortic dissection, aortic aneurysm - The aorta - Life after an aortic dissection


I’m back to report from my latest event. The weekend 27-28 of October this year (2012) I participated in an event called Rosa Dygnet – free translation: the Pink day. This is an event to raise money for the Swedish breast cancer research (Pink Ribbon – Sweden) and it’s annual. The main event there is a 25 hour spinning, containing 25 different one hour contiguous spinning classes. I have participated in this event since the start, six years ago and it’s very important for me to do this. All years I have done all 25 hours. It will be 25 hours since we switching to winter time that weekend.

This year was very special for me, because 5 month and 20 days earlier I got my aorta dissection, type B. During may 35 day stay at hospital I was determined to get back to track with my ultra-running again. I must give it a try and if it will not work then, I will accept my “destiny”. But not before a big fight. After a lot of walking, later increased to powerwalk, Nordic walking and finally some light running and a few spinning classes, I started my biggest challenge since my AD – a 25 hours spinning class! I designed a new inspiration t-shirt for this moment and I will wear it frequently in all kind of training (without swimming).

Physically it was no problem for me. I measured my blood pressure ever second hour with my portable blood pressure monitor (Omron R6). All time the values was perfect. My average for that day was 114/68. I was very satisfied with this. But mentally it was a big struggle this year. I did not have any major problems years before. But this year was something special. For me it was it was very much at stake, not only the fight against breast cancer. It was a fight for myself, a fight to get back on track with my ultra-running and finally to reach my big goal – Badwater Ultra Marathon in 2016.

The first 6 hours went fine, no problem at all. Then I got problem with my right foot which starts to go numb. But it was manageable. I was a bit nervous because at 07:00 in the morning, after 19 hours and 19 contiguous spinning classes, it was now my turn to debut as spinning instructor together with another fellow.  That class was about our diseases. I have my aortic dissection and my fellow have Crohns disease. We told out story with fitting music and I think it was probably the very first time the participants was able to experience fibrillation and cardioversion though a spinning class. I told my story and show some pictures from hospital and my way back to training again. After the clas we got very positive feedback from the participants and they thanked us for sharing our story. That was a big kick for us. After this class it was only five hours left of this day. I struggled a lot with myself and my inner feeling. Because at that time I started to believe myself that I will really finish all 25 hours and take a great Victory over myself and my AD. In the picture - I'm the guy to the right with the cap.

When the clock was 13:00 I was so relieved that I did all 25 hours again and this year after an AD. I couldn’t hold back my tears then. This was truly a great moment of triumph. No one thought that I should manage to do all 25 hours. They are all wrong. I did it! And I’m so proud over that and show other that is not impossible to achieve something like this. The only thing you have to do is to believe in your dreams and in yourself.  But you must be prepared to go outside your comfort zone sometimes.

Next challenge is to run a 6 hour race at November 10:th. The goal that time is to reach the marathon distance – 42,2 km. Keep on fighting and don't ever give up!

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Comment by Timo Söderlund on November 9, 2012 at 11:29

Stefan - i keep my fingers crossed !!!! Fantastic. All the best / T

Comment by Stefan Manning on November 9, 2012 at 11:23

Thank you folks! You have to wish me luck tomorrow. I will start in a 6 hours run. tell you more later about this. I aim to reach the marathon distance...


Comment by Nicola McMeekin on November 8, 2012 at 16:44

Congratulations Stefan, that is a great achievement and inspiring.  I love the t-shirt too!

Comment by Richard Deal on November 5, 2012 at 9:16

hi stefan,

this is the sort of story we all need to read. an AD is not a life sentence, it doesn't even have to play that big a role in our day to day lives - and with the right attitude and training anything is possible.

i run a just under a marathon and a half each week on my cross trainer (4 x 15kms), and before my AD i couldn't even run up 2 flights of stairs!

you keep going, like timo says, you are a true inspiration!

take care,


Comment by Timo Söderlund on November 5, 2012 at 5:28

Stefan - Fantastic !!!!!!!! Great & Well done. You are a true inspiration that life does not only go on after AD - it can be truly great also ! All the best from Sandared / Timo


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