Greg Banks: A Story of Ropes, Resilience and Positivity
Published on June 23, 2017
For Greg Banks, Monday, June 5 seemed just like any other day. He woke up, ate breakfast, went to work and then hit the gym for his usual workout.
Little did he know that the crucial moments following his workout would change his life forever.
“I suddenly felt really light-headed, and my chest was super tight. I knew something was very wrong.”
At 51, Greg was in incredible shape. He’d maintained an active lifestyle, and always made fitness a priority. Needless to say, post-workout dizziness was not the norm for him.
Minutes later, the room went dark. Greg collapsed on the floor and lay unresponsive.
He’d had a heart attack.
Gym staff trained in CPR rushed to the aid of Greg, but after four long minutes of unsuccessful attempts to revive him, panic ensued in nearby onlookers.
“I had the strangest out of body experience. I could see people doing chest compressions on me, but it was like I was 5 feet off the ground looking down.”
Then, with a jolt, Greg miraculously regained consciousness and was rushed to the hospital.
“On my way to the hospital, I remember the EMT telling me how lucky I was to be alive – that he sees this kind of thing every day, and my outcome was not the norm.”
While at the hospital, Greg almost felt like a celebrity. The attending doctors and nurses were in complete awe of the medical miracle he’d experienced.
“They’d come into my room and say, ‘I’m so glad to meet you. I’ve heard all about your case. It’s amazing.”
Greg underwent surgery a few days later, and was up and walking around the next day. He was released from the hospital just days later after clearance from his cardiologist.
Everyone was mystified by Greg’s unbelievable recovery, with so little residual damage following such a massive heart attack.
“The cardiologist said my heart was unusually strong, thanks to my fit and active lifestyle. He told me it was actually the reason I survived and was doing so well only days later.”
While most people don’t plan to have a heart attack, Greg was not surprised by his in the least. In fact, he believed it to be an inevitable event on his timeline.
Due to a known genetic heart defect in his family, it was only a matter of time before it caught up to Greg. His grandfather passed away at 60, and his father died on the racquetball court at 55 – both victims of a heart attack.
But Greg didn’t let this stop him.
“I figured the heart defect was moving up 5 years every generation, so by the time I hit 49, I was bracing myself for the worst. The only thing I could think to do was get in the best shape of my life to prepare.”
Greg made it his primary goal to eat healthy and exercise often. He spent almost all of his free time outdoors being active, especially doing any activity that involved water.
“I’m a water rat, and have been ever since I was young. Growing up, my family and I spent summers on Lake Michigan and I tried everything under the sun – from windsurfing and sailing to waterskiing and lake surfing.”
When Greg wasn’t on the water, he was jumping. As a high school track and field athlete, he competed in triple jump, long jump and high jump. It was during this time that jumping rope became part of his fitness routine to help improve his skills on the field.
Over the years, Greg worked out regularly and continued with his love of water sports, but knew he would have to take it up a notch to make sure his heart was as strong and healthy as possible in order to safeguard against the defect.
“I needed a change to my workout routine. I was doing about 80% weights and 20 minutes of cardio in the gym, and I was bored.”
During his research, he came across several articles that wrote about how good the jump rope was for cardiovascular fitness. While he’d been jumping rope his whole life, he’d really only scratched the surface and never realized how many benefits he could gain from a more intense routine.
Further into his research, he happened across a Zen Dude video and became curious about the ropes they used.
“That’s when I started reading up on Crossrope, looking at videos and learning the whole process behind the rope system. After lots more research, I took the advice given by so many customers to go all in, so I went ahead and bought the Premium Set.”
Greg started putting the ropes to work right away. He loves jumping with the ¼ pound agility rope and usually jumps for about 30 minutes every day.
“For me, it’s all about the repetition. That’s where I gain the most benefit from the ropes. I notice it helps me dig into the water better when I’m kayaking. And then there’s paddles boarding, which is all about balance and quick adjustments of the feet. These are both skills I’ve been able to fine-tune by using Crossrope.”
Shortly after receiving his ropes, Greg was quickly drawn into the Jump Rope Fitness Community.
“It’s so refreshing to see people of all religions and walks of life, from all areas of the world coming together to share stories and inspire each other. Instead of the usual complaining and banter you see on Facebook, the Jump Rope Fitness Community is full of people lifting each other up.”
Greg took part in the summer challenge and fed off of the enthusiasm of others who participated. He found it easy to get pumped and stay motivated just by reading the stories of progress and words of motivation.
“That’s when I realized you’re not just buying ropes. You’re tuning into the Crossrope Universe. It’s made such a difference in my life. I know this may sound corny, but I ultimately think jumping rope helped save my life.”
Following his heart attack a few weeks ago, Greg received overwhelming support from the community. He continues to have a remarkable recovery, and was back to walking the track only a week later. In fact, his cardiologist even gave him the ‘go ahead’ to start jumping rope again in a few weeks.
“I’m still a little shaken from everything that happened. The thought of leaving my wife behind scares me. But I want to get back to regular life. I want to get back to the things I love doing, like kayaking and using my Crossropes!”
A strong heart is not the only thing to credit for Greg’s speedy recovery. Greg refuses to let the recent events shake his positive outlook and his resolve to be healthy and stay young at heart.
What’s his advice to others who face major health setbacks?
“My theory is, you’re not old until you’re six feet under. You gotta keep moving to stay young. If you run into to something that tries to slow you down, don’t sulk in it. Don’t let your mind say you can’t do it anymore. Keep moving, keep looking forward.”
Very wise words from a true fighter.
Greg, thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story with us! We wish you a continued speedy recovery, and can’t wait until you’re back jumping with us. If you would like to ask Greg any questions or share your best wishes, please use the comment section below.