"If I let my stress and my emotions get out of control there’s no doubt it could happen again."
Craig Duncan didn’t believe his doctor when he was told he’d had a heart attack and was lucky to be alive. The 43-year-old is a leading sports scientist,
who works with elite Australian athletes. He was in peak physical fitness. He ran regularly. He was vegetarian and did not have high blood pressure or high cholesterol. But Craig had suffered a Spontaneous Coronary Artery Dissection. "When I looked up the literature – there had only been a hundred and fifty cases reported and the majority of these were an autopsy."
At the time of his heart attack Craig was under enormous pressure in his work and personal life. I was under enormous stress and I had been for a long, long time. A lot of it was self-imposed and just rushing around at a million miles an hour.
"I was frustrated and unhappy and that was difficult. I was struggling to sleep, or sleep well, and even though I might be healthy on the outside... it all became too much."
Craig is very thankful for modern medicine and has had surgery. He also takes medication. But his near death experience has completely changed his life. He has taken on a far less stressful academic job and now consults to football clubs rather than bearing the brunt of the football season pressure. He’s also added meditation and prayer his daily healthy lifestyle practices. "If you do not have your mind in some sort of balance, it doesn’t matter how healthy your body is."
Dr. Craig Duncan is internationally recognized in the area of sport science and human performance. He works with Australia's elite athletes including working as head of performance with the NSW NRL State of Origin squad, the Western Sydney Wanderers FC. He currently lecturers at the Australian Catholic University in the field of sport science.
Read more from Dr. Craig Duncan here