Bob Harper Opens Up About Struggling with Depression Post–Heart Attack
"I've cried a lot over my broken heart."
Bob Harper's nearly fatal heart attack in February was a huge shock and a harsh reminder that heart attacks can happen to anyone. The fitness guru was dead for nine minutes before being resuscitated by doctors who happened to be at the gym where the incident took place. Since then, he's had to start at square one, completely changing his fitness philosophy in the process.
On top of the physical challenges, Harper recently opened up about how the trauma from the incident has impacted him emotionally.
"I battled depression, which won the fight on most days," he wrote in an essay for People. "My heart gave up on me. Rationally, I knew this was crazy, but I couldn't stop it."
He explained how much his heart had done for him over the years, and how difficult it was to know it just suddenly gave up.
"My heart had been pumping away in my chest without any problems for years," he wrote. "It kept me running around as a kid all the way through my adulthood. It beat perfectly as I worked on a farm all those long, hot summers of my youth. I spent endless nights dancing at concerts and dance clubs without any problems. My heart swelled as I fell in love, and survived brutal breakups throughout my 51 years. It even helped me through countless agonizing workouts. But on February 12, 2017, it just stopped."
It's been a tough road for Harper ever since, but he's slowly making progress. "I've cried a lot over my broken heart since that February day. Now that it's recovered, I am trying to trust it again," he wrote.
As he recovers, he's working on giving his heart exactly what it needs from both a physical and an emotional standpoint. "That means proper nutrition daily. And rest. And smart and effective exercise and stress management. Yoga is really helping me with that," he says. "When I [first] shared my story, [I said] that I was not going to stress over the little things or the big things anymore. I said I would focus on the things that really matter in life. Friends. Family. My dog. Love. Happiness. My goal now is practicing what I preach, and this time I am."