Chuck O’Malley (Cardio Dad) – Legacy Story

When our daughter, Colleen, asked me if I’d be interested in expressing my thoughts about Sean’s commercial life work, the Cardio Coach workout series, in the inaugural issue of SEAN’S LEGACY, I readily agreed.

However, when I took my mouse in hand, I began to realize just how complex this assignment is. Yes, my wife/Sean’s Mom, Nancy Marie and I worked out to his Cardio Coach CDs / MP3s – both during the volumes’ development and upon their completion. Yes, we – along with Colleen – shared to varying degrees Sean’s anguish as he worked to get “just the right” music and tempo needed to complete his work of art.

We suffered with him and assisted where we could as he sought to market the Cardio Coach volumes – his “ups & downs”.

We watched in amazement and with pride as our son – who we didn’t think would finish high school – utilize the education he received as an ALL-SEC Academic Team student at Ole’ Miss in developing business plans and working with the many facets of the personal training and music world as he pioneered in the integral training mode of cardio-related fitness.  We rejoiced in reading the wonderful reviews Cardio Coach was receiving in major publications, but we rejoiced even more when we started reading reviews on how his workouts and his personal efforts seemed to help so many people (a trait shared by his sister).

The direct impact of Cardio Coach really hit me after I messed up my left knee (2006) and had to prepare for knee replacement surgery. Fortunately, I had been working out to his CDs on our treadmill so there was some strength in that leg which enabled me to come through the operation and rehab pretty well. Of course, it helped when he, Mr. Cardio Coach, expedited my rehab by tying my foot to the stationary bike pedal and working the knee pretty actively. He also (cruelly?) had me walk three flight of stairs the day I got home from rehab.

Earlier, I had referred to the complexity of the assignment. His Mom and I would frequently participate in his spin classes at the local LA Fitness club, watching and marveling with a great deal of parental pride how he would draw maximum effort from his filled-to-the-rafters classes while he quietly and effectively encouraged each biker.

I believe the Cardio Coach CD workouts were a means to an end for Sean. They provided him with the opportunity to really help people – an activity he carried out both as the Cardio Coach and as Sean Michael O’Malley. Stories told by his classmates, teammates, clients and friends after his death exemplified that.  With him, it both started with his heart and continued with his heart.

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