Rumble in the rubble

Justin Dove fighting fit after a heart attack

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 05:00 20/03/2014
Justin Dove
JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON/ Fairfax NZ

PUNCHBAG: Justin Dove from Mico plumbing, who is boxing in Rumble in the Rubble, trains at Round 12 boxing gym. He had a heart attack a year ago and this is part of his get-fit regime.

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When Justin Dove steps into the ring at Rumble in the Rubble, he will be giving a "two-fingered salute" to the heart attack that almost cost him his life a year ago.

On April 4, rebuild workers from a range of trades will face off in the boxing ring in Cathedral Square, surrounded by cranes and the carcasses of the buildings they are working to put up or pull down.

For Dove, the event is something to tick off his bucket list and an end-goal for a year's hard work. A year ago today , Dove, 45, swiped in for another day behind a desk as a product manager for Mico plumbing.

With no warning he collapsed and suffered the kind of heart attack dubbed "the widowmaker" for its low survival rate.

He was one of the lucky ones.

"The paramedics and doctors saved my life. No doubt," he says.

Dove was rushed to hospital. His heart stopped during an emergency operation and he had to be "jump-started".

"At first I was just relieved to survive."

When the shock and relief wore off, Dove made a decision to change his life. The heart attack was the result of a genetic predisposition, lifestyle and his age and gender.

"You can sit and wait for it to happen again, or you can get on with it."

Before the heart attack, Dove considered himself reasonably healthy. "You drink, smoke and eat the foods you want, and when you go for a run in the morning you trick yourself into thinking that it balances out," he says.

These days, he is eating better, has quit smoking and drinking to train, and is putting more exercise in his schedule.

The training schedule for Rumble in the Rubble is gruelling. He spends six hours a week in the gym at Round 12 boxing, does an hour-long workout every morning and runs three times a week.

It is the fittest he's been since he was 18.

Dove says his role in the boxing event will prove a heart attack does not have to be the end of your life.

"It's a kick start. I'm there to win, the other guy is too.

"There's no backing out."

Justin "The Heartbreaker" Dove goes up against contractor Wi "Twinkle Toes" Harrison on April 4.

Tickets

are still available at dashtickets.co.nz or a gold-coin donation will get you in front of a big screen in Cathedral Square on the night.

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- The Press

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