Athlete Name: Scott Fitzemeyer
Hometown: Lynnfield, MA
Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Scott Fitzemeyer and I was diagnosed with CF much later than most people. I was misdiagnosed with a variety of things like Crohn’s, being lactose intolerant, having cancer, and a few other things. It wasn’t until I went to Tufts
Medical Center in Boston that they finally figured out that I actually had cystic fibrosis. I was told I wouldn’t live to see 16, then 21, and today I have thankfully surpassed that at 36-years-old. I am married to Kathleen, and we have two children Lily (11) and Matthew (1). It was a long journey to have kids and the greatest thing to ever happen to me. My wife and kids are so supportive and loving and help to keep me grounded. My wife is on top of making sure my health and medication is always taken care of so I am so thankful for her. I am a police officer in Lynnfield, MA where I grew up and live and am also SWAT officer with NEMLEC. Being a police officer has been my dream since I was in elementary school. I worked extremely hard to achieve my dreams and I am very proud of my job. My favorite thing to do is play hockey – I play a least once a week and spend time with my family and traveling around the world.
“I exercise for my mental health and quality of life."
Tell us what motivates you the most.
My family, my wife and children. They are the reason I want to make sure I can beat the prognoses each time. I want to be able to see the world with them and enjoy all the moments big and small together. I also love being a police officer, and I am motivated to stay healthy so I can continue doing the job I love for my community.
Tell us about your exercise routine. What exercises do you enjoy doing?
I try to work out almost every day, but with my schedule its hard, so I make sure I have rest days as well. With the pandemic I obviously couldn’t go to the gym anymore so I improvised at home with CrossFit inspired workouts. I do a lot of cardio and run 3-4 times a week about 2 miles. I enjoy doing full body workouts and try to focus on one area each day. I play hockey once a week and that is my favorite exercise since I have been doing it since I was 4 – it has always been my escape from CF and a place where I felt like everyone else. I am on the SWAT team and we have trainings three times a month where we are in full gear and doing active drills and that can be a workout itself.
Why do you exercise? Has exercise changed during quarantine this past year?
I exercise for my mental health and quality of life; I am lucky enough to be able to do the excises that I do and I want to keep my body and mind focused and in the best shape it can be. During the pandemic gyms closed and like so many others my home became my gym. I ordered an exercise bike, added some more free weights to what I already had, and other equipment like benches, and resistance bands etc. we turned our basement into a gym area for me since the weather wasn’t always nice enough to be outside, but it was hard for me to work out at home because it was hard to get into a routine. I think I pushed myself more during quarantine than before to work out. Hockey rinks were also closed so that meant I couldn’t have that exercise and release either. My family and I started hiking a lot more and going on walks as much as we could, it was nice to get out of the house and into nature and its something the whole family really has enjoyed, and we look forward to continuing that on. When the gyms opened back up I wasn’t sure about being in a gym and wearing a mask while working out, its hard enough to breathe as it is and wearing a mask working out made it even harder so I had to continue working out at home. Once I was fully vaccinated I felt a little better about being in a gym but its so hard to breathe doing a full workout in a mask so I don’t go as often as I used to. I try to balance at home workouts, running, and time at the gym.
How do you stay motivated during quarantine?
I knew that staying healthy especially now was extremely important and I wanted to make sure my body and lungs stayed healthy in case I were to get sick. My family and I started going on walks around our neighborhood, then around town, and moved on to bigger hikes and now we are climbing mountains together, its been a fun family activity and brought us closer together because we just talk about everything and get to experience new things together. Our son was born right before everything shut down and having everyone home together during basically his whole first year was actually a huge blessing, my daughter had all this extra time with him and us and we got to just be together and be present for everything. All these new milestones were happening while we were all there and that was a big motivator to me because I usually miss so many important things with my work schedule.
What are your goals for the future?
Staying healthy and active as long as I can so I can be here to watch my children grow up and live full lives. I want to complete all of the major marathons. I love to travel, and I hope that I can start traveling again. When I first got diagnosed, I wanted to see the whole world before I died and made traveling a top priority since you never know what’s going to happen or when, I wanted to be sure to enjoy each moment and try to see as much as possible. I still have some more to see and now that I have kids, I want to show them all the amazing places I have traveled to as well. I also can’t wait to see my son play hockey, my daughter plays field hockey and dances and I know they’ll both do great things in life.
Who is your role model?
My parents, they were always there for me but never let me feel bad for myself, or told me I couldn’t do something because of my CF. They worked hard and sacrificed so much for me.