By Douglas Williams
Howard Dell divides his time between Bucharest, Hollywood and Victoria, Canada. The Canadian with the winning smile is hard to pigeonhole but currently, when here in Romania, he works as an athletics coach (with National 100m Champion Andreea Grecu), a Cardiac Treatment Specialist with External Enhanced Counter-pulsation (EECP) and a Wayflex Exercise Trainer (the training programme which replaces TRX). He’s also an educator, substitute teaching in high-school. Howard has been, and is still to varying degrees, a professional athlete, a musician, a life coach, a speaker and an actor recently playing alongside Steven Seagal in the crime thriller “Absolution” and “Cartels” with Luke Goss. He started his acting career in 1992 appearing in the comedy series “A Different World” (alongside Halle Berry), “That Seventies Show” and most recognizably “The Young and Restless,” playing Detective Troy Hawkins for three years. An Olympian Bobsledder, a professional American football player, a top decathlete, he has presented a TED Talk, he’s a sports-nutrition expert…
Dell’s story goes on and on but it very nearly ended in 2009. Back then, in his mid 40s, Dell was diagnosed with not just one but two rare liver diseases that he was not expected to survive. In rapidly deteriorating health, Dell travelled the world determined to beat the diseases. Finally, in a very poor way, he arrived at Hoag Hospital, Newport, Ca., emergency room. 18 days later he awoke at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles with a new liver and, as it has since transpired, a new lease of life. He is now, naturally, a big proponent of the Transplant Games, which, he believes, is a very important way to communicate to the world that organ recipients can still lead normal lives. He sees the Games as “a way to give people a goal to work towards while recuperating and a great opportunity to promote Organ Donor Awareness. It’s especially important for kids to know that they can still be athletic after transplantation.” Dell competes for the United States to honour his transplant donor family. He is a 12 time gold medalist and 5 time world record holder at the World Transplant games in athletics.
Here in Romania one of Dell’s plans is to open a cardiac treatment clinic which can dramatically help anything to do with heart disease using EECP therapy. This therapy was developed at Harvard University and can be found at the finest hospitals in the world treating all heart related diseases: high blood pressure – angina, myocardial infarction, ischemic heart disease etc. This requires state of the art equipment, already brought here to Romania by Dell from the US.
His biggest passions, lately, have been coaching high performance athletes in athletics, wanting to take Romania’s sprint programme to the highest level. He has coached two of Romania’s National Champions in sprints and heptathlon. He also loves teaching and distributing the latest dynamic fitness product called Wayflex Multi Functional Trainer. Wayflex replaces the redundant TRX device and takes suspension training to a new level. See: wayflex.ro
Steven Seagal and Howard Dell
OZB spoke briefly with Dell while he was in LA on his latest film venture :
- Where are you originally from and what did you set out to do/be in life?
I’m from Belleville Ontario, Canada and I set out to be a professional American football player, a professional basketball player, an Olympian and an actor and singer…
- What brought you to Romania?
The opportunities to continue my acting, coaching and medical pursuits. Romania is growing and I wanted to grow with it.
- What do you do here?
Coaching athletics with National Champion Andreea Grecu, Cardiac Treatment Specialist with EECP ( External Enhanced Counter Pulsation) and Wayflex Exercise Trainer which replaces TRX.
- What do like most about Romania and what least?
The most, its talent and potential in every aspect of life, sport, business, growth and friendship. The least: the non realization of just how much potential the Romanians have as a people. The negativity about their own country. Everyone wants to leave and go to US. I really think here is the place to be. Change takes time and every little bit counts.
These are Dell’s top tips for fitness:
- Discipline: you have to have the ability, or acquire the ability to set a goal and go after it.
- Consistency: you have to acquire the ability to stay on course, stick with your plan.
- Dedication: you have to be able to avoid distractions and temptations that take you off course.
- Commitment: you have to have commitment.
- Train smarter not harder.
- Desire: without the desire there will be no improvement.