Arnold Told 2020 Graduates an Inspiring Story About Rebounding From Heart Surgery

As many high schools and colleges turn to virtual graduation ceremonies in quarantine, several major politicians and celebrities including Oprah, Kevin Hart, and former President Barack Obama have agreed to participate and help congratulate new grads in lockdown.

And in a recent video posted to Instagram, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed he’ll be kicking off graduation commencements everywhere this Sunday via Snapchat.

In the video, the former California governor shared how a health scare he experienced back in 2018 also impacted his mindset. “We were literally four months from shooting Terminator 6: Dark Fate, and the doctor said to me, ‘You know everything is perfect except that I’m worried about your heart valve,’” he says. After being rushed to the hospital, he underwent an emergency open heart surgery that lasted 16 hours and ultimately left the fate of the movie in limbo. (This would become his second heart surgery during his lifetime; in 1997, he had a valve in his heart replaced due to a genetic defect.)

Miraculously, a few short months later, he made it to set and just on time—and he attributes his speedy recovery to the movie. “Life will always throw an obstacle in your path, like it was my heart surgery or with your graduation,” he says of his newfound approach to life. “But if you have a vision, a very clear vision of where you want to go and what you want to do, then there’s no problem.”

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