Cancer, fitness and recovery.
Ugh. The “C” word. It strikes fear in the hearts of even the most brave! Fortunately, I am not brave. I just keep moving forward, maybe even oblivious to the gravity of the events at hand. I call that a blessing!
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of this year. What followed the diagnosis was a whirlwind of doctor’s appointments, biopsies, ultra-sounds, surgeries and radiation! Five (5) months later I am done with radiation and left with a pretty radically deconditioned body.
What I am happy for? The fact that I was in REALLY good shape when it happened. Without it my recovery would last even longer – maybe even with more complications. Unable to use my arms to for anything weight bearing due to surgery on BOTH sides, I was SO grateful to be able to simply stand up from a chair, do a sit up in bed or on the couch. Training is NOT just for fitness freaks people. You will NEED it one day, and be glad you have it.
But regardless of the condition I was in, here I sit, deconditioned. Nothing lasts forever and the old saying “Use it or lose it” is very true. No hovers, no lifts, no bench presses, no boxing sessions, no training for what seemed like forever. It’s discouraging. I gained about 25-30lbs and struggle to look at pictures of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me! I’m just not super happy about the extra fat surrounding me. 😉
So.. how do you get BACK in shape? You start. Slowly. Carefully. You keep in touch with your medical team / doctor. You scale back and you ease up. You don’t get discouraged when your last workout KILLS you for days because you didn’t know HOW to scale back. Just keep moving and adjusting.
Here’s my current plan. 3x’s week CX WORX. It’s a 30 minute core class. I still use some of the modified (regressed) moves instead of the ‘high’ options expected of an instructor. I’m ok with that. Body Combat 2x’s a week. So far (since I am not good at scaling back) I stop at about track 6, skip Muy Thai (too much jumping and elbows create too much friction on my healing blisters). Sometimes I am done by track 4. I found it interesting that someone can walk into a class, complete it and think it easy, but I am only able to make it through half a class. Here’s why: My body KNOWS what to do. I understand great form and intensity. Scaling back for me isn’t within the moves, but in quantity. Do whatever works for you. One thing is for certain… things will change! Kettlebell in moderation 2-3x’s a week. This is simply demonstrating moves (Turkish get ups, swings, snatches, cleans…) to clients and setting up workouts and trainings. I started only showing those moves on my right side. Slowly with light weight, demonstrating on the left. No cleans on the left yet, tho. It’s enough.
Once I am up to it… maybe in a couple weeks (a girl can hope!) I will start intentional training with a trainer. Because muscles and ribs are effected by radiation I am biding my time, listening to my body, not looking at current pictures of myself (lol!) and rearranging my food choices.
If you have an illness or injury that you are recovering from I want to encourage you to do what you CAN. Not what you think you SHOUD be able to, but what your body will allow without injury, excessive pain or shutting down. Listen to your body. Rest when needed (yes, days at a time!) and eat well. And stay with the fight!
You know, in it to win it! Don’t give up! and all those really important but sometimes trite sounding things we say to encourage each other. Get it done.
BK over and out.