In my last update I humble-bragged about getting to move forward with life free from cancer. I have some guilt in saying that because I know and love people who are still out there fighting. It is a bitter sweet moment when you realize you are out of danger but you have your mind on people who are still deeply in it. To those who haven’t been awarded their freedom yet, I am with you in solidarity, always.
Hearing the news that my oncologist really isn’t worried about a reoccurrence in my case felt like the end of my cancer story. That battle is behind me. Ahead of me lies the rebuilding of a new life.
Life will never be the same, but I am banking on it being better.
So begins my long journey to a new destination: health and wellness. Illness and pregnancy put me on the ropes for two years. My bedroom was my home, and I was near constantly in bed. Climbing stairs, running errands, and even short walks created major energy crises. I legitimately earned a handicap placard for my vehicle.
Now, I am free to push the limits of my fitness however I want. And I want to. Every gasp of air and drip of sweat in a workout reminds me that I am alive. I am here for the discomfort. I am here for the growth. I am here for it all.
Like anything hard, it helps to have support. I felt like I needed some technical (and if I’m honest, moral) support in my long journey back to wellness. This body is so foreign to me and I really don’t trust it anymore. I don’t feel like I know how to get myself out of this hole on my own, and trying to take it on solo felt overwhelming. So I reached out for help and I found it.
Epic- the newly constructed gym on campus at my office- is going to be my home for fitness.* In my first conversation with Paul (my new fitness guru), he was able to get to the heart of the issue. I am scared that I may never be made whole again and I am nervous for what the journey will look like. I am ashamed that I let it get this bad and I am insecure about my body and my lack of strength.
Paul is one of those super fit, naturally gifted athletes. That’s obvious when you first see him. But he isn’t a snob. In fact, I have never met anyone in the fitness world so welcoming. He immediately erased that shame and replaced it with inspiration. He has turned my fears into confidence and I know I am going to succeed.
With Paul and Epic, I am starting a new book and I am so glad I don’t have to do it alone. I am on my way to living better. I can’t explain the mountain of work there is to do, but I can say having a plan and knowing I’m in good hands takes a lot of the mental hand-wringing out of it.
Like all difficult things, the people who encourage me and support me along the way have made all the difference. Paul is encouraging little changes, because we are working on a lifestyle upgrade. It’s not a white knuckle sprint to the finish. It is a gradual shift in the sails. It’s about making small improvements because, really, anything is better than nothing. One plank, ten pushups, whatever it is, a little bit goes a long way. That mountain of work has been reduced to small steps that I will take consistently- one foot after the other. After my first session with Paul today, I know I will be okay.
I am encouraged, I am supported and I am inspired.
That is all I need to succeed at this point in my life. With a little faith and a lot of courage and hard work, I will rebuild better than before. Trust me, it’s going to be amazing.
Give ‘Em Hell
*My endorsement of Epic is entirely my own. I am not given anything in exchange for writing about them, but I feel compelled to include them in my story because of how life-changing and meaningful their support has already been. Thank you to Paul and Jen for being part of my fitness family and for making me feel so capable.