“I’m a tortoise Bro”-anonymous CMR runner

Let’s get facts straight. I am no perfect portrait of health and fitness. I try to work out a few times a week and a I try to make healthy food choices as often as I can. But I am certainly no dedicated paleo-eating/ marathon-running/calorie-counting/work-out-at-5am kinda girl. I just don’t have the kind of discipline and patience required for that (but I commend others that do!) I do my best to live a healthy lifestyle. Over the past few years I have been more active than I ever was and learned to actually like running. It makes me feel accomplished and athletic (when I was certainly not before). Let’s just say I didn’t need Lucy to pull away the football to look like Charlie Brown when attempting anything athletic.

When I got sick last year, even before I knew that I had the big ‘C’, I struggled to maintain the level of physical fitness that I had achieved post-college. This was due to the several liters of tumor fluid sloshing around in my tum tum (yeah, I said tum tum!). Through the hysterectomy and chemotherapy it felt like more of a pipe dream to be running again. On December 4, 2012 I couldn’t walk more than three steps without nurses holding me up. On September 28th, 2013 I ran 3.1 MILES at the Color Me Rad 2013 5k. 297 days after extensive abdominal surgery that resulted in the loss of muscle function in my left leg, I was able to gain back the strength to run 3.1 miles. I wasn’t the fastest runner there by any means, but I did it.

I do not think I would have accomplished this goal without the help of two people specifically: Meredith, my occupational therapist in Torrington, CT and Matt Weese, my personal trainer. These people never once gave me the impression that I was too damaged to reach my goals and for that I am so grateful for their support, encouragement, and patience in rehabilitating my leg and strengthening my body (and spirit!).

Here are some highlights (and shout out to Sarah Breen for being an awesome running buddy that day!):

CPVD13_10_01776_L CPVD13_03_02057_L CPVD13_10_02111_L

 

I am looking forward to doing my third Color Me Rad next year and hopefully move on to an intermediate race such as a 10k or another physical challenge like a Spartan obstacle type course (NOT Tough Mudder. Forget. That. NOISE).

I would also like to acknowledge my buddy Tony for getting back on his bike after battling Leukemia for far too long! Little by little, we’re getting there Tony!!!

I hope everyone is enjoying this crisp autumn season and staying well!

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Return on investment

For those who have been following my ramblings over the past few months you know that once I returned to Providence I was committed to getting back to my regular old self as much as possible. At that time I had lost a significant amount of weight. My forced sedentary lifestyle also significantly reduced my muscle mass. To help myself along despite the fatigue (and a ton of vomiting) I forced myself back into the gym. I teamed up with Matt Weese, a master trainer at Boston Sports Clubs on the east side. He is a legitimate miracle worker. I know I have said this before but I am honestly in better shape now than I was BEFORE cancer.

Proof:

April 18, 2013: Still in chemotherapy

5 push-ups on my knees (Jac: please forgive me for referring to these as “girl push-ups”. Totally kidding)

July 2, 2013: Aftercare

30 standard push-ups

My intention here is not to show off (even though I feel totally badass since I could not even come close to doing this before). I’m about to get REAL cheesy but for me each pushup for me symbolizes progress despite adversity. My body started to fail so I built it back up little by little. The payoff has been incredible.

I am fortunate to have found a trainer that has taught me so much and empowered me to exceed what I thought were my limitations. Forever grateful.