As I’ve shared before, prior to the cancer diagnosis, I had started training for a half marathon. After the all clear in July 2016, I was determined to get my body back in the shape it was in previously. I had lost all core strength and all my stamina. But that is what happens when you are in bed for the better part of 4 months.
Not even before my picc line was out, I had resumed yoga. Although it was a drag to practice with the hinderance of a picc line, doing SOMETHING felt fabulous. And luckily, I had the guidance of teachers that understood and cared. After the picc line was out, I was able to go full throttle. I, of course, expected to be at the same place quickly, but it took me longer. After a few months, I started to get the same strength back. Triumphs are triumphs, no matter how small. Prior to getting sick, I was almost able to get my feet off the ground in Crow Pose, and I had started working on inversions. The first time post treatment that I was able to get both feet off the ground in Crow Pose was so exciting that I fell out. But that is ok, it gave me the signal that I was getting stronger. I’m still struggling with inversions, but I’ll get there someday.
I also started running. Running is not something that I necessarily care for, but it is good exercise. I also had a goal in mind; completing a half marathon. Now, of course, 4 months outside of a half marathon, having just completed cancer treatment, there is just not enough time to train for something like that. With that being said, I was still committed to supporting my squad in their race. After discussing the trip, my friend said that I could still do the 5K if I wanted to. And they were right. 3.1 miles is certainly different than 13.1. And thus, I set out to train for a 5K in November.
November came, and soon, it was race day. I had never done an official race before. It was exciting and I was nervous. But, the race started and off I was. I completed the race in 43 minutes. Upon immediate completion, I decided this was terrible and was never doing it again. By the time we got to the taxi stand, I was saying that I wanted to do another one. Unfortunately, this is what running does to you. It makes you want more. I am a self proclaimed hater of running, but I love doing races. It is also a massive accomplishment. It may not be to someone who is top physical condition, but for someone who was semi-fresh out of cancer treatment, it was everything. My body was coming back to me. I started to own it again.
Since November, I’ve completed 7 races. Within that 7, I’ve completed a Spartan Sprint and most recently, the iconic Bay to Breakers in SF. I cherish every medal and I will always cherish the medals from the first year I started doing races. This is an important year and I have something to prove, not to everyone else, but to the cancer. That it doesn’t own me, and never will.
Fitness has become a staple in my every day. I think to feel your body getting stronger is psychologically healing as well. As I approach the year anniversary of me not having cancer anymore, I still can’t believe that its only been a year. My life has been full and awesome and full of sweat. I am eternally grateful that I have a body healthy enough to run 6 miles. And in November of 2017, I will be running 13.1 in Las Vegas with my beautiful squad.
Here are some of my medals. =)