Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Work It Girl!

Before I was diagnosed last year,  I would get up every morning at 5:30 and work out.  The two months or so before my diagnosis I used my new elliptical machine.  I loved that thing.  There was something about getting into my workout clothes early in the morning, plugging in my earbuds from my iPhone and spending 30 - 45 minutes working up a sweat that was very satisfying.

;-)  I should have realized then I was a sick woman. 

I still worked out every day up until the point my ascites bloated my abdomen up so large I could barely breathe.  I think my last workout on it was about a week or two before my surgery.  After that I could hardly sleep, much less work out. 

After my surgery, I remember asking my surgeon how long I had to wait before I could get back on my elliptical.  I was convinced that the sooner I could get back on it, the sooner I would feel better.  I had no idea that it would be 8 months before I would be able to use it again.

Yes - it took me that long to get strong enough to even consider turning it on.  After I finally came home from the hospital, I would take walks around my house to regain my strength.  I would see it sitting there - unused.  I would think of how everyone told me that it would make a good place to hang laundry. Isn't that what usually happens when we buy a piece of exercise equipment?  I had sworn not only to myself, but to my husband that if we bought one for the house, I would use it religiously.  Yet for months I didn't have even enough balance to get on it, much less the endurance.

Now that I'm in remission, I am using the elliptical again.  It's only for about 12 minutes a day right now, and it's not at 5:30 am.  Instead I fire that baby up after I get home from work.  It'll take me a while to build up my endurance, but I'm working at it.  I'm determined to get back up to the kinds of workouts I did when I got sick. 

I think my husband might worry that I'm pushing myself too hard.  He doesn't see why I feel such a deep need to get back to my pre-diagnosis state.  Part of him probably thinks I'm doing it to get my figure back.  Ha!  I'm pretty sure that ship has sailed.

The fact is, I feel like I'm in training.  I'm eating more healthy, drinking more water, exercising more.  Not to lose weight.  Not to have a perfect body.  Not to compete in a marathon, or participate in one of those Relay for Life things.  But I do have to be as healthy as I can.  In the best condition I can.

So if it comes back - I can fight it off again.

I'm convinced those 5:30 am mornings gave me the strength to fight off my cancer.  It's why I'm finally bouncing back now.  There aren't alot of women who get a Stage IV diagnosis and go into remission.  Who feel as good as I do these days.  But I was healthy.  In good shape.  Ready for the fight of my life. 

I have no intention of not being ready the next time.  If there is a next time.  So I hit the elliptical for those 12 minutes for a few more days or weeks.  Then I'll add a few minutes.  Then I'll add a few more.  One day I'll be back up to 45 minutes.  And if the cancer comes back?

Bring it.  I'll be ready. And I'll win again.

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