It’s amazing how dealing with a family member’s illness affects how you value your own health. Just after we got back from our tenth wedding anniversary at Disney World (April 2008), my husband, Scott, got the diagnosis: the big “C” – stage II colon cancer. In a flash, we learned that our life was about to change drastically. We anticipated endless doctor’s appointments and chemo sessions, fatigue and nausea, and new difficulties parenting our two young children. I knew that getting Scott healthy was going to take loads of work and dedication. But I never expected that the experience would lead me to finding my passion.
Truth be told, I had already decided to make changes in my life before the diagnosis. That trip to Disney World made me realize that I didn’t feel healthy and, frankly, didn’t look my best. There’s nothing like going to place that specializes in funnel cake, cotton candy, and turkey legs to make you feel sluggish and out of shape. On top of that, I hadn’t exercised regularly in years and it just felt like it was time to get serious.
But how? I’m an average person. I do not have a personal chef. I am not famous. I have the same pressures many others have – two young kids, a husband, a full time job. And to top it all off, we had a major health issue to cope with and no family nearby to offer help. But fate was on my side. I ran into a friend who told me about her fitness boot camp. She encouraged me to give it a try, so I emailed the trainer and learned that he offered a camp literally around the corner from my house at. It was meant to be.
My early morning trial class started in early summer 2008. The instructor told me that a lot of people quit after the first few weeks of working out, and after just one day I completely understood why. Boot camps are designed to push you to your limits physically and mentally, and it worked. I was in major pain and started to feel even worse about myself. How could I this out of shape? How did this happen? I couldn’t run a quarter mile without collapsing or lift a two and-a-half pound dumbbell without feeling like I was going to split in two! Growing up, I was never athletic; think the last one to be picked for any gym team. I was the definition of “uncoordinated.”
But, with time and effort and commitment all that changed… I am a strong, fit, coordinated athlete now. And found a true passion for health and fitness that includes varied fitness activities including CrossFit, Boxing, and strength and conditioning work. I’ve also changed my diet (including going gluten and dairy free) and saw huge changes in my health, mood and performance.
What’s more, my family is healthy and my husband is cancer free and we have been enjoying living our lives beyond cancer.
To be clear, I didn’t commit to a healthy and fit life just because my husband was diagnosed with cancer. I started the journey before his diagnosis and I’m pretty certain I would have done it anyway. But I believe that life takes you places for a reason, and it’s up to you follow. I needed to be mentally and physically prepared to overcome the threat that cancer presented to my family, and this path cleared the way. What’s more is both journeys have taught me how strong I can be – physically, mentally, and spiritually and has led me to find my passion.
Sometimes it takes dealing with hard times to find your true passion.
Even though the journey has been long and harrowing at times, my family and I are fit and healthy – and I’ve never been happier. Whatever your path, I hope that Live Fit and Sore will give you the inspiration and support that you need to join me on this crazy, windy, and sometimes foggy path to healthy living. I would love the company!
(To better understand how I got to here, visit http://colonc-thejourney.blogspot.com which started my blog path and focuses on my family’s fight with cancer.)
Be The Example
What also keeps me committed and motivated are my 2 wonderful kids– 14yo Hannah and 12yo Nate, who bring me joy and laughter every day. There is so much pressure for young girls to look and feel a certain way. I am making it a priority to not pass that on to Hannah Bea in whatever way I can. I do not want her growing up feeling insecure about who she is mentally and physically. And I am committed to doing my part to help both of my kids grow up healthy. I believe you lead by example and by my actions, I can show that exercise can fit in with a normal busy life. It helps set up the right foundation for them to lead fit and healthy lives.
Read about me in Posh Seven: Stephanie Hoaglund
I won’t always be upbeat, because it’s true what one blog says “Healthy Living is a Pain in the Ass.” I wholeheartedly agree! Along those lines, another blogger said it perfectly:
Frankly, I’m not interested in pleading with the committed couch potatoes and trying to convince them that they should start to exercise. My commitment is to those folks who are frustrated by what they have experienced in their efforts to live a healthier lifestyle and are looking for a better way. I’m not here to sell you gadgets, gimmicks and other fitness “stuff”.
All you have to do is be willing to listen to me and there’s no limit to what you will be able to accomplish.
I am not pleading, lecturing or trying to overwhelm you – I am just sharing my experience and commitment to live a healthier lifestyle in hopes that it inspires and supports those that are looking to find a better way to live their own lives.
So, let’s all LIVE FIT AND SORE!