By: New Balance
Posted on October 6, 2015
Years as a Survivor: 2 years
I have always been an active person. I played sports every season from when I was little all the way through high school. Shortly after high school I started my endeavor into my firefighting career. Physical fitness was a huge part of this. We had PT daily and my physical strength was tested in every practical training evolution we did. Fast forward to 2013, with 6 years of career firefighting under my belt and I was confronted with the biggest physical and mental challenge of my life. At 28 years old I had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.
After treatment and surgeries I was then faced with the battle of building myself back up. I had to rebuild my confidence, my inner strength and my physical strength. I was determined to get back to work as soon as I could. Exercise was difficult for me. It beat me up physically and mentally. I was frustrated and broken. But each day I grew stronger. The joy and satisfaction I found when I could finally run again, or actually lift weights was so rewarding. I still have a long way to go and I still have really bad days, but exercise is my outlet. Getting out on the pavement or hitting the gym reminds me that I am mentally and physically tough. It clears my head and renews my spirit. I encourage exercise in my home every day. I want my son to grow up healthy and strong. One of the greatest ways to decrease your risk for breast cancer is to live a healthy life style. Exercise is about so much more than just muscles. It helps reduce stress, alleviates anxiety, builds self-esteem, and gives you confidence. All of these things are so significantly tested by a cancer diagnosis. Exercise has truly helped me reclaim my body and my soul. It has helped me overcome and reminds me every day that I am tougher than cancer.