Throughout the past two years, I have been on a stringent, structured fitness and health journey. My GOAL is to stand on a stage, in a fancy, sparkly bikini and clear high heels and show my success off in the midst of other like minded/like-figured women. I have been following fitness pages, apps and have been working with a personal trainer, who encourages me, adapts to my needs and strives to help me be “ready” for this challenge. I know these competitions aren’t for “everyone”, but I am goal driven and this is ultimately where I want to see my successes and gains go.
I am an older lady, turning 49 this March, and I have a mission to complete before I am 50. Every day, prior to January 25, I wake up at 5:15 am, jump into my training clothes and head to my home gym in our house. I LIVE for these workouts! I am starting to see my muscles and body change and my diet and attitude have followed suit, and I have become stronger and much more “athletic” than I have ever been in my life.
On January 25th, I had a procedure done on my “lady parts”, which I had been dreading since December when they informed me that there were cancer cells living in my body. I had to go in, and have the bad cells and surrounding tissues removed. Of course, the C word terrified me to the core, but I am willing to do whatever it takes to be healthy.
The morning of my procedure, I rose out of bed at 5:15 as per usual, and went to complete my workout for the day. I ran 5 km on the treadmill, and then spent over an hour lifting heavy weights, exhausted and feeling alive after I had finished. I drank my usual protein shake, had some eggs and oatmeal and got dressed for the hospital.
After the painful and horrendous procedure was complete (apparently they only freeze your bits with needles and don’t medicate you in any way), I sat up and listened to the doctor’s orders:
- No lifting anything over 10 lbs for at least a week!
- No running or walking for any periods of time for minimum a week to 10 days
- No workouts, no lifting, no exerting yourself, no excessive stretching of any muscles.
- Lay low and do nothing other than “regular” activities
- Stay home from work until you are “back to normal’
WHAT THE HELL?? I didn’t sign up for this! I wasn’t prepared for any of this! Did the doctor not understand what “normal” activity is for this girl? Lifting, running and all of the things on the above list are what makes my life “normal”. I have never been the “Netflix and chill” person, nor do I understand what “laying low” means. I used to be quite sedentary prior to the past 2 years, but I had re-programmed myself to never be that person again. Even if I wasn’t planning on competing, I still LIVE for my workouts, simply to clear the stresses of the day and to increase my energy levels, and to feel “alive”.
I spent the past 10 days feeling deprived of everything. I felt deprived of oxygen, deprived of freedom and over all deprived of energy. It has not been a fun week, and my emotional self has struggled as much as my physical self. There were times when going up and down our single flight of stairs winded me during my recovery. I couldn't believe how exhausted and humbled this surgery had made me. It was tiring just doing laundry or tidying up the kitchen. I have cried more than I ever have, been angry and frustrated at ridiculous things (you’d think that “someone” would replace the empty toilet paper roll”) and just bitchy.
The simple comparison to my workout the morning of my surgery to the moment I returned home after, had me flabbergasted! How can a human body go through such a regression of energy and focus, to being a crying, tired bag of crap within only a few hours? If it wasn’t so aggravating, it would be fascinating.
So, now I am back to work at my 9–5 for the first day. I haven’t tried to work out yet, as I am waiting for the “Okay” from my doctor, but honestly, I feel so deprived that I am not even sure where to begin. I am hoping that my trainer will guide me through building back up to where I left off , slowly, as right now, sitting at my desk, I don’t know what I am capable or how strong I am. I just feel tired.
The competing mission may need to be postponed at this point, as I am approaching the last 10 weeks of training hard, but I know, that I WILL DO THIS! There will be other dates I can register for. I will get my training clothes on again, and I will power through. Cancer can kiss my ass!