Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Athlete (not patient) mentality

It started with food and now it's a case of 'getting back on my feet'; building strength, endurance and stamina whilst de-stressing the mind.

When I was diagnosed the Dr told me "No gymming" - I was crushed.  It was the first thing on my mind that I thought could get me through this, but Ok, under Dr's orders I stayed away.

There are 2 occasions that come to mind in that period of knowing I had cancer and that I wasn't allowed to lift a weight or jog.

1) I was in the supermarket and saw a cute girl in her workout clothes and colored Nike's. My heart sank - I wanted to be her.  Fit, healthy and either going to / or coming from the gym.  I wanted nothing more than to have what she had, not this stupid cancer that was attacking my body and staying firmly attached to my kidney.

2) One night whilst doing the dishes, I just had enough - I needed to get out the house and 'feel' like I was doing something in the right direction of getting better.  So off I went to put on my headphones, gym clothes, Nike Free's and went for a walk... past my gym.  I lovingly looked through the windows from afar (the other side of the street) and I just longed to be in there, lifting some iron, trying another pull up and doing something that could help my body fight this battle.

It's funny how you REALLY want something that you can't have.  Well these 2 occasions taught me a very valuable lesson:

Remember these moments when you walk back into the gym!  After surgery, when the Dr gives you the go ahead, then go for it 100% (not 80% or 99%) - you are stronger than you give yourself credit for so seize the time that you have.  If you really want something then go for it.  The body can achieve what the mind conceives, so get in there and kick some a**!  

Which brings us to the present day.  I wasn't allowed to 'work out' until the 6-8 week mark, so last week (at 6.5 weeks post surgery) it was time to visit my 2nd home, the gym.  I feel very passionate about the gym / fitness and truly believe it is a VERY essential part of my recovery and I see it as a place where I can free my mind of stress, breath and let go whilst build a fit, strong and toned body.

Not only that but the support and encouragement that I have received from my 'gym buddies' has been overwhelming.  As one of them said, "If you didn't tell me I would never have known" which just goes to show you never know who is fighting a battle or what they have / are going through.  I remember seeing a few guys at our gym who had huge scars on their heads (which I think may be tumor / mass / cancer related) and I remember thinking "Those are some rad guys kicking whatever did that to them's ass!"  I had so much respect for them and that is how I feel when I make the choice to go to the gym and work on my recovery.  It is now my time to get strong (mentally and physically).

Since the diagnosis I found therapy in writing and now it is time for my therapy to expand to the gym.  A place where I can truly listen to my body and a place where I can build a strong physique and mind to last me a lifetime :)

So this leads me to the next thing... a new blog and a new goal.  It is a way of combining my 2 therapies - writing and fitness and is something that Mr V and I are extremely excited to do together.

Before the diagnosis we wanted to train and compete in a contest together.  We both love the sport and it's just awesome to do it together whilst having fun as a couple.  Since earlier in the year it has been our intention to start a blog together that will focus on fitness, clean eating, healthy living, workouts, the journey to the contest stage and how to combine that with having a family and 'health issues'.

Yes we may be training for a contest but essentially we are training for life!  This is not something that we want to do for just 1-2 years, but something we want to sustain for a healthy life that we can spend together with each other and our son.  Building a better, healthier, future for us all.

Yes standing on stage will be a new experience for me.  But I'm determined to follow through with this goal and show people that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.  In my case stand on stage after you have had cancer, with one kidney and hypothyroidism.

You have to grab life with both hands and this is the next step in my recovery and our journey forward together.


For those interested, here is our new blog:

I thought the below photo was apt for this post.  Taken whilst walking to the hospital for surgery.  As you can see - clearly dressed to take on the operation as an 'athlete' in my work out clothes, Nike Free's and with my gym bag :)

I will continue to keep and update this blog as I have numerous posts that I still want to publish but need some work... so this blog will stay too.  However if you are more interested in clean eating and fitness you may want to head over to:


Luca Sartoni said...

Awesome! It's on!

Debbie Murphy said...

That photo is so poignant yet in a positive way. That you walked into the hospital so well prepared is testament to your ongoing recovery which is itself inspiring xx

LVos said...

Thanks Luca!!! And thanks for the advice ;)

Debbie, thank you! Haha, I remember that day well when I was packing my bag as if I was off to try and win the Olympics, but I guess I was trying to win my life. Craziness :) xxx