A couple of days ago I was talking to Mark (long term work-out bud) and Mike (father of a young guy who worked out with me a lot in the past) when LH walked up. After chatting for a bit Mike asked LH how old she was. Understand, LH had recently lost some weight and her abs are truly legendary. Not overly lean, just well defined and obviously the result of some serious exercise.
LH is 44. Mike was a bit taken aback, just one more reminder that he needs to get serious about working out. In his defense, he is showing up more often in the last month or so. Hopefully LH’s example will help him.
See, 7 months ago LH took Mark and I aside and told us she had a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. I remember all too well her saying “I don’t have time for this s___. And this is a lady who just doesn’t come across as ever swearing. She had just bought her dream home for her and her two girls, working full time, trying to fit in workouts… She just didn’t have time.
LH has never had the time to work out with us a lot – between her girls and job. But when she could she was all about getting in a good workout.
I believe it was two weeks later she went in for a mastectomy. When recovered enough she then went through 6 rounds of chemo.
Through the entire time she worked out whenever she could. She put together a small area in her new house for working out. Mark and I went over once in a while to work out with her – to try to help her feel she was still part of the group. While each bout of chemo set her back, each time she fought for what strength she could get back. Her benchmarks were numbers of pushups. I recall when she was able to do 3, then 4 before the next bout of chemo. Personal triumphs that have to mean so much when there is really not much else.
After her last chemo she got up to 10 pushups before going in for reconstructive surgery. That was two weeks ago. And, as soon as allowed (granted with severe restrictions placed by her doctor) she was back at it. It was her first day back that Mark and I were talking to her.
I’ve seen the impact of chemo in others, it is debilitating. It is demoralizing. It is painful. For LH, it was challenging. Her doctor guided her on diet, and getting in all the exercise she possibly could. She took this guidance seriously.
Am I proud of this lady I barely know? Hell yes! I think she should be on the cover of oncology magazines. Whilst she deprecates what she done I think it is nothing short of amazing. A friend of hers shot a picture of her while she was doing a 10 pound lat pull down. I suspect this picture really does say it all, for a lady who has just finished 7 months of hell.