Last week I asked my husband to come sit with me out in the garage while I worked out. I finished the first workout and was defeated. My elbow has been fighting tendinitis and my attitude was crap. He finally stopped me and said, “If you don’t want to be out here then don’t. You are not doing anything for yourself by doing this. You are wasting my time and yours.” The excuses poured out. “My arm hurts. I can’t do that movement. I’m tired.” He said “I’ll make you something you can do.” And just like that he was up out of the chair and I was working out again. Through the rest of the night we talked about how I miss the gym and the social aspect of it. How I could look around and work harder because someone else was or my competition spirit would try and beat the reps of the person next to me. The garage holds none of that. Running is different than working out. The garage’s four walls close in on me, isolating me further. But, working out is crutial to my training in order to get stronger so I can run father. Realizing my need of socialization has helped my training this week and challenged me to find new ways to enjoy every day.
The next day I reached out to a Barbells for Boobs member to see if she wanted to do a workout together via Zoom. That night we scheduled a time and it was great! She was in Idaho and in her garage. She had her little ones running around. One of her girls showed me their pet bunny. It was a familiar sight of trying to balance family and working out. I am not the only one who has to work out in the garage. I am not the only one who has kids bouncing in and out of zoom calls. I’m not the only one struggling.
The following day I worked out again with my husband. This time I did the same work out as him but just scaled back the weight. I actually enjoyed my time out there. He made me laugh and we were able to spend some time together.
Friday morning, I met a new local friend for coffee. She is currently going through chemo treatments for breast cancer. She is 29 years old and was diagnosed in August. We talked about being young and showing up to the cancer institute and feeling so different then the majority of the cancer population. How there is a guilt of being young and strong when others look so weak. The young adult cancer community is so important. We deal with so many different issues than that of someone who is older- fertility, children, careers all are seen in a different perspective.
All of this week had me thinking. I want to share not only my story but others perspective as well. We all go through different struggles and have different views from our cancer journey. I want to share my husband’s side. There are zero support groups for men/caregiver of young survivors. There are many different types of breast cancer. Triple negative has different treatments than hormone positive. I want to share their stories while telling my own. Someone who is 10 year post diagnosis is so inspiring to someone who was diagnosed months earlier.
So, what if I run/walk a mile with these people and document their story while I train for my 32? How will this affect my healing? Will it help my insecurities of being alone? Will it strengthen friendships or create new bonds with survivors going through similar stories? Will it help the 32-Miles community by showing the differences and commonalities we all share with cancer?
Today I am grateful for the communities I am part of and the friendships I have made. I will step out of my comfort zone and use these accountability partners to enhance my training. This week I will think more about how to incorporate community into 32-Miles.