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Teens Living With Cancer Fitness Program- Week Four

March 1, 2012

Or was it week five? I can’t even remember. We are deep into the program and last evening was one of the toughest sessions yet. Toughest in terms of workouts. They definitely felt “the burn” (how 1980’s it is to say the burn!). Those feelings during the initial assessments of week one have slowly begun to change, but they don’t realize it yet.

Each week we begin with a recap of everyone’s week. At the beginning of the program each participant was given a binder with various resources. All of the exercises we do are printed in there for their reference. They have goal sheets and training logs to help them plan and complete. And they are doing it. Each week they are accomplishing more, planning more, achieving more goals.

Each week they are finding ways to stay committed to their fitness. Each week there is less fatigue during our 20 min walking sessions. There is more talk about the things they did versus the things they didn’t do.

I am getting a sense of accomplishment and confidence from this group. That is exactly why we are doing this. We want these teens to feel that feeling of empowerment a fit body can give you. So many people spend so much time wishing they were someone else, had someone else’s body… looked like that….. that they tend to neglect the one they live in.

We only have one body. Some of our bodies and ravaged and beat up and have limitations. We can use those limitations and make them our strengths.

In this world we have the tools to become healthy and strong. The biggest limiter any of us has is the space between our ears. I have hard too many times….. I have a knee issue so I can’t run. Okay then, let’s walk, how about cycling, swimming. You give me a limitation and I will find a way around it. It doesn’t matter what that limitation is. I will find a way.

I saw a quote the other day that I fell in love with. “If you don’t want to have to start over again, stop giving up on yourself.” The hardest thing for me to watch is someone give up on themselves. I’m too fat, too old, to debilitated….. you’ve locked yourself into a pattern of failure by just saying that. You’ve placed the limit before you ever tried.

I hope we are teaching these teens to never let that happen. Weekly we discuss barriers with them as a group and individual. The biggest barriers are schedule and fatigue, ao we help them come up with solutions, ways around those barriers. Here are a few that we have developed:

1. Go to bed earlier

2. If you watch a 30 min TV show, during the commercials grab your ther-a-band and work two muscle groups. Example: Lat pull down and chest press.

3. Sit on a stability ball while doing homework or watching TV

4. take the stairs

There are more but you get the idea. Schedules are busy, lives and busy. The days can be long but the years are short. We have one body so why not take the best care of it that we can? We have the tools to help us recover from amazing things and help us prevent even bigger illnesses. Why would we not take that opportunity?

I have to admit I felt a little sadness last evening. We are more than halfway through. I don’t want it to be over. It took us a year to create this and it will be over in four weeks. That’s the way of the world but I don’t like it. I want it to continue forever.

The group is doing VERY well. I love these kids. And soon I can show you who they are!

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