Friday, November 17, 2017

Hot Pilates and Stage 4 Cancer

     I've got a lot going on.  Couple stage 4 cancer with routine, run-of-the-mill, maladies and I end up seeing a bunch of doctors.  Just in 2017, I've meet with seven new doctors and will probably meet two more by the end of the year.  Upon meeting me for the first time, the last three doctors said some version of  "You look better in person than you do on paper."  Each time, I took it as a complement...but it also reminded me of how sick I am.

      Last week, I met a gastroenterologist.  As he read over my records, he said the line..."You look better in person than on paper."  So I told him that my personal and, until now, private goal is to be the "healthiest looking, sickest person I know."  I told him that I'm trying to eat right, sleep right, and exercise daily.

     Decades ago, I became a jogger as an efficient way to keep my weight in check, manage my cholesterol, and stay aerobic.  I've never been an athlete, but I've always enjoyed being active, so my family and I also hiked, cycled, kayaked and skied, both downhill and cross country. I can no longer do many of the activities I used to do.  My body hurts when I try.  So, I've had to find new activities...ones that would help me manage my chronic aches and pains.  

     Several months into my cancer diagnosis my dear friend, Brigid, suggested that I try a hot Pilates class that she had been going to.  [Brigid and I have been workout buddies for over 20 years...running, (including a Chicago Half Marathon), yoga, TRX, Zumba, weight rooms, and even backpacking the Havasu Trail in the Grand Canyon.]  I love working out and getting sweaty, but the thought of being in a hot, (100 degree), humid room was so utterly unappealing.  It took me nearly two years to finally agree to trying hot Pilates.  

     The first few classes were pretty awful. I was so red-faced and wrung out that I had to step out of the room a few times to cool off...pacing in the lobby area and arguing with myself about why I should go back in.  At the end of those classes I was soooo spent. 

The studio where I take hot Pilates...downtown Palatine. forward to now.  This week marks 3 years that I have been attending hot Pilates classes on a regular basis.  I, not only got used to exercising in a hot room, but now feel like I NEED to be there at least twice a week.  Working out in a hot room makes my body feel so much better.  My joints are looser and the heat allows me to be more flexible.  Being able to move easier has definitely made me stronger.  

            I highly recommend it!
(...with modifications whenever needed, e.g. with my bad hip.)

With instructors, Robyn (owner) & Piera.  (Ashley is my other instructor.)

     So...along with cycling (indoors during Chicago winters), time on a rowing machine, weight workouts, calisthenics, and Pilates is definitely helping me meet my goal.