Friday, January 3, 2014

My Mother and the Gym Saved My Life

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The last time I went to the gym was sometime in 2008. That's the year that I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. That's the year that my life was taken and shaken upside down.

It's now 2014 and today - yes this very day, I have returned from the gym after signing up again. It's been a long time since I pressed a few or spent any length of time on a tread mill. But I am once again bound and determined to get back into some kind of reasonable shape for my years. And the great thing is, I am not doing this alone. My happy hubby is daring to take the plunge, too, so with a measure of perseverance we might at best lose a couple of pounds, build up a little muscle or at least have a few laughs.

Seriously, though, I have missed going to the gym and the more I think about it, the more I need to stop making excuses. I mean going to the gym 5 years ago probably saved my life. I had lost 23 lbs all told and it was shortly after that that I felt something peculiar in my abdomen. At first I didn't think much of it but I was later to learn that that peculiar grapefruit-sized growth was a tumour and there was another one equally large in the other side in my abdomen. So putting it mildly, going to the gym probably had a lot to do with me being diagnosed in an earlier stage of ovarian cancer. Late stage ovarian cancer is over 72% fatal. But if found in an earlier stage there is a 90% chance that it can be eradicated.

So thank goodness I lost weight and at least that one tumour was palpable. My drop in pounds also had a lot to do with me running around like that proverbial headless chicken as I cared for my momduring her stroke and her multitude of other illnesses and health challenges before she went to be with Jesus. Opting to run up and down the stairs at the hospital instead of taking the elevator helped me to lose weight over a period of many months.

"You are going to make yourself sick," Mom would say.

She would concern herself that I was doing too much. Little did she know that by letting me care for her and as I ran around doing this, that and the other for her, she actually had a hand in saving my life. She would like that. I truly believe that if I hadn't lost those 23 pounds then I would not have felt that growth in my abdomen 9 months later that took me to the doctor's five and a half years ago.

I am actually looking forward to donning my [non-tight shorts and non-midriff-showing tank top] - having some together time with my dearly beloved, and seeing what transpires as I perspire.

As I do, though, I will think of Mom and remember how being dedicated and faithful about going to the gym years ago benefited me in so many ways. I can't use the steroids and chemo excuse any more. I packed the pounds on because of that, initially, after my cancer treatments, but they stayed on because I kept putting off the inevitable.

So we did it. We took the plunge. My grinning groom and I have our keys and our motivation. Can't wait for tomorrow morning. They say the first step is the hardest - or is that the first cut is the deepest or the first mile is the longest? Hmm...whatever it is, better start taking care of this 'temple' a little bit better.

 “We can do anything we want to do if we stick to it long enough.” ~ Helen Keller


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