Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.
Last weekend I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. My husband and I run this race every year, but this year it was personal. I had the honor of running alongside my friend and breast cancer survivor. It needs to be said that she beat my time by about 15 minutes. While we ran she talked about her diagnosis, the double mastectomy, the months of chemotherapy and radiation and finally, her conviction to surviving.
As we ran, I thought back to how surprised I was that she continued her health and fitness routine. If anyone had an excuse to jump off the health wagon it was her. These were the times she could have easily indulged in comfort foods and laid off the exercise.
One of the first things she purchased was a wig with a baseball cap sewn to it so she could wear it to the gym. As she began healing she returned to running. Before long she was back to her usual impressive pace.
When it came to food, she continued to follow her vegetarian diet and reluctantly added lean meats that the doctors insisted she consume to fight the anemia she had developed from the chemo.
It was clear that in spite of how afraid she was of her illness, she was going to live and exist in a space of hope, which she found by continuing her commitment to eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.
Today she is happily cancer-free. Her doctors say that her recovery and prognosis have been good because of her lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle. She would agree, but she would also tell you that she also drew much strength and courage from the routine she created years ago. That just the act of consuming fresh foods and engaging in exercise made her realize that she did have a future of ahead of her, a future that she had to stay healthy and fit for.
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