I Did It: I Connected with a Community of Survivors and Hiked the Grand Canyon

Written by zzz zzz. Posted in Body, Featured Posts, I Did It! Readers Stories of Personal Triumph, Spirit

By Vanessa Spiller, as told to Rachel Friedman

It was a Tuesday. I was shaving in the shower when I felt a lump under my arm; it was hard and small, no bigger than a pea. After the doctor told me I had aggressive Stage 11B breast cancer which had metastasized to my lymph nodes, he said: “I know you feel like a bomb just went off and the pieces are flying around everywhere, landing all over you.” That was exactly right. Even harder than finding out that I had cancer was telling my two kids. They think you’re going to die. I was so angry that this disease had come along and changed all of our lives forever. I have never been more scared or felt more vulnerable.

I Did It! I Had a Preventative Double Masectomy

Written by zzz zzz. Posted in Body, Body Logic Features, I Did It! Readers Stories of Personal Triumph

by Krystin Tate

krystin tateI sat in a gray, windowless space, a room typically used to observe children with disabilities. It doubled as the setting of something life changing – receiving test results I wasn’t sure I wanted. But it was too late to run as the genetic counselor handed me a purple folder, a medical Pandora’s box. “The results are positive,” she said, confirming my worst fears.

What she didn’t say, but I knew with a sinking feeling, was that the positive results indicated that my risk of breast cancer was as high as 87%. Barely less than a sure thing.

Think about it this way: if you were boarding a plane with an 87% chance of crashing, would you pray for that 13% chance of safety or high-tail it out of there? It sounds easy, right? But what if it wasn’t a plane crash you feared? That’s what I had to ask myself when I tested for the BRCA2 mutation. Everyone carries the BRCA gene, which works as a tumor suppressor, but when it is mutated it greatly increases the risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

I Did It: I Felt the Burn and I Liked It

Written by Leigh Hoopes. Posted in Featured Posts, I Did It! Readers Stories of Personal Triumph

I hate exercising, and I know I’m not alone. I have to force myself. Even getting to this point hasn’t been an easy process by a long shot.

I played tee-ball but only because my dad was coach and I was good with the tee. Take the tee away and play big-girl ball? Forget it. I faked passing out halfway through running the mile in grade school. I calculated the number of “period” days I could exploit so I’d still get an A in high school PE. I have never done a pull-up, and don’t really want to. I barely survived one CrossFit class and couldn’t walk properly for a week. Chronic depression, binge eating, and social anxiety disorders don’t help either.

I Did It: I Joined Taekwondo

Written by zzz zzz. Posted in I Did It! Readers Stories of Personal Triumph, Martial Arts, Spirit

By Jaime Lintott

The problem is, I have Social Anxiety Disorder and as I get older, it gets worse, I get worse.

Prior to me joining Taekwondo, my life consisted Gilmore Girls reruns and a bag of Smartfood. The older I get the harder it’s become to get away with hiding in my room. I’m going to be 30 soon. I know this isn’t old but I also know that it’s old enough to have collected some pretty bad habits and really bad coping mechanisms, which, for me, mostly consisted of hiding or running scared.

Then, this past December, I watched Taekwondo at my local YMCA and fell in love.

I Became an Ultramarathoner!

Written by zzz zzz. Posted in I Did It! Readers Stories of Personal Triumph

by Tracey Gessner

I hesitate for a moment when  people ask me what kind of races I like to run.

ultramarathon, I did it, ms fit, feminist, health, fitness, sports

Gessner finishing a 50-mile race.

The word “ultramarathon” sounds so… crazy? Five years ago when I was completing my very first 5K I would have called you out of your damn mind if you told me I’d be running the distances I do these days. 50K? 50 MILES? Are those even real numbers?

People often say that running is an addiction. When I crossed the finish line at that first 5K I remember thinking to myself. “I could probably do twice that.” Six months later when I completed a 10K I thought, “Maybe I’ll do a half marathon someday.” Now many moons and many marathons later, running 13 miles is something that I like to on Saturday mornings… FOR FUN.

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