If you are as lucky as I am, you have found “the one” and exchanged wedding vows on a beautiful day surrounded by family and friends. And if you remember those important words, as I do, you think about them often and they guide the storyline of your life.
On June 19, 1976 I vowed to care for my husband Doug, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health. At the time I sincerely believed I knew the meaning of that statement, but only when your own health is in question do you understand the full weight of the words.
A short 10 years ago, on a day like any other, I attended my annual routine physical. As part of the exam the doctor visually inspected my skin, and noticed a small spot on my thigh. “It’s probably nothing,” he said, “but let’s take a small biopsy to be sure.”
It didn’t take long. One week later I received the diagnosis: metastatic melanoma. Cancer. The most sobering moment of my life and the first time I had truly considered my own mortality. The diagnosis had a profound impact on me. I stayed up late each night wondering if I would live long enough to see our sons walk down the aisle. Would I be there for the birth of their children? Doug and I have plans to travel the world after we retired, would he do that alone?
It was uncertain if and how the cancer was spreading. Doug and I started traveling less and we spent more time inside. Our sons changed their college plans to stay close to home. In total we spent three years of our lives adapting and accommodating, then after many tests…. I was given the all clear! I am so relieved and excited to say I made it through the battle, but I also realize that living a healthy life is more than just being cancer-free.
My career as a musician and piano teacher requires me to spend most of my day sitting. Increasing backaches, which were turning into stinging pains, made it clear that my osteoporosis would invade my lifestyle if I didn’t make a change. The mother of one of my students recommended a local workout facility where she was having great success. She said it was a place that was accepting of all ages and fitness levels and encouraged me to try it out. That place was, of course, Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping.
Nervously, I accepted.
My time at Farrell’s:
I started attending every morning and worked through the intense aches and pains of learning how to exercise and eat a healthy diet. It has been a year and I am FASTER, STRONGER, and SLIMMER. By the way, the stinging back pains have vanished! As my son would exclaim, “BOOM!”
An enormous thank you to the Boyson Road managers, Pete and Lisa, the many trainers, and my coach, Tiffany, for the words of encouragement, fun, and demanding class times that are ever-changing! Farrell’s is my home away from home; I have formed new friendships with the staff and many members.
When thinking about my time at Farrell’s, one moment in particular sticks out to me. In kickboxing
class with Nikki, during the hardest part of the workout, she said, “Don’t give up! Think of the people who can’t walk!” There’s no way she could have known this, but my younger brother suffered from a rare disease that degenerated his muscle and nervous systems and bound him to a wheel chair for his short 32 years of life. The muscle pains I was feeling during the intense workout suddenly didn’t feel so bad. We are the lucky ones, the ones with the opportunity to constantly improve our lifestyles through daily exercise and healthy eating habits. This thought constantly pushes me forward and I thank Nikki for the inspiration to keep going.
Not long ago, I stood with Doug and walked our firstborn son down the aisle. It is a meaningful milestone for all families, and especially for ours as there was a time we weren’t sure I would be there. Our youngest son is engaged with a wedding set for the spring. I will be there! And I will be rivaling the bridesmaids in energy and enthusiasm. No grandkids yet, but I’m working on it.
Thank you Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping for changing my life. I know that what I have learned at Farrell’s will remain part of my lifestyle forever; thanks to you I have many more years of health and happiness with my family to come.
Marlene L. is a member at our Cedar Rapids, IA Boyson Farrell’s eXtreme Bodyshaping location.