This entry was written by Caryn Axelrod who will host Sweatin’ For The Sweater Kittens, an interactive fitness fundraising event on September 26, 2010 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa.:
I have been working out more than half my life, but have learned, only over the past few years, how important this has become. Cancer is just one of the many diseases that can be prevented, or helped through healthy living. We cannot do anything to completely prevent disease, but we can lessen our chances and make it easier on ourselves if we are faced with such a challenge. No one has to lie down and be the victim! There is a reason we are called survivors!Being diagnosed with breast cancer three weeks before my 40th birthday was not how I had expected to welcome this milestone year. I knew my life was going to change drastically, but I was also determined to not let it change my life more than it had to.
I continued to push through my gym routine at least 3 to 4 days a week throughout treatment. My oncologist actually told me I had permission to slow down! I looked at her and asked, “Why??” Of course, my workouts weren’t what they were before, but still enabled me to get through this ordeal the best I was able, both physically and mentally.
I had developed very strong feelings about the importance of doing something good for your body and felt the need to spread those feelings. Knowing how much it helped me to get through my own experience, I had to try and get at least one person motivated to do the same. My idea started out as a 4-hour Workout-A-Thon I was going to hold at my gym. I brainstormed and came up with what is now “Sweatin’ For The Sweater Kittens!” It is 22 workout stations with 10-minute trial classes, Zumba, Spinning, shopping….and so much more!
As I was reflecting on my last couple of years, I realized how many people don’t take care of their bodies. Maybe they don’t know what to do or how to find out about fun exercises or possibly they feel intimidated to go to an hour-long class not knowing what to expect from it…
Planning this event as an individual certainly has its challenges, but I also have been getting a real charge out of doing it! Unfortunately just six months after I finished treatment, I was laid off and I am still seeking employment. However, seeing how many people have come together to help me make this happen—WOW! It’s amazing to me to find such generosity among our communities in these difficult times. All my sponsors, fitness professionals and gyms, and the vendors—thank you for your support! Of course, we can’t forget LBBC.Living Beyond Breast Cancer is such a great source of information and support. They help not only patients and survivors, but their families, caretakers and friends as well. The events that LBBC provide are informative and fun, they are really there for the ones who need them. I had a few different reasons for selecting them as the recipient of the proceeds for my fundraiser, but I think what it really came down to was the feeling that LBBC is truly here to provide support to those who are in need, and the staff shows a true concern. I have a great deal of respect for everyone there and the services they provide. Thank you for all you do.
To learn more about this event, please visit www.sskfundraiser.org. Hope to see you there!