“Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do. Not a punishment for what you ate.” – Women’s Health UK.
I love this quote because it embodies the essence of why we exercise. It fuels both our body and passion. Every athlete, dancer, and exercise enthusiast feels an adrenaline rush during intense performance. I felt it since childhood riding my bike, swimming in our pool, and my absolute favorite thing to do: Dance. Feeling thrilled by the rhythmic clacking of tappers in my cousin’s recital, I started dancing when I was 10. Dancing invigorated my body as well as my spirit. When performing in shows, I stepped out of a shy shell onto a stage and beamed more than spotlights surrounding me.
Staying active throughout life helped me survive my most grueling time after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002. A healthy lifestyle helped me heal and recover more quickly from surgeries, chemo and radiation. Wellness is now a passionate focus of mine. Exercise is top on the list of everything I read about to maintain good health.
I started doing Pilates five years ago after a friend told me how it helped her back problems. Funny thing was an orthopedic surgeon actually recommended Pilates to her instead of surgery. He said it helped his wife in the same situation. I find it impressive and comforting to know my instructor is well-versed in anatomy and sensitive to my personal needs. Because of on-going issues related to surgery, we work on chest opening exercises and arm movements to alleviate scar tissue and lymphadema (swelling of arm from removal of lymph nodes). Over time, we’ve noticed significant improvement in strength and range of motion. It’s encouraging as we add in more advanced movements. I tell her I love how she makes me feel strong and fearless!
Exercise gives breath to our bodies. It keeps us healthy, limber, and powerful. I’m grateful for every opportunity to celebrate movement. As you might have guessed, I’m still dancing! I free form dance in the living room, bop in my car and every Thursday laugh while shaking my booty in Zumba.