October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month—there’s no better time to share the inspiring story of one of our dedicated Pink Power participants, Marianne. Find inspiration for your own fitness journey through Marianne’s story—and be uplifted by Marianne’s love of the community she’s found here at the PJCC.
You started participating in Pink Power about two years ago, with your PJCC Personal Trainer Alison. How has that helped you in the healing process?
What I like about my training with Alison is that, from day one, she took into account special needs I had from the treatment as well as my old aches and pains. So no matter what she would suggest for me to do, she would always make sure that it wasn’t hurting either my treatment area or anything else.
As you worked with Alison, did she have like a set regimen that she would do with you?
She does vary it a lot. There are some things that are a bit harder to remember, like how to do something with the cables, without her telling me things like “your shoulders have to be down,” or “be sure not to twist your body.” So working with Alison helps me to repeat the exercises without doing them wrong, and that’s what a good trainer will help you do.
Is there anything else about how your participation in the Pink Power program has impacted your life beyond the physical strength that you’ve developed?
It makes me proud of myself. I have an appointment with Alison twice a week, and then I have the option to come several other times. The PJCC has such a variety of fitness equipment that I can talk myself into coming, even if I’ve done a good workout the day before. And then, I can go to bed and wake up proud of myself that I took care of myself. If the PJCC was not so COVID safe and clean, it would be much easier for me to not come and have that good feeling about my strength and my power over my health.
What are some of the things that that you worked on to be physically stronger?
I hadn’t had a personal trainer before. So having one that I that I could trust, who was not going to blindly have me do something that was going to hurt my treatment areas.
Knowing that my trainer would be careful of my treatment areas was really important at the early stages when I was fragile. And now that I’m not fragile, she pushes me and that’s good, too.
My understanding is, that the older I get, the more important it is to have my balance together, because falling is much more consequential. So I requested Alison to put me through balance exercises.
How else did this program create healing and change your body for the better?
For one thing, it’s a wonderful blessing to have a place where you look forward to seeing who you’re going to see and doing what you’re going to do.
And really, because this gym is so clean and safe—another thing that that you don’t have to worry about. You feel enveloped in cleanliness and know you’re going to be safe.
And then: the other part is that no matter who I run into, they are kind to me. People are just kind around here. Once you walk through the doors, you’re surrounded by people who care, employees who care, members who are ready to be kind. It’s really special.
What else has surprised you about your participation in the program?
I’m retired, and I come in the middle of the day, so that is the only population that I really know. And man, are the people friendly! But, if I want to send out a friendly word to other members, I know that it will be received well and that’s exciting. I don’t get a feeling that anyone’s scorning others. It just feels like you’re coming in to be welcomed.
If you knew someone else who had been walked, the road that you did and you recognized that they could benefit from the Pink Power program, what would you tell them to encourage them to get involved?
I would tell them it’s the luckiest “side effect” of breast cancer treatment that I can imagine. And I would tell them it’s definitely worth their time, even if it’s not as convenient as the gym closest to their house. The energy, cleanliness, and equipment are definitely worth considering the PJCC.