Fit Feature Friday – Meet Ellen

Posted by betterbodies on Friday, August 11th, 2017 at 1:43 pm in Better Bodies News


We like to share our members’ stories because everyone works out for different reasons.  Ellen has been a long time Better Bodies member.  We thank her for sharing her story in her own words below!

Ellen working out with Leeanna

Ellen working out with Leeanna


 I started working out in 1985, attending Kathy’s aerobic classes at the wrestling club location which preceded Better Bodies. Yes, we wore leg warmers! I chose to begin working out because I had just graduated from college and started a new job. Having a desk job in a new career meant a big change (reduction) in physical activity.

Over the years, going to the gym became a habit; the habit was established mainly due to remembering that I was always glad I went, regardless of whether I felt like going in the first place. And the fact that NOT going could quickly become a ‘slippery slope’, where an excuse could always be found to skip class. Going to the gym was a given, and I scheduled other things around it. I’ve always enjoyed the variety that Better Bodies has to offer: aerobics, power pump, spinning, group challenges, and personal training.

Of course, there are those days when you think ‘I HAVE to go to the gym’, and it’s all you can do to get yourself there. I would tell myself ‘just go and at least walk through that door’. Once there, the motivation does come. And again, when it’s over I’m always glad I went.

In May of 2014, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. What followed was a year of treatment including chemo, surgery, and radiation.

I got back to working out, once able. There was disappointment at not being at the same level as before, but at the same time it was so good to be there again (and do something ‘normal’!). A recurrence happened in October of 2016. After 5 more months of treatment (more chemo, and targeted high-dose radiation), I am happy to say that I am back AGAIN. I’ve opted to return to personal training with Leeanna, in which she provides personalization to my workouts, not to mention her gift for extra encouragement, motivation, and positive attitude, which is what I need right now. I plan to return to more classes as my recovery continues.

It goes without saying that heading into this ordeal in good physical condition went a long way in helping me tolerate the aggressive treatments that the medical team put me up against. What I did not realize was the effect it had on the mental aspect. When I was going thru treatment, it was the ‘carrot’ hanging out there; I missed feeling strong. I may not ever be in the same condition I once was, but now I think of it as ‘I GET TO go to the gym’! I won’t ever forget how much I missed it.


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