Mindful over…Cancer

One of my all-time favorite movies is Parenthood… the one with Steve Martin (and an all-star cast from from the time period). In that movie, the matriarch of the family compares life to a rollercoaster… so thrilling, so scary, so exciting at the same time. She says that some people prefer the merry-go-round… it’s slower and safer. Personally, I like the rollercoaster… with all the twists and turns, and hills and drops, slow uphills and FAST downhills.

I recently went on a rollercoaster of a different variety… the dreaded “C” word… Cancer.

Despite eating healthy foods and being active my whole life (thanks mom!), I was having issues over the last couple years that bothered me. Some of these issues are common as we age – weight gain (and inability to lose it), fatigue (I do have 4 kids!), temperature regulation issues (either freezing or sweating), daily headaches (don’t we all?), and more. I went from doctor to doctor in DC, Virginia, and Maryland. I was told by the first doctor that I was eating too much and needed to take diet pills to lose weight. I pretty much ran out of there. I was told by the second doctor that I was just aging. Reasonable right? I was told by the third doctor that nothing was wrong, so my “symptoms” must be psychosomatic (in my head). 

I went home after each doctor’s appointment, each lab test, each scan feeling defeated, like I would never get off the dreaded merry-go-round of my life.

The only thing that kept me going was a well balanced approach to wellness… eating clean, exercising, and reducing stress to sleep better. This is where REV came in. I couldn’t have been at a better place to take care of my whole body.

Long Stretch on the Reformer

REV offered me interesting, diverse and challenging workouts, which helped my body and mind stay strong through these struggles. Every workout uses similar moves in different ways. I have never been bored in a class. And despite being uncomfortable in my body at times, I never felt intimidated or out of place, like at bigger gyms. The instructors are so knowledgeable and trained to support me, but they also encouraged me to push myself in a healthy way. REV also offers special events and workshops for members and potential members on a regular basis. Thanks to the small class sizes, I have developed friendships with not only the instructors, but other members. This camaraderie adds to the fun and accountability of coming to classes.

REV Pilates Gym played such an instrumental role on my rollercoaster… with those scary machines and routines, thrilling programs for the whole body, and exciting instructors and results!

With this new strength and support driving me, I made an appointment at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. I saw a renowned endocrinologist there, but I wasn’t too hopeful for any resolution of things. However, this doctor noticed something wrong with my thyroid just from feeling the front of the neck. From there, I jumped onto the life altering rollercoaster of cancer… ultrasounds, biopsies, surgery (which became very complicated), 2 ER visits due to post-surgery complications, low iodine diet (which involves no sea salt, dairy, anything from the sea, etc), radioactive iodine treatment, and physical therapy for problems with my neck.

Surgery a success

The prognosis ahead is good, and I am feeling better than I have in a long time, though I’m still gaining health and strength back.

Sometimes I feel like the endocrinologist and surgeon saved my life. But in other ways, I feel like REV saved my life by giving me the opportunity to take care of my body and my mind in so many ways.

REV has something for everyone… fitness, nutrition, wellness. Don’t waste time with things that aren’t working for YOU. Life’s too short to stay on the merry-go-round!

Terri Johnson, Studio Manager and Nutrition Coach at REV Pilates Gym

If you’re interested in learning more about our programs, please visit our website.

If you’d like to learn more about other amazing staff members like Terri, check out our online bios.

If you want some inspiration, check out our Instagram page to view our amazing members and team doing fun and crazy things in classes and during social events. instagram.com/revpilatesgym