Posted Oct 11, 2019 10:06:35 AM
I’m Andrea and I’m part of the Lead Instructor team for CycleBar Westgate West and CycleBar Los Gatos in Northern California. [I bought this shirt a few months ago thinking I’d wear it for our October breast cancer charity rides - never imagining that I’d become 1 of the 8 women in the U.S. that will develop invasive breast cancer over her lifetime.]
Just over a month ago I found a lump and shortly after I was diagnosed with an aggressive, triple-negative breast cancer. I’m 31, have no family history or cancer genetics, and was healthiest I’ve ever been (teaching 5-6 classes a week CycleBar + more!). I got the news right before teaching a class; in that moment I felt more fear than I even the first time I took the podium, even more than when I left law to pursue fitness full-time. I see this fear of the unknown and unexpected so often - particularly people who are scared to start or intimidated to come back to fitness.
But what CycleBar has given me, and so many others is more than physical. Being on a bike helps me process my feelings, so necessary in those first few days after diagnosis as I knew my life was about my drastically change.
When I teach, I try to convey to riders that we can be kind to ourselves and accept where we’re at on this day, because it won’t compare to where we’re going - on a bike that seems to go nowhere but really can take you anywhere. We get to part of this amazing CycleBar community, one that has been lifting me up and is gracious enough to share our stories in hopes we can save even more lives in ways big and small.
I’m currently taking time away from the podium to focus on my treatment, but I know I’ll come back stronger and more powerful, with an even deeper appreciation for what our bodies do for us. We can choose to be fighters, we can become survivors, but my vision is that we all live as thrivers. Dare to be powerful, and dare to take your life (and breasts) into your hands by performing a self-exam or getting that mammogram done.
If you don’t mind a feed full of cats, foul-mouthed humor, and food, you can follow along with my fight @foulmouthedfit #foulmouthedfighter [#foulmouthedtit].