Monday, March 31, 2014

Lifting Young Adult Cancer Survivor Baggage

As published on The Huffington Post

Press play on "workout" playlist: energetic pop hits, hard rock and rap, songs from cancer treatment that trigger flashbulb memories. Grab handles on this plate-loaded incline press machine. Take a deep, slow breath. Now, explode.

You're too short for her. No amount of ambition, personality or strength will change her mind. One repetition down.

She thinks you're weak and sick because of your limp. She needs a guy who will beat her in a 5k and you can't run ever again. You even use crutches to walk a few blocks. Two repetitions down.

She thinks you're too open and narcissistic -- writing books and blogs about yourself, displaying your shirtless torso online, discussing improper topics like chemo's humiliating effects. Yeah, she's probably right. Three repetitions down.

She thinks you're too healthy for her -- eating too few fries and too many greens, counting too many calories and body fat millimeters. Yeah, she's definitely right. Four repetitions down.

She thinks you've had too much cancer and you're abnormal and maybe you're even contagious and you would get sick again and wouldn't produce healthy children and wouldn't be around when they grow up. Five repetitions down. Keep reading, here.