Archive for October, 2014
The fitness and wellness industry is an interesting business. There are a lot of grey areas, with words like trainers, nutritionists, life coaches, and instructors, which are vague. Some are calling for our industry to be better regulated. The problem I see with that is, who is going to regulate? The state? The federal government?
How about we regulate ourselves. When I was explaining to a client this afternoon that I attended a continuing education workshop over the weekend, she asked who paid for it. My response, “Me.” I went onto explain that part of being a professional in this industry is making sure I maintain my certification.
Health and wellness is always changing. Therefore, I am always learning. New research comes out every day. New ways of thinking and applying methods are talked about. New pieces of equipment or accessories are invented to help us move and feel better.
My official career in this industry began in 2000. Since then I have earned a college degree in exercise science, maintained an accredited personal training certification, attended a 200 hour yoga school, and earned supplemental certifications in kettlebells, TRX, cancer and exercise, USAW Sports Performance, attended various workshops with Baron Baptiste, Nikki Myers, Annette Lang, Paul Chek, Chuck Wolf and many other recognizable names.
I believe it is vital to our industry that we hold each other accountable. The moment one begins to think there is only one way to move, create programs and train, then they are done. They have lost the drive and passion for what they do. For me, learning through workshops, books, lectures, and self practice are what help me stay motivated and working to help create a better industry.
During the month of October, it is difficult to miss all the attention towards women’s health and breast cancer awareness. Football players are wearing bright pink shoes and gloves, local communities are holding 5k and marathon walks as fundraisers, I even got a “reminder” flyer in the mail from my health insurance company yesterday.
Within a few degrees of separation, breast cancer has effected each person in this country one way or another. It takes me two hands to count my personal connections alone. My first real exposure to breast cancer was when a client of mine from the Washington DC area was diagnosed. She was being treated at Johns Hopkins and I found myself taking her to there for treatment. I would sit by her side, providing a sense of comfort. According to her doctors, on the days she didn’t feel like working out, those were the most important days to keep moving. So I made my way to her house to keep her active. I’ll never forget the last time I saw her. She was folding laundry as we sat to watch movies and I was telling her about my plans to move to Boston. She was hoping that she had raised her two adult sons to be self-sufficient, meaning she taught them how to cook, wash/fold/iron their laundry and balance a checkbook. It was just a few months after I moved to Boston that I got word she lost her battle. I was one of the few non-family member invited to the private funeral at Arlington Cemetery.
It was also about the time I was packing my bags for Boston that my Aunt Joyce lost her battle to breast cancer. I feel lucky I was able to spend a few moments with her around the holidays, surrounded by family. There is hardly a day that goes by which I don’t think about her. She was the glue that held a family together. Since then, I have had other family members, clients, friends and family friends all be diagnosed.
FACTS ABOUT BREAST CANCER IN THE UNITED STATES
(from National Breast Cancer Foundation, INC)
- One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women.
- Each year it is estimated that over 220,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die.
- Although breast cancer in men is rare, an estimated 2,150 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 410 will die each year.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, world-wide. The great news is that since 1990, there has been a steady decrease in death rates in part to better screening, early detection and improved treatment options.
Breast Self Exams play an important role in early detection. It is recommended that women begin getting tested with mammograms at age 40. Mammograms can often show a breast lump before it can be felt. They also can show tiny clusters of calcium called microcalcifications. Lumps or specks can be caused by cancer, fatty cells, or other conditions like cysts. Further tests are needed to find out if abnormal cells are present.
Encourage self breast exams and mammograms. Have open conversations. Donate money. Do whatever you can to Help the Women we LOVE.