RUNNER & CANCER SURVIVOR DENISE PETERS SHARES HER TOP TIPS ON HOW TO MAINTAIN YOUR WORKOUT PROGRAM AMID A MEDICAL CHALLENGE
It wasn’t always this way, says Denise Peters of Westminster, Colorado. She’d tell you she was just like everyone else living in the Centennial state, working as an accounting and billing expert, and as many Coloradans are known to do, keeping up a regular fitness regimen as a runner.
But what happened five years ago not only pulled the rug out from all of that, it also showed how Peters carries a steely strength deep inside she may not have known she had. That, combined with a laser focus on fitness, makes her a true example of a modern gladiator.
Peters carries a steely strength deep inside she may not have known she had.
Peters was diagnosed with breast cancer, and her doctors quickly launched her into chemotherapy treatments. “Treatment made everything go on hold. I didn’t want to just sit at home so I tried walking just so I could do something, but it was very hard,” says Peters.
The punishing schedule of six chemotherapy treatments was spaced out every three weeks. Peters was fully committed to fighting cancer, but says the entire experience after a lifetime of running made her appreciate her health and fitness lifestyle in a way she never had before.
Her previous regular running program and commitment was to get out five miles, four days a week. She was able to do this with custom-fit shoes and gear from Road Runner Sports. The success she had with her program and support she found at the Westminster store drove her to reach out to her running “family” there for help. The employees were fully supportive in her cancer fight. She says they were key to her extraordinary decision to start running again in the middle of her cancer treatments.
they were key to her extraordinary decision to start running again
“We’re all about infusing passion and inspiration, by helping all our VIP Family Members and customers in modifying and driving their program to achieve, maintain, or recover their optimum wellness,” says Road Runner Sports Director of Marketing Julia Connell. “One of our other concerns was helping Denise ease back into her routine, rebuild it while also avoiding injuries, since she was prone to shin splints and hip flexor injuries. At the end of the day, it’s all about teamwork and ensuring our family knows we care.”
Peters started running again after her third chemotherapy treatment, beginning the long road back to a normal lifestyle, and continued it through the end of treatment. Her top tips about how you can maintain some sort of fitness program during a medical situation:
- Don’t go it alone. Discuss what you’d like to do with your physician to make sure do enough, but not to overdo it.
- Listen to your body. Don’t push yourself while you are in treatment. You’ll get a feeling for which days are good and which days are not. Once, you’re out there running, your body will tell you when it’s time to stop and turn around.
- Choose routes that can be easily shortened—and include out and back. Nothing is worse than feeling sick and having to run 3 miles home.
- Don’t be tied to numbers. Run whatever you feel like on that day. Some days you’ll only manage a mile run/walk, other days maybe 6 miles, spontaneous intervals, or hill sprints.
- Don’t give up on running races, even during treatment. Participating with friends for the social aspect of it is very important. Be sure to throw away any expectations in regards to finish time. Find an event that has multiple distances, so you can choose a distance on race day based on how you’re feeling.
What I learned and my message to everyone now, healthy or fighting disease, is you should be getting out there and working out as best you can.
“My body wanted it and it became a big part of my recovery,” says Peters. “What I learned and my message to everyone now, healthy or fighting disease, is you should be getting out there and working out as best you can. There’s no excuse to not get up and do something to pursue optimum fitness.”
Peters is back to work and is cancer-free. Happily running 4 to 5 miles four times a week, she says she’s also added spin and yoga classes to her routine. Her biggest recommendation? Find your fitness family, like hers at Road Runner Sports, and reach out to them when times get tough. It’s a reminder from a strong survivor about what it truly means to be a fitness gladiator in modern times.
Inspired by Denise? Watch other inspirational stories at https://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/content/topic.jsp?contentId=400057