Heather: A Brain Tumor Couldn’t Stop Her!

heather1Tell me a little bit about yourself (name, occupation, age, background):

The details of my life are quite inconsequential… my name is Heather, but I am better known by my alias: Paige and Petra’s Mother. You have undoubtedly seen me impatiently waiting for one of my daughters at FitCity. I am (K + 1) years old; whereas, K=Coach Keith. What I use to be is irrelevant, because exactly one year ago my life was redefined. I fell off my bike, ambulance to the hospital, CT scan, and quite directly informed: “You have a brain tumor, the largest we have ever seen. This does not look good, we are admitting you, neurosurgery been alerted. Merry Christmas!” Ok, the ER Doc didn’t wish me Merry Christmas, I am adding that for effect. Lots of tests, MRIs, and consults quickly followed by a days worth of surgery. FYI: Brain surgery is not fun, Google it if you want proof. I am not rockin’ the mullet as a fashion choice. I know what you are thinking: No, I did not have any real symptoms, except I was sleeping 16 hours a day. Apparently, this is something that can go undetected until you either have a stroke or an autopsy. So not wearing a bike helmet was definitely a good thing.

What compelled you to join FitCity?

The truth be told, I was not given a choice. When scheduling Petra’s
new back-to- school availability, Coach Sarah enquired when I would be ready to join the fun. I laughed, and noncommittally responded “I’ll check
my calendar.” Silently thinking, “This woman is insane! I have had
MAJOR BRAIN SURGERY, go home Sarah, you are drunk!” But you know Coach Sarah, she will not give up on anybody; even the person who had given up on herself. It would have been very easy, and completely justifiable, for me to have curled up into a ball and stayed in bed having a pity party. But, because Sarah is impossible to say no to, I am now forced to uncomfortably write this tale. Thanks Obama!

What was your biggest fear prior to joining FCCF?

Fear is relative. Being told the chances are great that you might not walk again, you might not talk again, you are going to most likely have memory loss; that is fear inducing. I am not a brave person, but I figured I survived that list of horrors, so I can bloody well take anything Coach Javi throws at me. There are many things infinitely scarier than FCCF: what meat is allegedly in Spam, trying to remove a sweaty sports bra, Coach Keith’s music selection, my husband when he gets my American Express bill, not trying something new, and refusing to strive for improvement- these are the true scary things in life.

What changes have you seen in yourself since starting.

I know everyone thinks it is the weight loss, and yes losing over 5 stones is impressive, but it is not the change I see. I see someone who has the energy level of a bored housewife stealing her 9 year old son’s Ritalin. I am so pepped up all the time! I have gone from sleeping 16 hours a day to running 5ks three times a week, biking 20 miles daily, strength training with Coach Javi three times a week and ripping the handle off the Concept 2. There are a far greater number of mental changes than physical. Most notably, I have
become an even more willful, determined person. Some will say this is not a positive change, per se.

What surprised you about CrossFit?

It is NEVER boring. There is a surprising amount of variance that offers choices for every skill level- beginner thru Corey. Some would say (Javi) that I am easily distracted, but CrossFit is fast paced and keeps me wondering what fresh hell will be next, so I never have time to get distracted or settle into a routine. Ok, maybe a little distracted. You will discover all sorts of new activities; many that you love and a few that you are not a fan of. But most importantly this tao will reveal itself: Jump rope sucks!

If you had to use one word to describe FitCity what would it be?


What would you tell someone who is hesitant to get started training with us?

I know that everyone at FitCity would point to themselves and say “If I can do it, you can do it.” But, I truly mean it. If an old lady, with her head being held together with nuts and bolts can do it- What’s your excuse? I promise you there is not an intimidating person in the bunch. Unsure? Come join me. I will keep you entertained and give you a serious case of the hiccups. Honestly, my mouth never shuts up. You could not ask for more compassionate coaches than Sarah and Javi. Petra always says, it is going to be a good day, I have CrossFit today. And although, I would never tell him so, I do appreciate all Javi has done for my shoulders, arms, culo, and soul. He makes even jump rope tolerable, that is a blatant lie.

What is the accomplishment you are most proud of since starting at FCCF?

Due to my husband’s failure to place the registration sticker on my car,
I was pulled over by the police. I hand over my registration, insurance
and driver’s license. The officer looks at my license and back at me several times, before asking to see a supplemental photo identification. I do not frequently bop around town with my passport but Petra was willing to vouch from the backseat that I was her mother, for a small fee. I was puzzled. Great! I bet my license is expired. “I am sorry Ma’am, but you look nothing like this picture.” For the first time in months I looked at the picture and finally saw what other people had been telling me. I looked completely different. Then I did what women have been doing for decades, I cried to the cop. Hey, don’t knock it. I got out of the ticket, congratulated, and told that I better go get my picture retaken. Now that is an accomplishment!