There’s a reason why you’ll hear the phrase, “Beating cancer is just the beginning of your story” at Survivor Fitness. And the best parts of the story are often what lies ahead in each participant’s lives. It’s such a joy to hear the many testimonials of our survivors, and we’re thrilled to shine the spotlight on Maria London in this Q & A feature.
A Q & A with Maria London
Survivor Fitness: Tell us about your relationship with Survivor Fitness and how you became a participant.
Maria London: I am a breast cancer survivor. A few months back, I was sharing on my support group page my total frustration at not being able to lose any weight after my treatment and ongoing hormonal blockage. I have always been very active, but the pounds kept piling on. Meg Grunke reached out to me on the support group page and suggested I try Survivor Fitness, and I expressed interest. Money was a concern, but because the program offers scholarships to participants, I was able to take this next step.
SF: When did your journey with Survivor Fitness begin?
ML: I started my 24-session program in September of 2020. After that, I have reupped for another 12-sessions on my own. I am still seeing the personal trainer on a weekly basis.
SF: How has Survivor Fitness helped you along your journey to regaining your health and wellness?
ML: I love to hike but, after cancer, would get winded quickly, and my knees and hips would hurt all the time. I also had lost upper body strength after surgery and radiation. I was also afraid to hurt myself, not knowing what exercises were appropriate for my body after surgery and having lymph nodes removed. According to the surgeon, I will always be at risk of developing lymphedema, so I have to be very careful.
During the pandemic shutdown in 2020, I didn’t want to go to a regular gym. Working out with a personal trainer in a small gym was a game changer. My Survivor Fitness trainer knows just how far to push my body to gain strength without hurting it. I have never felt stronger or been in better shape. Hiking is such a pleasure now, as I have no pain and can go on forever. The dietitian was also very helpful. There are so many diets out there, but none are sustainable for me, so I needed to find a new way of dealing with food, and she really helped me set reasonable expectations.
SF: What makes the relationship with Survivor Fitness so good?
ML: It’s not a workout program. It’s a lifestyle change that is sustainable and completely dependent on the effort you put in. Nobody is yelling at you to do more reps, but you want to do your best because it will benefit you. Personal trainers and dietitians are the key to success. Meg and Aaron Grunke are so supportive, and they make you part of their survivor family.
SF: In what ways does Survivor Fitness empower you to stay active and healthy?
ML: If it weren’t for Survivor Fitness, I would still be sitting on the couch, telling myself that nothing was going to help me lose weight. Boy, was I wrong! Once I started working out and seeing results, I knew I could do this and stick with it. Money is still a concern, since my 24 sessions are over, and I have to pay out of my pocket for individual sessions, but I know that continuing on this journey is important.
SF: What would you tell someone else who might be on a similar journey and is considering being a Survivor Fitness participant?
ML: I am happy to say that I have already referred a friend to the program, and she is thriving. I told her how much better I felt and how my clothes fit again. I feel healthy, strong, and confident, and it’s all thanks to Survivor Fitness starting me on that path.
Interested in Becoming a Survivor Fitness Participant?
If you or someone you know is a cancer survivor looking to regain your health and wellness through one-on-one personal training and nutritional support, we’re here for you! Connect with us today to learn more.