I am so excited … I got an email the other day saying that I have been accepted to the January 3-9 Winter Epic Experience camp. It is all a little crazy, but also really exciting.
The winter camp activities include cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Prior to cancer I was an avid cross country skier. Last winter, I was in treatment. Chemotherapy and surgery meant there was no chance of me doing an adventure camp. Heck, last January I struggled to walk around my townhouse complex!
I find that my health improves the most when I have a concrete target for it. This summer my goal was training for the Avon walk (39.3 miles in two days). A month before the walk I was only able to walk 2-3 miles. I had told myself that I’d be OK if I only did 5-6 miles each of the two days of the Avon walk. But I still kept on training. We spent a week on vacation in the Eastern Sierra’s (blog posts here). Each of the hikes we did helped me get stronger. The weekend before the Avon walk I was able to do two 10-mile hikes. That was a first for me. I’m proud, and kind of amazed, to say that I ended up walking 32.5 miles in two days. The concrete target allowed me to push myself. I did things I never thought I could.
I won’t be new to cross country skiing or snow shoeing. I’ve done both before. However, I have done neither since my cancer treatment. My body isn’t the same as it used to be. I’m going to have to do some more work to help ensure that I’m strong enough to get the most out of my Epic Experience. I now have a focus for my exercise.
A friend mentioned that she doesn’t sign up for these things because she would do them on her own. She doesn’t want to take someone else’s seat. For me, this is an awesome opportunity. It is a chance for me to try things that I used to love in a safe and supportive environment. If the constraints of my new body mean that I need to do things differently, I will have the support there to help me figure it out. People will understand when things are difficult. There is so much that happens when you are a room full of cancer survivors that is different than doing things on your own. In many ways, it is that aspect that I’m looking forward to the most. It is the new friends that I will make. It is the shared experiences.
I’ve also never been to Colorado before. I can almost smell the mountain air. I’m a little scared about spending a week over 4000 feet altitude (a challenge with lymphedema) – but I’m also so looking forward to it. One of the things I miss being in California is winter. We would have spent time at Tahoe had I been healthy, and had there been snow. So, I missed winter last year. I miss the smell of snow.
Did I say, I’m so excited!