By Matt Neatock
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to rally around those battling the disease, remember lost loved ones, and encourage everyone to get their annual screenings.
It's also a time to celebrate survivors, and the MYX+Openfit community is full of strong, inspiring women who — despite breast cancer — are living their best lives. Here are a few of their stories and how MYX+Openfit has helped shape their healthy lifestyles.
Lindsey Hager Garcia
Openfit: Why do you think Xtend Barre works so well personally for you?
I have never had a workout make me that sore in 30 minutes — but, like, that good sore that you feel when you're making changes. And with my dance background, I loved the choreography.
At first, I was only doing it two to three times a week. After my diagnosis, I started doing it daily. I lost 19 pounds this year, and I think that has to do with changing my lifestyle.
I'm very, very thankful for Openfit because I've got to stay strong somehow, and I can't go to the gym right now because of COVID. But even if I could, I wouldn't.
What do you wish more of us knew about living a happy, healthy life?
You have to think of the positive. You have to think, “What can I do now? What can I change about my lifestyle now?" In the time it takes to make excuses, you could have already worked out! It sounds so easy, and it is.
In the long run, my boys are gonna have a much stronger, healthier mama in the end. So it's nothing but good things.
Regular screenings helped Linda catch her breast cancer early. She's now a survivor of 12 and a half years who enjoys the variety of programs on MYX+Openfit.
How did you pick a fitness program?
I researched a few options and decided that MYX+Openfit was the best for me. The on-demand library is very extensive, and I can always find a class that suits my mood. An added plus are the scenic rides. I love that the trainers are encouraging, and each has such a unique style. Some days I need to see Shaun's big smile, and other days I need Justin's over-the-top energy or Davanna Law's exuberance.
I also enjoyed the Yoga52 28-day challenge. I had just started taking yoga classes when shutdowns occurred due to COVID. This challenge has improved my practice, strengthened my core, and calmed my mind.
As a survivor, how important is having a wellness routine?
Being a breast cancer survivor has made me look at my overall wellness differently. I realized that I should never take my health for granted and control the things that I can. I've always worked out and maintained my weight, but I feel stronger than ever since I purchased my MYX bike.
Before MYX+Openfit, I used a treadmill and elliptical, but I would get bored and didn't feel I was giving my all to my workouts. The diversity of the classes encourages me to work out every day. Some days I feel like a ride, other days some yoga or maybe a strengthening class. I'm also excited on Mondays to see the new classes for the week.
What is your advice to others surviving breast cancer?
Kathy Van Noorden-Herman
A 21-year survivor, Kathy believes a healthy lifestyle of diet and exercise helped her while she underwent breast cancer treatment. She just turned 60 and looks forward to her regular MYX+Openfit workouts.
Tell us about your wellness routine.
Kathy: As a survivor, I am a huge advocate for healthy living. If you're unfortunate enough to go through cancer treatment, it is important to keep eating well and treating your body with love and care. Since my diagnosis 21 years ago, I have had my challenges from a bad back and weight changes due to premature menopause. Adjusting my diet allowed me to lose 50 pounds, and MYX+Openfit has helped me keep the weight off. At the age of 60, I can honestly say that I am in the best shape of my life. I feel strong and healthy!
Do you have a favorite trainer?
I feel like every trainer is outstanding. Justin Flexen works me harder than anyone but makes it so much fun. Dyan Tsiumis is excellent as well. I find her so inspirational, and she has an energy about her that is so calming. I love her rides, but I also have benefitted from her sound wave meditation. Shaun Tubbs was the first coach I connected with when I first got my bike. He really would help keep me going and was so encouraging as I navigated something new to me.
Last but not least is Miriam Alicea. My upper body needed strengthening because I had several surgeries, and her 20-minute upper body sculpt was just what I needed. I completed it with no discomfort and have become much stronger in my upper body.
Is there anything you'd like to say to other survivors?
When you go through cancer, it feels like you have no control. With MYX+Openfit, I get to choose what I do, with whom, for how long, and at what level of effort I choose. That is my favorite thing about MYX+Openfit. It is for everyone, no matter what your level of fitness is. I think of it as my battle shield to help me be healthy!
Ana is a 13-year survivor who raised her 14-month-old son during treatment. Now a mother of two, she says since she started riding her MYX bike a month ago, she feels more confident in her clothes.
As a newer user, how has MYX+Openfit impacted your wellness routine?
I'm a full-time working mama, and my kids have after-school activities. I enjoy that I can head down to my basement, turn on my screen and get ready to work out in the comfort of my home at any time. Ever since I had breast cancer, I've struggled with my weight. It's been an uphill battle. The moment I saw MYX+Openfit, I just knew this was meant for me. I am in love with cycling and the programs Openfit offers. I'm much happier and more energized.
Are there any features you enjoy beyond the workouts?
I love the MYX+Openfit community. There are so many motivators, and any questions I may have, someone is happy to answer. Plus, I love how everyone cheers each other on!
Diagnosed earlier this year, Julia just completed her final reconstructive surgery and can't wait to jump on her MYX bike.
How have you worked MYX+Openfit into your wellness routine?
I'm about to be cleared to participate in full MYX+Openfit programs, but I have been leisurely riding by doing the 45-minute scenic rides. I don't use my arms because I don't want to overdo it.
What are you looking forward to?
I have always exercised in some capacity but have not been able to really get back into exercising since my diagnosis. I am looking forward to some normalcy: feeling healthy and pedaling off some stress after a long day at work! I love the idea that I don't even have to leave my home to get my sweat on. At 42, I have a lot of life to live!
A member of the MYX+Openfit team, regular screenings helped Jaclyn detect her breast cancer at Stage 0 four years ago. The experience inspired her to start her #AnnualMammosSaveLives campaign, which stresses that early detection is the first step to living a long, healthy, breast cancer-free life.
How did wellness impact your recovery?
Fitness, and wellness, have been a way of life for me. All my years of working out, dancing, and taking care of myself (mind, body, and soul) prepared me for one of the biggest fights of my life when I was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer at 46 years old. I was not aware that the work that I was putting in day in and day out would prepare me for several treatment options and help support my recovery. That lesson has stuck with me. That is why I continue to work out consistently with MYX+Openfit so that I am at my strongest in every aspect, whatever comes my way.
Are there any trainers that you particularly enjoy?
I am not just saying this, but all of our trainers are incredibly talented. I know this first-hand from working with them. But also, I have a deep respect for their talents, knowledge, and passion for fitness. Every Openfit trainer inspires me in a different way! Little do they know, I have taken something from each one of them into my own teaching.
Would you recommend MYX+Openfit to other women recovering from or who have survived breast cancer?
I absolutely recommend MYX+Openfit to my Pink Sisters! Having the convenience of traditional fitness classes is great, but even more advantageous is having the "myx" of classes from riding and mobility to meditation and recovery, which allows anyone to progress at their own pace. There is so much variety available that anyone can use our programs to get stronger physically and mentally.
We want you to be safe, so don't forget to get your doctor's approval before beginning any fitness or nutrition program, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, taking any medication or if you have any medical condition.