This morning, Anne Marie and I had the opportunity to meet our new encore group. ywcaencore is a 8 week (+orientation) after breast cancer exercise program. The program focuses on increasing the range of motion of the shoulder and chest area for women who have undergone any kind of breast sugery. ywca encore is more than an exercise program; by providing the opportunity for women to share their experiences, concerns and feelings in a safe and supportive environment. I feel blessed to be around these strong and amazing women and to be able to help them find their way to a healthier self.
As each of our participants shared their story this morning, I was thinking of how glad I was that they picked our program to help them along their journey. I cannot imagine what all of these women have gone through: stress, sadness, anger, fear, pain… I am so grateful that we are here for them (whether it is 2 months or 10 years post treatment) and will be a positive experience in their lives. And from my own personal experience, I know that I too will learn so much from our next 8 weeks together.
I have only spent a few hours with our group this morning and it only took these few hours for me to realize how much I already admired their strength and positive outlook on life. “The Human spirit is stronger than anything that can happen to it.” (C.C. Scott) I know that in the next few months, Anne Marie and I will have the opportunity to teach these ladies how to safely perform certain exercises, will introduce them to the benefits of water training, will teach them about healthy eating and its benefits, will bring in experts to speak about different topics of interest… But what I am most proud of is to have been able to create a safe environment where these women can share their thoughts and feelings, learn from each other’s experiences, and meet a group of women who will continue to inspire them. We can learn so much from each other; don’t you think? What are you most proud of today?