Tag Archives: legs

Jump Ahead – Day 19 – 160 Squats! Is this really all I’m doing?

Ouch! Wheeze! And those are the sounds that means it feels good!

I just pulled myself out of the last set of 35 squats and made the 160.

My second attempt at the 30-day squat challenge hasn’t been exact to the day and number of squats. I needed my rest days sooner. On some days, I could only do half of what was expected.

But I still did SOMETHING. The key for me in this challenge is to stay as consistent as possible and to begin a mild form of self-accountability. I have GOTTEN STRONGER. I did a 50-squat set without stopping or wishing I could just sit down.

I admit that doing squats consecutively can make me mentally check out. This is especially true for dancers who are used to a diverse movement sequence. If I start to zone out, I do knee-raises in between sets, pick up weights or add arm movements without compromising the stance so that the body weight still acts as the resistance.

The good part is that I still get my sets done and I can check off the squat count for that day. Th BEST part is that I have another set that makes me stronger every time.


Tahitian dancing - before I was a Mommy
Tahitian dancing – before I was a Mommy

Yes, you read it right! Thanks to a hula sister who invited me to take a class with her instructor, I conquered TWO hip-switchin’ hours of Tahitian dance training. It felt good to be back on the floor!  I’m grateful my leg didn’t go numb and become a useless stump (I have mild sciatica).

Dance victories: 

  • Danced alongside my daughter again, who didn’t quit or whine. She pushed right through it and enjoyed the music & laughter.
  • Danced beside ohana for the first time in over ten years
  • Barefoot, dancing, energized past 8pm
  • Embraced the way I looked in the studio mirror – all I saw was a woman who was happy and trying her best.

I have tightness in my joints and particularly, my hips. This is a common and lasting side effect from chemo/radiation. Radiation was in the pelvic region so the occasional joint and hip creaking is not uncommon. Neurologists have told me to stay active and that the tightness will eventually go away. My dr also recommended yoga to combat the tightness and to give myself a workout without pounding the dance floor with such fervor.

Notice that the dr’s say “eventually,” and they don’t give a timeline. The majority of data available on lasting effects of chemo/rad is with an older age group (60 – 70s). We are still in the stages of collecting data about the effects on a younger population (under 50yrs old).

In some ways, I might be a pioneer for that. And you are, too, if you’re recovering from something similar. I came across some people who would bark diet and exercise tips to me, as if it were a matter of self-discipline. But it’s not that easy.

We’re dealing with a re-acquaintance process of getting to know our bodies all over again. I know I’m never going to be the same and I welcome that! It’s really about creating your own story of healing and renewal. This time, for me,  it was through dance.

I encourage you to relish in things that you can do now that you couldn’t do before. You need to see how far you’ve come in your healing. I may not be as fit, fast or flexible as I was ten years ago, but I’m better than I was a year ago!