Janis' Story. Cancer, comeback, and ferocity. - 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition

My career began as an English teacher, but while I loved the students, I felt frustrated with the subject matter. I was offered an opportunity to run a high school library and found that the interdisciplinary nature of the work was exactly what I liked. Over the past thirty years I’ve worked with students from pre-school to grad school, helping them find, evaluate, and assimilate information about every subject you can imagine. Since retiring from full-time work I’ve taught grad classes for Simmons College Library and Information Studies program and have supervised grad students when they go into schools to do their internships to become certified as library teachers.

When I retired one of my first priorities was getting back into shape. I’ve always been a walker, but I added Pilates classes to my routine. When Mindy’s classes moved to 50/50, I came along. Katie occasionally subbed for Mindy, and I, like everyone else in the classes, fell in love with her. She and Mindy collaborated on developing a TRX class that incorporated Pilates principles, so I added that to my exercise schedule.

Two years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although I had planned to keep exercising throughout treatment, I had several complications and by the time I was out of treatment I felt like I had lost every muscle in my body. Among other things, I developed thoracic outlet syndrome and weak, sore knees. I went to PT, got stronger, and started working with a personal trainer at 50/50, Michael McCarthy. I enthusiastically went back to my walking, pilates and TRX, but overdid it and ended up with more aches and pains.

Again, I went to PT, but it didn’t help, so I came back to 50/50 and started working with Brittany. She has been amazing. Brittney has taught me how to use the right muscles for each exercise instead of having my back, neck or knees do all the work. It has made a huge difference and I feel stronger and more confident about my ability to exercise without reverting to the old cycle of overdoing it and hurting myself. One of the most unexpected, fun parts of training is punching Bob! I never thought I was the kind of person who could hit something, but after I threw my first punch my inner boxer jumped out! I love it! It makes me feel strong, fierce, and indomitable!

This fall my husband and I are traveling to Tanzania for a safari and in March I am to England with my book group. Our group has been together for 35 years and we always talked about doing a trip together. Now that we are retired, our time has come.

I have stayed with 50/50 Fitness/Nutrition over the years because of the skillful, engaging, fun staff and the sense of community you have built. I feel like I am coming in to talk with friends and have a good time. There is a wonderful mix of ages and a great environment. I’ve gone to a lot of different exercise places over the years. I found the level of teachers to be uneven and the atmosphere felt cold and anonymous. 50/50 is the exact opposite. It’s a pretty remarkable place.

-Janis Wolkenbreit

 

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