Special Guest Saturday - Emily Solomon

Rise and Sparkle, Poisers!

It's October, which means that there's a whole new month for you to be #poisedandcaring.  October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month and as strong, healthy women, this is relevant to all of us.  Did you know that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, other than skin cancer? It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

Because of the fact that women have a 1 in 8 chance of having invasive breast cancer in their lifetime, we all know someone who has been personally affected by this terrible disease.  We were so shocked and  inspired by this statistic that we are going to have a few opportunities for people to get involved and #spreadthesparkle.

On October 19th, our fabulous Kelsey will be teaching a Poise method community class at 11am.  All money raised from that class will go directly to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer .  In case you need a bit of motivation, did you know that you can help reduce your breast cancer risk by maintaining a healthy weight throughout life and by being physically active on a regular basis?

Additionally, we have decided that on Wednesday, Oct 15th we wear pink!  If you wear pink to ANY class that day, your instructor has agreed to donate $1 to our charity on your behalf.  

We hope that you will get involved and help raise awareness for Breast Cancer.  Let's share our strength!

We thought as a community we could use this opportunity to share our strength and stories involving this terrible disease.  First up SP Instructress Emily:

I still remember the drive home from work like it was yesterday, a Friday afternoon; I couldn’t shake the weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. A few weeks prior my mom, Jan-poo, as I call her, went for her annual mammogram, and had gone back again to get something biopsied, something that “was probably not cancerous, in a very strange spot to be cancer, probably a swollen milk duct” I think the doctor said. Before we heard the news the doctors seemed so sure it wasn’t cancer, but from the day Jan-poo went for that first appointment I had a strange feeling (it’s like I had ESPN or something). When I got home my parents sat us (my brothers, my sister-in-law and I) down and my Dad broke the news: your mom has breast cancer. I can’t quite put into words how this made me feel; scared, sad, broken, and mad, to name a few. Why my mom? Why her? She is the sweetest, kindest, and most thoughtful person on this planet. She would do anything for her family, her friends, or even a complete stranger. This was so unfair and although I’m sure she wouldn’t agree, I wished it was me. I didn’t want to see her suffer and her go through this, especially since she had watched her own mother go through it, too.
The next year or so was an emotional rollercoaster for our whole family really. It was, for sure, one of the hardest times of my life. Sure I could help with rides, and “cooking”, and be there for my mom, but otherwise I felt helpless, there wasn’t much I could do to help her from being, or feeling, sick. Jan-poo’s treatment consisted of one of the “hardest chemo” (I use that term in quotes, because no chemo is EASY), but this was known to be the most aggressive and damaging chemo’s out there, really taking a toll on her body.  After chemo came radiation, which I think she would say wasn’t as bad as the chemo, but it was still daily/lengthy appointments. What I learned most about my mother through this time was how strong she really was. Sure she would always tell me how she “gave birth to three kids, all naturally (with no ‘drugs’)”, and that made her tough. But this was seeing it in a whole light, her positivity was inspiring. Despite what she was going through she kept a strong, positive attitude that she would get through this, she would BEAT cancer and become cancer free. In this time she also built a strong, new connection with God and began attending church and support/prayer groups regularly with my father. She actually ended up getting confirmed and becoming a Catholic (she was raised Protestant). Her attitude regardless of the pain she was going through showed me that I had to have the same outlook; I had to think positively, and know that things WOULD get better. I will be forever grateful to my mother for this lesson as this is something I still carry with me. I always try and see a bright side, see the good side of something even if it seems there isn’t one. This isn’t always easy to do, but it is something that should be worked at constantly.
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What is ironic that I am writing this blog for SP about Breast Cancer, is that Zumba and then barre workouts became my escape. At the time of my mother’s treatment I was also let’s say, stuck, in a very volatile relationship. A relationship that over time cost me two of my very best friends. I felt very alone and while I needed to be strong for my family, I needed to take care of myself as well. So I’d spend all my free time at the gym. I had started taking Zumba, and thanks to WOW (Workout World) having two locations near me, I was attending 5-7 Zumba classes a week. Sure, a lot of times I would cry in my car both before & after class, but in that hour or two I could get lost in the music & let everything go. This is when I fell in love with fitness classes. Soon after they added a barre class, which I started taking regularly, and slowly I transitioned to classes at studios rather than the gym. This was the best decision I could have made because eventually it lead me right to Studio Poise, and now, Jan-poo attends my Pound classes pretty regularly, which makes me very happy & shows me how strong she really is!
So now you know my story, I need to stress why Breast Cancer Awareness is so important to me, and why it should be to you, too. It could happen to anyone, even the men in your life!!! It does not discriminate; it literally could happen to anyone. There are factors, however, that can put one at more of a risk to get this disease. We need to know these, we need to talk about these, and we need to know what we can do to HELP OURSELVES.  Breast Cancer has affected my mother, and it also took the life of my grandmother, when Jan-poo was only 15 years old. If raising awareness gets ONE person to make an appointment for their mammogram that they have been putting off, or gets one person to do a self breast exam when they regularly don’t because they think it’s “weird” or “goofy”, then I believe my sharing this story served it’s purpose. If I can help even one family from going through this, or help a family GET through this, again, for me, that will be sufficient. As you all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so I thought it would be perfect to suggest to Danielle to make our Community class a Pink Poise Party Please join us on October 19th at 11am to sweat it out with Kelsey and raise money for B.C. Have fun with it, dress up, & wear your pink ribbons!! Aside from this class, on Wednesday, October 15th for every client who wears pink to any class that day, that instructress will donate 1$. So go sign up now and get your pink outfits ready!!
We all know Karen told Cady…”on Wednesday’s we wear pink”. But in the month of October, let’s wear pink everyday but ESPECIALLY October 15th!! Please, for your mother, sister, daughter, aunt, grandmother, or friend, join me & the SP instructress’ in raising awareness, wearing pink, doing your breast exams, and sweating it out with Kelsey on October 19th, we only got two so we must save the tata’s ( . )( . ) <3
P.S. Just had to share the BEST birthday gift I received (early) this year. My birthday is on Saturday and on Sunday you can find me and Jan-poo on the field at Gillete Stadium as part of a human pink ribbon for the pre-game Breast Cancer Awareness ceremony.  They asked any season ticket holders who are survivors to be a part of this and I’m so blessed and happy that my mom is bringing me (mostly luck that my Dad can’t stay up for the 8:30pm games anymore ). That’s exactly what Jan-poo is, a fighter, but more importantly a SURVIVOR (3.5 years!!!!!) So if you see me walking around with a huge smile all week, you know why. Go Pats!!!!!!!

Emily thank you for sharing your story with us.  Nothin but love for all of you  - and we hope you’re having a FABULOUS birthday <3