Upwey Member Diane Rogers personifies the true meaning of grit, defined as perseverance and passion for long-term goals. After battling two bouts of cancer and aggressive treatment, she’s come out the other end even more grateful for this amazing crazy thing we call ‘life’. Here’s her incredible story…
“Life was sweet. I was working full time, had a great husband and three gorgeous children, I was exercising and had a healthy diet. Then, at the age of 45, my world came crumbling down with a diagnosis of Stage 3 bowel cancer. Following surgery and 6 months of chemotherapy I was given the all clear. Life started to resemble some form of normality again; I slowly gained my body back with slow gentle exercise and – 2 years post diagnosis – enjoyed an amazing overseas trip which I had always dreamed of and aimed for after being sick. I returned from this trip and was due for a surveillance scan where they discovered a 10 centimetre tumour, secondary bowel cancer on my ovary – ‘here I go again’ I thought. This time it was Stage 4 with a 50/50 chance of survival. More surgery and aggressive chemotherapy ensued. This was four and half years ago and I made it!
Following my recovery from the secondary cancer I returned to work. My body was broken from so much inactivity, operations and drugs. It was winter and I was still feeling very fatigued but I had always exercised so was craving any form of activity. I joined Pinnacle Upwey eight weeks after my last chemotherapy session and started walking on the treadmill three times a week. A boot camp was coming up not long after I joined so I convinced my daughter Sarah to do it with me. This was 12 weeks post-treatment – what was I thinking?! Gratefully, this is where I met Upwey Club Manager and Coach Jade Halliday.
Jade led the boot camp with Dave and that was the beginning of a long and steady recovery. The boot camp inspired me to continue with my training and I requested Jade to help gain my fitness back as my Personal Coach. We started slow and steady with one session a week and then I progressed to two sessions a week. Without the one-on-one attention from Jade, I would not have achieved the level of fitness I have gained. With Jade’s perseverance, passion and encouragement every week I have grown stronger and stronger. Even when I struggle to comprehend some of the exercises and it takes three attempts to perfect them (well, sort of perfect!), Jade is there smiling away and encouraging me. I am now known as ‘the three time girl’.
At times it is hard to train but you just have to dig deep. I constantly remind myself that I’d rather be in the gym than having treatment any day! I have gone on to do two 12 Week Challenges, which I really enjoy. It has been incredible when I think back to how my body was broken to now. It is the most amazing feeling being well and feeling strong. Four weeks ago, after a lot of GRIT and sheer determination, I was finally given the unbelievable news that I have the all clear.
What I have achieved is a strong body with working muscles that allow me to be the healthiest me I can be. I have learnt many things from the whole experience but one of my biggest lessons has been – there are no excuses! It took a huge team of professionals to save my life and I owe it to them to lead a healthy active lifestyle. Life is amazing but if you haven’t got your health and fitness it makes life pretty tough. Dig deep, smile, enjoy life and don’t sweat the small stuff.”
Thank you for the beautiful advice Diane, we feel so blessed that you chose Pinnacle as a partner in your health & fitness journey. Here’s to many more amazing moments shared together!