200,000 Reasons to Brag

Friends and Family,

Bragging is extremely uncomfortable for me, but I’m going to do it anyway. I have a purpose in mind. More on that in a minute.

Here’s my brag: When we moved my office to the top floor of our building almost five years ago, one of the guys started the Flight Club. It was a way to keep us motivated to walk up the seven flights of stairs to our office. He set up an Excel spread sheet that we could all access and use to track our steps. It kept a running count of the steps.

I’ve been climbing these stairs on average about twice a day. This week I just reached a personal landmark: I have now climbed more than 200,000 stairs. I reached this 200,000 step milestone despite having a second lung surgery, hernia surgery, radiation, chemo, back and hip pain that temporarily put me in a wheelchair, and month-long colds. I have also been working out at the gym 4-5 times a week during this entire time, because I believe that exercise is one of the reasons that I am still alive.

So here’s why I’m bragging: I want to motivate you. Whether you have cancer, other health problems, or even if you’re perfectly healthy, exercise matters. If I can do this when I am missing one lobe of my lungs, and have cancer in the rest of those lobes, maybe you can do some exercise for your health, too.

How many times have you heard on the news about research that shows that diet and exercise lead to better health?    

I’ve been in book stores and libraries, and I’ve done my own personal survey of how many cancer books are about diet, and how many are about exercise. Here is what I found:

  • There are approximately 1,562,435 books on diet and cancer.

  • There are approximately zero (0) books on exercise and cancer.

Okay, I didn’t count the books. And unlike my steps, the number may be a bit exaggerated. Still. The point is valid. Lots of cookbooks, no exercise books. I’m guessing it’s because people find it easier to change what they eat than it is to exercise. Why not do both?

I found this even looking around my own house. We have three cancer cookbooks, no cancer exercise books.

I’m not alone in my thinking. For years the American Cancer society has recommended exercise to help with the emotional and physical side effects of treatment. Now they are even beginning to see that it impacts treatment itself. Exercise impacts tumors. See this article on their website: http://bit.ly/1STmPDj.

I hope this blog entry has done the job. Are you feeling motivated yet?