Day 142: “We danced to save lives…” @BAMCalgary

bust a move kat and sueToday was the day, BUST A MOVE CALGARY! 

I was up bright and early; got myself into my fabulous 80s attire and hit the road for the LRT. I made a pit stop at the local Starbucks where the server and I had a laugh over the fact that I looked like I was doing the “walk of shame” after a night of 80s partying. Not the case – yet funny.

I hopped off the train and was greeted immediately by BAM Calgary volunteers – it was such a well organized event! There was fresh fruit, water stations, juice and other healthy snacks. They had step-and-repeats (like red carpet) and representatives from Alberta Cancer who explained what the funds we raised would actually do – let me tell you, it’s very impressive (FYI: 60% cancer cure rates FROM 40% in a short period of time…)

Wedgie and I were nervous about what six hours of fitness would entail, but I don’t think it was as bas as we thought (though there were some points I just wanted to lay down on my mat!) We started off with zumba, then bootcamp and had our first break, which I needed! During the break there were lots of booths to roam around and learn from. We made our way to the Virgin step-and-repeat, where they had Richard Simmons, Justin Bieber and Adam Levine. I tried to take off with the Adam Levine cut out, but got busted….

adam levine

When it was time to hit the mats again, they let us know by playing “Eye of the Tiger” – totally genius. We started off the second part with hot yoga. I enjoyed it, but my hands kept slipping on the mat (however, they gave us the mats to keep which I thought was totally nice!) And then we had kickboxing with one of the most energetic people I have ever seen in my life. For real. I have a feeling most of my soreness tomorrow will be from this segment!

Finally, the moment we were all waiting for: the segment with Richard Simmons. He didn’t realize there were some non-huggers in the audience. Howie Mandels worst nightmare. But all good sports!

richard simmons at BAMWe did a few songs that Richard both wrote and performed. It reminded me of workout videos my mom had back in the day. Lots of smiling and laughing! Then he gave us the opportunity to come up on the stage. That was a lot of fun. I am super uncoordinated at the best of times, but I knew this would probably be a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I decided to record some of it. I know I was getting the side-eye from some people, oh well!

Finally, after the cool down he called us all up to the stage clip for the last part of his segment. I am laughing & singing. It was fun 🙂

BAM raises 170kWhat a day! There was lots of sweating during the six hours of exercise, but we all know that it’s for a terrific cause – funds and awareness for breast health. After all was said and done, the Calgary gang raised a whopping $170,000 – pretty impressive for the inaugural year!!

richard simmons tweeted me! The VERY best part of the day was when Richard Simmons tweeted me!


tutu Here is one of the most awesome pics from the day, Sue doing running man during the Hip Hop session. Better watch out Calgary, when we hit the town for girls night we’re bringing mad dance moves!

Thank you to the team who put BAM on here – major, major, major kudos. Putting an event together is a lot of work and you’ve done a phenomenal job! Can’t wait for next year!!


Guest Blogger: Melanie Bowen + exercise and cancer

cancer_more than ribbonLiving with cancer can be one of the most difficult things that you do in life. You might be wondering about your future and what you can do in order to feel better each day. The truth is that exercise and a healthy lifestyle can be wonderful options for just about any cancer patient. It does not matter if you were recently diagnosed, undergoing treatment or are in remission, exercise is still a great way to improve the quality of your life. There are a few ways that exercise can accomplish this for anyone who’s suffering from mesothelioma, breast cancer, or any other type of cancer.

Exercise helps you both physically and emotionally. Physically, exercise helps to provide you with more energy and releases feel-good endorphins into the body. If you can remember that great feeling you got after your last workout, just imagine that feeling being incorporated into your daily life and the impact it will have on you during treatment. As a cancer patient, you may be dealing with anger, depression and sadness. Exercise can help you to feel more alive and energetic when things around you seem glum.

When it comes to the emotional aspect of exercise, it is easy to see the benefits that it can have for you. For one, just getting away from your everyday surroundings is a way to feel better in general. Whether you decide to join a local gym or just make regular trips to the park, it is easy to see why so many people exercise every single day, whether they have cancer or not.

As always, you should speak with a health professional before you begin an exercise regimen. Your doctor will be able to tell you how much exercise is enough for you considering your current state of health. This will help tremendously when it comes to helping you get the best out of your daily routine, especially during treatment. Exercise is healthy for just about anyone of any age, so incorporating it into your everyday schedule is a fantastic thing for when you’re undergoing cancer treatment or are even in remission. You will find that the benefits you reap from exercise help tremendously when it comes to your physical strength and your ability to feel better about your situation. Speaking with a knowledgeable health professional will help you to determine what is right for you when it comes to an exercise schedule.

Melanie Bowen 

Day 28: 5 km in honour of Terry Fox & others affected by cancer.

What a beautiful day! There was a superb turn-out to support the Terry Fox Run “Marathon of Hope” – 32 years strong. It was great to run 5 km with one of my good friends (who, by the way, had been at a wedding the night before and STILL showed up this morning!)

It was hard not to be moved by everything that was going on – there was no doubt that each person who attended had in some way been affected by cancer. The energy outside from the Calgary Stampede stage to registration at Eau Claire market was amazing; there were teams of runners dressed in costumes, others wearing t-shirts with photos of loved ones and lots of us with bibs in honour of friends and family.There was a special memory board in which you could write a little note to those who have passed. To say I made it through the run with dry eyes would be a lie. It really puts life into perspective: the first wealth is health. Hearing of babies as young as six weeks that are going through cancer treatment is heartbreaking. But knowing that so far we’ve raised over $600 million to find a cure brings true hope. I saw a little girl with the words “faith, hope and courage” painted on her face; I thought that was pretty profound for a child who was probably not older than ten. Another boy who was running for his brother and some young kids running for their dad. Boy, it makes me teary eyed just remembering it all!

And the run itself was lovely. We ran through part of the city and then back through Prince’s Island Park. The temperature was just perfect and I felt really strong in my pace. I finally got to run across the Veterans Bridge – it was super cool! I don’t think I have ever run anything as neat. I can see now why people fought so hard to add it to the downtown landscape. About half way through I realized that the chafing from yesterdays run wasn’t going to be outdone by vaseline. It was painful! However, I reminded myself that Terry ran a marathon a day; through the shittiest of weather and battled conditions much worse than that. So I sucked it up and kept going; I would take a picture to show how crappy the chafing was, but I have concerns of posting that picture online – hah! I wore a special shirt today as well – I put some quotes from Terry on it. It was inspired by a shirt I saw someone wearing on the trail yesterday. Of course, the one I saw said, “How do I look from back there” (I was obviously following) so I figured that if I was moving quick enough and possibly had other runners behind me, wouldn’t it be cool for them to read something a little more inspiring? I had a few comments like “cool shirt!” – so I thought it was a success. Oh and *200 is the average number of Canadians who pass each day from cancer; *500 is the average number of Canadians who are diagnosed daily with cancer. Pretty startling…

“A little Consideration, a little Thought for Others, makes all the difference.” – A.A. Milne

I snapped a lot more pictures today than I normally do for a run. Hope you enjoy them! The last picture is of me and Sue at the end of the race. We both had personal bests! And Kudos to Susan who raised over $650 for the foundation. Awesome job, wedgie! And THANK YOU to the foundation and the countless volunteers who continue to put this event on year -after-year. It always amazes me how much can be accomplished when we work together.

“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.” – Winnie the Pooh