Cervical cancer survivor: How I find motivation

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By Linda Ryan

My most recent goal was to watch a marathon. Yes, watch. 

I know that watching the race will motivate me to run another one. In 2011, I completed my first marathon.  Four weeks later I found an enlarged lymph node that indicated my cervical cancer was back.  

It's been almost two years since I finished the eight rounds of chemotherapy that it took to rid my body of the disease. Now, need to prove to myself that I'm just as strong as I was before cancer.   

Finding motivation during my cervical cancer treatment
Spectating has always motivated me to participate in athletic activities.  I think it's normal for people feel that way. For example, when I watch Olympic ice skating, I want to go to an ice rink. In my mind I look graceful and beautiful as I skate across the ice, but in reality my posture is poor and my movements are mechanical. 

During my cervical cancer treatment, I purposely participated in events that I wouldn't necessarily have before, such as skydiving. There was no guarantee I would live to put those items on a list to do when I was feeling better.  

Like many cancer survivors, I became more aware of my desire to live in the moment.  When I felt well enough, I agreed to more social invitations, especially those that I may not have participated in in the past.  

Where do you find motivation? 
Recently, I watched a fitness event to raise money for people with cancer.  I was supposed to do the workout, but had been experiencing back pain and was afraid to make it worse.  It looked like a really tough workout and I wanted to be doing, rather than watching.  My goal is to actually complete this workout and I plan to talk with my trainer about it. Telling him will hold me accountable.  Writing about it to share with you really holds me accountable.   

What are the things that you've watched but not participated in? You can use those experiences to motivate you. Don't wait to become a participant in your own life. 

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