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Gin Schaffer is a former higher education administrator and works part-time at MWHC's Regional Cancer Center as the Coordinator of Integrative Medicine. She lives in downtown Fredericksburg and enjoys walking and biking with her husband and 2 kids (especially if coffee is involved).

Pink Ribbon Journey

It was Christmas 2014, I had successfully completed the brutal stages of chemotherapy and was ready to tackle radiation.  As is often the case for caregivers, my treatment had taken its toll on Steve, so I could tell he was hoping the new year would breathe life back into a healthier lifestyle for the both of us.  We definitely were feeling like 2015 was going to be our year and really, who could blame us after everything we had been through?  It made sense for us to try and find something to do together, to help us feel better.  Looking back, I can see how we were such easy targets for any exercise tracking (um, judging) gadget that holiday season.

We each got the basic Fitbit Flex and had fun with the different features, including the sleep tracker and competitions you can set up with one another.  I also liked receiving the badges after I walked a certain distance.  But, then, radiation started to take an unexpected toll on me and the fatigue was just too much to cope with, so I couldn't keep up.  I tried, I really did, because I knew that partnership would be beneficial for Steve, and me, and us as a couple.  I knew how disappointing it was to feel like we were sliding back into 2014.  Then, my tracker just stopped working.  No matter how many force stops, reboots, and troubleshoots I tried, I couldn't get it to consistently work.  A relationship I thought I wanted to be in, but just couldn't get it to work.  Exhausting. Sound familiar?

So, I took it as a sign that I just needed to stop - my Fitbit and I broke up.  Steve was now on his own island of Misfit Fitbits.

He did really well on his own for awhile, he walked a lot, played tennis, but then the roller coaster of life caught up with him too.  During the summer of 2015, we moved into our new house and his brother unexpectedly died a week later.  Everything just stopped.  And, due to a condition called rhabdomyolysis, Steve has been struggling since late last fall to get back to his daily level of activity. And then? He lost his Fitbit!

After reading this funny, "I know you know some of these people" article about the emotional struggles people have with their Fitbits, I realized that for us, getting those little trackers had really nothing to do with getting "fit."  We were searching for order, control to the chaos we had been living in since I was diagnosed.  Steve has recognized that he doesn't need to nor want to replace his Fitbit at this time.  I, however, have decided to give this relationship one more shot.  My expectations as well as goals are relatively in check now; I know I'll have some difficult moments.  I remind myself that it's about the journey, not the destination.  And, if this little tracker decides to not come along for the ride, that's o.k.

If you find yourself looking for unique ways to get some indoor exercise this winter, here are a few suggestions:

1)  The crazy animals ride at the mall run at a good pace for you to walk alongside.


2)  Driving to Potomac Mills and walking that huge place is totally worth it (at least once this season).

3)  Flight, Jumpology, Rebounderz, and Sky Zone are all Indoor Trampoline facilities.  Start practicing now, evidently the region's largest Rebounderz is slated to open in the old Ukrops spot in 2017!

4)  Never underestimate a dancing, clean-up house party.  If you find your phone isn't charged, try your cable network's music channels.


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Pouches' Community Corner

Smart Beginnings Rappahannock Area Splash EventMassadYMCA

For the past seven years, Smart Beginnings has thrown the Splash Pool Party fundraiser. This summer, the event will be held on June 24, 2018 from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Steve & Cheri Thurston Water Park at the Massad Family YMCA. Tickets range in price from $12 for a single ticket, $20 for couples and $35 for a family/group of four and each ticket also covers a hot dog, bag of chips and a drink.