A Survivor. A Warrior. An INSPIRATION

At age 31, Heather Schumm felt a lump that turned out to be an invasive form of breast cancer. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Heather is letting us share her story of survival and how exercise helped her through her battle.

In the beginning of 2010, Heather and her husband, Erik, were learning how to be parents of 2 after the arrival of their 2nd daughter Genevieve, in August 2009. In May 2010, they celebrated her 31st birthday. In July 2010, she participated in the San Luis Obispo Triathlon for the 2nd time and beat her goal time. In July 2010, they celebrated their 1st daughter Annabelle's 3rd birthday. In August 2010, they celebrated Genevieve's 1st birthday. In September 2010, she was diagnosed.

While there is a lot of cancer in her family history, she certainly did not expect to get breast cancer at 31 years old. Heather share’s her experience.

When you recall your experience, who/what really helped you through this time in your life?
My faith, my families (both biological and not) and my tenacity to move forward. Spending time outside, riding my bike, walking (running when I could) kept me feeling alive. When I first started chemo in January 2011, I set a goal: to complete the Disneyland ½ Marathon. That September marked the 1 year anniversary of my diagnosis. People thought I was a little crazy when I signed up, but I did. I stayed active through treatment, training when my body allowed. I finished radiation in July and I completed the ½ Marathon in September. In October, I rode 220 miles in 3 days on my bike at the Young Survival Coalition’s Tour de Pink. I did it. My desire to complete these goals is one of the things that kept me going.

What advice would you give to someone with a cancer diagnosis?
You ARE a survivor. It gets easier. Get through the diagnosis shock, get your treatment plan in place so you can attack! Pretreatment plan and not knowing is the hardest part! Keep your head up and move forward one day at a time, some days one hour at a time. You will get through this and be stronger for it! If your body will allow, keep it moving. Walking and fresh air will be more important to you than ever. Put yourself first. Accept help from people around – they love you and don’t know what else to do so let them help. Seek out others in your situation –other survivors can help you through this….we’ve been there! If I can do this, you can too.

Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am so happy to have the opportunity at this point to be an inspiration to other cancer survivors. I hope that I can be the light at the end of the cancer treatment tunnel and show those with this scary diagnosis that life after treatment can be whatever you want it to be. Priorities shift, life changes – I discovered a “new normal” that is better and I am stronger than before my cancer journey. Its cliché and I certainly didn’t believe it when I was in treatment but there are gifts that come along with a cancer treatment – gifts I would never give back. In addition, it is important to me to give back when I can. I have been part of amazing teams that have raised tens of thousands of dollars for cancer support groups both locally and nationwide.

Heather is a SURVIVOR. A WARRIOR. An INSPIRATION. We hope you will share her story with those who need some motivation to keep moving forward. Exercise is so important, don’t stop moving.


Spin? I could die!

NO you won't die, we promise.
This is the aftermath of a spin class.

Here’s what you will feel immediately:
1. Hot and sweaty.
2. A bit winded.
3. A little clumsy if it’s your first time ever in a spin class.
Here’s what you feel one hour later:
1 .Sexy because your cheeks are still glowing.
2. Empowered because you made it through the class
(EVERYONE makes it through!).
3. Giddy because the endorphin rush is pretty strong.
Here’s what you will feel the next day:
1. Well-rested because you actually used up some physical
energy and slept better.
2. A bounce in your step because you are still riding the
endorphin high.
3. A craving for your next class because all of the above was
pretty rad.
If you continue to take classes, here’s what you will feel like in three weeks:
1. Lighter. Spin has this funny way of making weight
pour off of you.
2. Smiling 90% of the time because the endorphins are now
flowing through your body 24/7.
3. Glowing, clear skin because sweat cleans you out and the
natural flush stay with you.
So if anything, spin classes make you feel “alive” not like “dying. The secret’s out. See you in a class!


Spinning can help your love life?


You have many choices on exercise, we thought we would list 6 great reasons to join a Spinning class ( and you can skip to #5 for the love life answer)

1.It’s doable for most people. Taking Spinning® classes is something that most people can do, regardless of their fitness level. Whether you are a die-hard athlete or someone who hasn’t exercised in years, the beauty of the Spinning program is that you can go at your own pace. You can push…or not.

2. It’s ageless. Spinning classes are perfect for almost every age group. From the young to the retired, indoor cycling is a great way to get, and stay, fit. Regardless of your age bracket, exercise is the way to stay strong, healthy and most of all vibrant.

3. You gain amazing stamina. Cycling indoors means no stop signs, red lights or traffic. You get the full benefit of an uninterrupted cardiovascular workout. Your heart gets stronger, your lung capacity grows and you are able push more oxygen-rich blood through your body. Not only does this help you when you are exercising, but it also helps in your daily life. Walking long distances or playing with your kids (or grandkids) will no longer be a chore.

4. Indoor cycling is low impact. It is one of the best ways to work very hard without impacting or injuring your joints. You can perform longer cardio sessions, which are good for your overall health, with less stress on your body. And when you perform intervals you can really push your heart with little risk of injury, unlike running fast or doing plyometrics, for example.

5. Your blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure will thank you. Steady cardiovascular exercise has been proven to be just as effective as medication in many situations when it comes to heart disease. It has also been shown to stabilize blood sugars. Not only that, but exercise also releases endorphins, which make you happy. In addition, the extra blood flow and surge of hormones can make you feel more “amorous,” too. What’s not to like about that?

6. It’s a calorie torcher. Indoor cycling burns a lot of calories, provided that you ride with enough intensity and resistance to challenge yourself. Because Spinning classes can be so fun and rewarding, you often don’t realize until it’s over how hard you’ve worked. It can almost feel like those calories burn themselves.