It was the pandemic, and everyone was in lockdown, working from home. Despite being a martial artist for many years, training had changed. We were training over Zoom and not with each other. I felt I had to do something besides just karate over Zoom, to get outside more...I decided to start running. I was never a runner. I hated it, but the more I complained, the more I ran, and the easier it got. I got into a good rhythm. I also began running as I decided I wanted to get healthier and fitter - it was time to level up my health and fitness, and now I had the time.
As time went on, I got better at it, and at the beginning of July 2020, I was nominated for the "25 push-ups for 25 days" challenge to raise awareness for mental illness and depression. Each day you had to do 25 push-ups, post them on social media and nominate a new person. After 25 days, I noticed I had gotten stronger because of the push-ups. I decided to incorporate them into my daily exercise routine and even challenged myself to learn to do more difficult push-ups.
In September 2020, I challenged myself to learn how to do Superman push-ups. Trying to be airborne, even for a moment, seemed “cool” to me. After a lot of practice AND falling, I finally managed to “fly”. As months went on, I got stronger and I kept on posting my push-ups on social media, inspiring and motivating others to get fitter and healthier too.
I had also started teaching Karate over Zoom during the pandemic, and at the beginning of 2021, I decided to create a Facebook business page promoting my Self-Defense and Martial Arts expertise and classes. As I was building this out and looking forward to continuing teaching, life threw me a curve ball. In April 2021, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and I was forced to pivot.
Initially, a million questions ran through my head especially since I had decided to get fit and healthy the prior year. None of it made sense to me at the time as I juggled grasping the reality of my diagnosis, work, and now endless doctors’ appointments and tests. As time went on, I learned to embrace it - this was my reality. I continued to train in Karate, run, do my push-ups, and hang upside down from the jungle gyms - all things I loved to do. Despite my diagnosis, I continued to post on social media to motivate and inspire people to exercise and be healthy.
My right mastectomy was scheduled in May 2021, and fortunately, the surgery went very smoothly. I had no pain and recovered well. About five weeks post-surgery, and following my seemingly surreal recovery, I released my story on social media with the intent to help others with their own challenges. I received overwhelming support from so many and fortunately, my journey continued to be positive and smooth. Prior to my second surgery, I decided to do a 10-day sit-up challenge for everyone globally to partake in. Fortunately, my second surgery went well too, without pain and I began to adjust to my new “normal”.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and since I could not do push-ups, friends and I decided to get others involved instead. We went around to different areas asking and encouraging people to do push-ups to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. People loved partaking in the activity, and I enjoyed raising awareness for Breast Cancer. I posted the videos to social media, and it encouraged more and more people globally to do their own push-ups and post them in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I was thrilled and honored that I was able to inspire so many to partake in this event while doing the one exercise I grew to love.
Before my next surgery in November, I decided to do a seven-day leg challenge. Another fun challenge to get everyone involved and motivated. My third surgery went well too, but with a bit of pain afterward that fortunately subsided after a couple of days.
As time went on and I continued to heal, it was important to me to not only share my passion for teaching Karate and Self-Defense, but to create an empowerment lifestyle brand. I did this in the hope that by sharing my Breast Cancer journey, I would help empower and inspire others going through their own life challenges. My experiences during the pandemic taught me that being mentally, physically, and spiritually strong and prepared is key to getting through any life challenge. With that, I decided to pursue and build out my empowerment lifestyle brand, Fabulous and FearLESS. I recently launched my brand and site, and my aim is to empower both men and women through self-defense and martial arts as well as encourage them to live healthy lifestyles through food and exercise.
With that, I encourage you to follow my site fabulousfearless.com and sign up for my mailing list. Let me help empower and inspire you!