Toni’s Lead Story

I’d like to tell you that I have always been physically active, but I would definitely be lying! My husband and I had 4 kids in 8 years – chasing after them was my exercise. Over the years I tried a lot of different things – aerobics, Zumba, yoga, belly dancing, Curves, but I didn’t stick with anything for any length of time.

When I was 47 years old, I was diagnosed with left breast cancer. After surgery and chemotherapy, I focused on exercise support groups at the YWCA and the Field House. I joined a dragon boat team of breast cancer survivors, training for 12 weeks and then racing at a couple festivals each summer.

I celebrated my 5 year cancer survivor anniversary…..and I was pretty excited heading towards my 10 year anniversary. But two months short of that date, I was diagnosed with right breast cancer. That meant surgery and chemotherapy again. I was wrecked – aches and pains, and all kinds of side effects from the treatment. A friend of mine, Dennis, told me about Lead, and the Empower class that they offer for cancer survivors. I signed up in May 2016 — it was the best thing I ever did! For the first year, Empower was the only class I attended. But I kept coming back and soon realized it was a good place to be – friendly staff, caring instructors, and I started to feel better and stronger.

Since January 2019, my focus has been Block Therapy classes. The first ones were pretty brutal – that block sure does a good job of finding all your tight spots! At one of my first classes, Michelle had to come by and wake up the lady next to me. What? How does that happen?  Imagine my surprise a few months later when I was the one that dozed off lying on a wooden block!

When Lead announced their new Body Audit, I signed up. I met with Inna and she took my before pictures, which really pointed out the areas that I needed to work on. Because I am only 5 feet tall, I was holding my head up, always looking up. And because of damage to my left ear I was tilting my head to the right. In just 3 months, I have noticed such a difference in myself. My posture has improved so much, and the pain in my neck, shoulder and back is nearly gone.

Thanks to Jana and the entire Lead Team, I have found classes and treatments that I enjoy and will definitely stick with long term.

– Toni