These Boots Are Made for Walking

TheseBoots Are Made For Walking

At age 64, Kathleen Hackett, a retired schoolteacher and cancer survivor has foundsatisfaction in walking as part of her healthy lifestyle journey. She’s been a member at Curves gym since January of 2005 and currently has over 1100 workouts under her belt. Kathleen is an extraordinary woman and a fighter. In 2007 she started The Triumph Fitness Program (offered by Memorial Medical Center Cancer Services) that helped her incorporate weight training twice a week for 10 weeks and from there she gradually transitioned to The Triumph walking group. Since then she’s been a part of every Triumph Walking Group acting as a mentor cancer survivor to those who are new to the Team Challenge program. Team Challenge is a group for runners and walkers, who are not necessarily cancer survivors. In 2009-2010 she trained with Team Challenge for The Modesto Marathon in which she walked the half-marathon in 3:36. Impressive? You bet!

As a cancer survivor Kathleen has been going full force since her last chemotherapy in June of 1993. Back then she was diagnosed with inflammatory breastcancer, which is rare and very aggressive. It’s been nearly 19 years since and she credits her blessings to the awesome doctors and unwavering support from her family and friends. Kathleen shared with me that staying positively motivated helped, and it came from her years as a schoolteacher at Mark Twain Junior High. Back then the students and the staff all shared the feeling that she was having a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of young people, and that kept her motivated.

That motivation has kept her strong in her recovery as well as in her everyday healthy lifestyle. Kathleen currently is a volunteer for ACS, Stanislaus Special Olympics, Howard Training Center, and Triumph Walking. She’s also on the board of the Sylvan Improvement Club, the Newporter Homeowners Association and The Stanislaus Division of the California Retired Teachers Association. After all of her volunteer work, she still manages to get her boots on and dish out walking 15 to 20 miles a week. Kathleen admitted to me that she’s not much of a runner and the NordicTrack Treadmill just wasn’t her thing, but walking is. She enjoys being outside as well as being in the company of others and quite frankly, walking is just easier on her body. But, just for the record Modesto View readers, Kathleen is no slowpoke when it comes to charity runs. She currently holds several placement medals in charity races such as Andrew’s Run for the Children, The Cancer Awareness Run and Ride along with several “completion” medals, awarded by The Shadow Chase Running Club that honor cancer survivors for their efforts and achievements. As I said above,Kathleen is an extraordinary woman. Heck! Rumor has it that she can even bust a few dance moves in her Jazzercise classes at Curves.

These Boots Are Made For Walking Continued for on-line Modesto View

As mentioned previously, Kathleen is no sissy when it comes to getting out andracing, even if her race has some walking involved in some cold weather. InDecember of 2011 she jumped in The Spirit of Giving Run and did quite well.Back 2010 Kathleen completed the half marathon at Modesto’s first Marathon and even though she prefers 5 & a 10k race, although another half isn’t out of the question. For Kathleen, speed isn’t as important as trying to improve over a previous time. So when is the next big race I asked, her reply was that she didn’t have any races planned in the near future but was defiantly looking forward to volunteering again for the 2012 Modesto Marathon.

In conclusion, I asked Kathleen on what advice she could give some of us who might be turned off when it comes to fitness and to share what worked for her in her fight against cancer. • Making time for fitness “Efren, I really enjoy the feeling of being part of group striving for a goal. The goal doesn’t have to be the same for all of us; if you achieve your goal, then you can be a winner even if you don’t cross the finish line with everyone else. I like being a part of a team preparing for a race, and I love the team spirit that assures you that no matter when you finish, a teammate will be at the finish line to applaud your accomplishment.”

• As a cancer survivor, what inspirational message would you share with those struggling with this horrible disease?

“When I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer in November of 1992, my prognosis was not good. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to look far for help. My friends and family were always there for me, but at times I still felt alone and was sure that no one really understood. Then I joined a breast cancer support group offered by the American Cancer Society. In the group I met many wonderful people who understood and in spite of the fact they were struggling, offered me their love and support. I guess I do well with groups. I try to offer that same support to the cancer survivors in The Triumph Walking group and to the cancer patients I drive to doctor appointments. If they ask, I share as much of my story as they want to hear. There are no guarantees or “sure things” when it comes to cancer treatment and survival, but you can improve the quality of your life by taking control as much as possible. Thecancer survivors who join Triumph are trying to regain some control of their health/life and in some instances, are making connections with other people who care and understand what they are going through. Together, we offer each other comfort and support and love.”

Below are few links to help you get you walking to a healthier lifestyle. Young at Heart www.healthyagingassociation.org Ph# (209) 523-2800 Triumph Fitness Program/Team Challenge www.triumphfitnessprogram.com Shadow Chase Running/Walking Club www.shadowchase.org

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About the Author:

I answered the call back in 1983; mixing Music and Entertainment with an eccentric European style has always come easy for me. In the early 80's I was the Disc Jockey for most of the high school dances in Modesto. In the late 80's I found myself in Hollywood working as a dancer and sound engineer for various professional recording industries. In 1990 my wife of 25 years and I started (The Quake Mobile DJ ®) which was seeded from San Francisco's 1985, The Quake, radio station that only lasted a short while on the air. 26 years later The Quake Mobile DJ is bigger & better than ever in the Entertainment industry. Real-Estate, photojournalism, event promoter, saving animals, travel and fitness are a few other of my interests. I also enjoy motivational speaking to children and to those who are struggling with addiction. In my life, I have always been a very direct person and once I see a goal I won't quit till I've achieved it. But out of all of the above I feel in my heart that the best inspiration in my life is my wife and my love for the faith that I practice. Phil 4:20