Reset 100%: The Story of A Spitfire Breast Cancer Survivor

Audrey Barbell Squat

Reset 100% by Audrey Chan

Spitfire Athletes embrace change.

Change means improvement. Change means progress.

When I was younger, I did not think too much about fitness. I figured I was a naturally thin person like my mother and did not need to watch what I ate, and I did not need to exercise. I was so wrong when I turned 30 years old. I had to rethink what was my norm, what was my baseline, and what was my 100%. I had to reset 100%.

My body has been thin and thick since my 30th birthday. I had to reset a great deal! What was good was that I was willing to change, willing to try and willing to reset 100%. I was not a professional athlete, and I did not have professional fitness coaches ensuring my fitness success. I was on my own. I had to be the one that drives me to a healthy mind, body and spirit. So with each set back, I drove myself back to fitness.

Audrey in China

In 2010, I was 44 years old, 20 lbs overweight, and had an excess of 11% body fat. I was always a shy person, but with this added unhealthy body, I felt ugly. I had felt ugly for too long. So I made a decision to invest in my body and health, and I hired a personal trainer to teach me how to eat for fuel and exercise for health. Little did I know my personal trainer would ultimately awaken my inner athlete!

By 2011, I became obsessed with fitness and nutrition. I guess it is true that when one sees results one becomes addicted. I became a gym junkie, but I saw results too. I was becoming stronger, faster, fitter, and leaner. The muscle definition on my body impressed not only me, but it impressed my trainer too.

I continued to approach life as an amateur athlete in 2012. When I achieved a goal, I reset 100% to improve my performance. Whether that was in the gym, on the machine or with the hard iron, I wanted to do better than last time. I wanted to go faster, go heavier, and go harder!

Audrey Marathon

My body was changing into an athlete’s body, but my mindset and my perspective changed too. No longer did I see a challenge and back down. No longer did I say to myself I cannot do that. No longer did I see myself as ugly because I no longer had an unhealthy body. With this new view of myself, I was not only improving my health, I was improving my spirit. I became a woman that felt strong and proud because I knew I had the power to change from unfit to fit, from ugly to beautiful, and from wallflower to badass!

My biggest challenge to reset 100% happened just recently in 2013. In 2013, I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. I was not surprised to some extent because cancer runs in my father’s genes, but I am only human. I was angry that after all my hard work making my body fit, I still get a fatal disease. I had to reset 100% the hard way!

After my initial gasp, and stewing anger, I made a firm decision to fight. I previously fought my unhealthy body back to health so I knew I had the power to fight once again. I fought again but this time against an internal killer.

Audrey Hospital

With this new determination, I agreed to a very aggressive treatment plan that involved one surgery, four cycles of chemotherapy, five years of hormonal therapy and 19 treatments of radiation therapy. I told my treatment team I wanted to tackle this disease and will not stop until all the treatments are completed.

After my surgery, I went back into the gym after six weeks of recovery to continue weightlifting. My body was fit enough that I was able to increase my barbell squat from 70 to 72 lbs. I was deadlifting 120 lbs then. After my first cycle of chemotherapy, I was able to increase my barbell squat from 72 to 75 lbs, and I was still deadlifting 120 lbs. That was my body weight at the time.

During my treatments I did reset 100% downward. I needed to return to a lower weight, but I was determined to continue, determined to improve, and determined to fight!

Unfortunately, after the second cycle of chemotherapy, my body was so ravaged that I could hardly function. I had to completely reset 100% to a much lower paced life. I had to be very careful with my food and with my daily activities. The chemotherapy compromised my digestion so I could not eat as I did before. The side effects also made my feet and legs swell up so I could hardly move without pain and discomfort.

I was miserable and felt sorry for myself for a while. I became ugly again.

Then I remembered that all these discomforts were only temporary. So I reset 100% again to set my sights on a better tomorrow. I continued to walk to keep the body moving, even though much slower than usual. I continued to drink water to keep the body hydrated and detoxed.

Soon enough, my body started to recover! In 2014, I decided to try exercising again. I was not foolish enough to believe I could exercise like that pre-diagnosis woman so I looked for an alternative option.

I found that alternative option in the Spitfire Athlete app!

I started on the Heroine workout but found that was too intense for my cancer treatment ravaged body. So I started the Conqueror workout instead. Previously, I would have done three times that level of exercise, but my body could not do that level anymore. I was upset with myself, but I decided not to dwell on the past. I pushed myself to finish.

After many months of self-anger at my lack of fitness, I did ultimately complete the Conqueror workout! The sense of accomplishment was overwhelming and joyous. I felt proud, strong and beautiful again.

Audrey Portrait

I still have a long way to go before I can recapture my former glory, but I know I can do it. I will continue with the Spitfire Athlete app workouts and will finish the Heroine workout. I will be badass once again.

I am no longer a breast cancer victim.

I have reset 100% again to be a breast cancer survivor!

Audrey Squat Depth
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