I have been going to the gym since October but stopped because It was just taking too much energy. At the gym I was doing a light circuit of machines and some cardio, but I needed help and guidance on what and how to do sports after chemo. I gained over 10 kilo’s during my treatment (20 pounds) and think that chocolate mouse is stronger then I am.
Through Gijbregt on twitter I found Tegenkracht (‘Counter Strength’). Tegenkracht is an organization started by Jelle Wolthuizen, a cancer patient who wanted to stay fit during treatments. There was no support or knowledge in that area for cancer patients. So he started an organization to help cancer patients with personal sports planning, workshops and other forms of recovery assistance. It is a non profit organization paid for by Sponsors and Individuals. Sadly Jelle Wolthuizen lost his unfair battle with cancer.
Tegenkracht is exactly what I was looking for. I set a personal goal of cycling to France and going up Mont Ventoux. With Tegenkracht I hope to archieve it. Coincidentally Jelle Wolthuizen was also a cyclist and also went for the Mont Ventoux.
After applying I was given a strength test by a sports doctor (which was Jessica Gal, former Olympic Judo-er). That was cool. Never did a strength test before, Like checking my resting and active heart rates. They also checked my blood and urine. I felt like a professional being checked for doping😎.
They didn’t find anything except to determine that overall I am overweight and physically unfit. Yes, I knew that. With this data we have a base line to work with. In three months the changes will be visible. Of course I made her give me the data. Here is my active heart rate:
The next step is the personal training guidance which I have started with a physical therapist (PT). My PT is Michiel Loeber, no wiki page yet, but pretty active in helping semi professional and professional sports teams and individuals. He is also experienced in helping people with Cancer. And he knows what AD2P is and recognized my G1. All of this takes place at the Sports Medical Center in Amsterdam, which is pretty specialized. The Rabobank cycling team goes there for check-ups too (I saw them during my first visit). I guess I am pretty lucky again.
Today I had my first training. We are starting with cross weight training which is a mix of various bodybuilding exercises,; First arms, then stomache, etc. This will help return my core strength. To begin with, we are starting with heavy but short reps of 10, for a total of 30 minutes. To see how I react. There is no cardio yet, I am way too weak and will be much too tired. The key, I think, is that for every exercise I have help on what to do and how. Twice weekly I will now be doing this together with a slightly more active general life style. Like cycling and walking more.
That’s how I do sports after chemo.