#InShapeFightsCancer for Ona Lage
It’s for people like Ona Lage, member at In-Shape Shingle Springs, that we want to raise as much money as possible to help fight cancer. Check out her story below for some serious motivation to stay positive, keep moving and work hard to turn your dreams into reality no matter what challenges life throws your way. Together, we can do it!
Ona received the news she had cancer on her birthday in July 2016. In Ona’s words, “I was really angry. I wasn’t afraid, just angry. I felt betrayed by my body that I had taken such good care of for all those years. I just couldn’t believe that I had cancer! Me! Someone who had always exercised. Always ate right. Always saw my doctor regularly.”
Initially diagnosed with breast cancer, three months after her first surgery, she discovered she had uterine cancer. After a full hysterectomy, she developed a tumor in her stomach that required surgery. To make matters worse, a mammogram during this time showed her breast cancer returned. Ona looked at this news as a challenge – a challenge that made her more determined to live the life she wanted.
“Tell me I can’t do something, and watch what I CAN do,” she said. “I have a purpose here, a vision and a gift that I have to see through.”
Ona set out to define her purpose in life. Every day she woke up thinking about her ‘why’ and how she was going to make her dreams come true. Initially, she and her husband had a vision to create a vacationing spot on their property. After some soul searching, they decided to create a sanctuary on their beautiful property for others battling cancer and their caretakers and support team.
“I wanted to create a place for cancer patients to visit to feel rested, loved, and safe. Somewhere they could open up about their fears and feel no shame,” she said of the sanctuary.
Even though she was new to Shingle Springs, did not have the finances to afford such a project, and had just been diagnosed with cancer (and had a lengthy and challenge road to recovering ahead of her), Ona set out to make her dream a reality. She made plans, visited other sites with a similar set up, spoke to contractors, builders and engineers. She studied diagrams and spent an enormous amount of time at the permit center. They scour the internet for deals and tradesmen that meet their budget. Ona and her husband are turning their dream into a reality.
“A friend told me about In-Shape and that friend will always be my friend for life. I enjoy the ‘high’ I have every time I leave a class, a racquetball game or even time on the cardio machines. At first, I made excuses to miss a day – it’s raining or too late to go since I missed that group fitness class. However, once those ‘feel good’ feelings started leaving my system, I realized how important my exercise regime was for me – physically, mentally and emotionally. I need those ‘feel good’ feelings every day,” she said of her experience at In-Shape.
She modifies her workouts to remain at a low to moderate effort. She does a combination of cardio and hand weights, but nothing more than five pounds. Due to her stomach surgery, she steers clear of sit-ups, planks or large weights. Once she’s fully recovered, Ona plans to work with a trainer to rebuild.
“But I should warn them, in advance, I LOVE a challenge,” she said.
She works out every day and has moved from a carbohydrate heavy diet to a ketogenic lifestyle. Her motivation to do so comes from a combination of the In-Shape community and different group fitness classes.
“The great staff at my In-Shape club keep me motivated with their genuine love for what they do. I love the group exercises and how we’re challenged to ‘go bigger’ instead of staying in our comfort zones. With a lot of variety in the equipment, there is always something available to keep you motivated to stay with your program. There’s absolutely no reason to not workout when you have so many tools at your disposal along with a trainer who is willing to show you how to use something you’re not familiar with. Plus, every time you enter the doors, there are so many friendly faces with smiles that you KNOW you’ll leave with one of your own,” Ona said.
Ona’s final surgery was in September and she is slowly recovering after a challenging battle with cancer and the sanctuary on her property is almost finished. It is for stories like these that #InShapeFightsCancer. Thank you Ona for doing what you do and being part of our community. We’re lucky to have you.