‘How CrossFit Helped Me Recover from My Double Mastectomy'

After about three months, when I was fully back in the gym, I benefitted from the fact that CrossFit workouts not only made me physically adaptable but also mentally adaptable. The more I questioned my limits while still listening to my body, the faster I made gains: the pushups came back, then the pullups, finally the situps, and I didn’t stop there.

Although my progress was interrupted by two other necessary surgeries over the last two years, that just afforded me the chance to conquer again and again. I chose to reframe the planned setbacks as my own mental boot camp. Each time I was forced to take a break to recover from a surgery, I faced the renewed challenge of having to reclaim the same CrossFit milestones. Once I found my way to the end of the surgical odyssey, I never looked back. It seems Body 2.0 is even stronger than Body 1.0 all due to playing hard at the mental game. I’ve hit personal records I previously thought were beyond my reach, because after what I’ve been through, I owe it to myself to push my edge like never before.

It would have been easy to allow my bilateral mastectomy to end my CrossFit life, but what fun is that? Bringing a tenacious yet playful mindset to the gym has allowed me to achieve things I was told Body 2.0 might never do again. I like to think of each day as another opportunity to set any kind of personal record you want, in or out of the gym. 

Krista Hammerbacher Haapala is the author of Body 2.0: Finding My Edge Through Loss and Mastectomy

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