Jen Taylor is no stranger to challenges.
It was after life threw her some curveballs in her late 30s that she took a real look at herself, leading to a total rebuild of her life. It was a humbling experience. She decided that she wanted to be more of service to others and change the way she was living her own life. Three years ago, she was recruited for a job with the Arts Complex in Denver and decided to move to Colorado, where she realized there are endless opportunities for new experiences. She fell in love with the outdoors and began hiking, snowshoeing, running, snowboarding, and backpacking.
“Moving out here helped me to be more adventurous,” said Jen.
When it was discovered in the winter of 2018 that Jen had breast cancer, she knew that the journey would be tough, but manageable.
“If I was a younger version of myself, I probably wouldn’t have handled it as well,” she explained.
Jen received treatment at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, undergoing 14 sessions of radiation. It was during one of those sessions that the Radiation Oncologist suggested the BfitBwell Cancer Exercise Program at the CU Anschutz Health and Wellness Center (AHWC), a joint partnership between AHWC, University of Colorado Cancer Center, and UCHealth.
“I hadn’t been exercising most of the previous Winter, had gained some weight and wasn’t where I wanted to be health-wise.”
She reached out to BfitBwell trainers, Nicole and Becca soon after and in her initial assessment, she immediately felt comfortable. Jen says her goal with the program was to build strength and endurance and get back to what she loved. She encouraged the BfitBwell team to push her as hard as they could and within the first month, she had doubled the weight she was able to lift.
“What I love about them is that they really explain everything to you and help correct your form to avoid injury. I really appreciated the guidance. They’re encouraging and helpful. You feel really great when you leave because they’ve helped you to push yourself harder than you would if you were doing it on your own.”
When asked what advice she’d give someone considering BfitBwell, Jen replied, “Go into it with an open mind. Know that you can push yourself harder than you did before and that you can do more than you think you can. Keep your eyes open knowing it can help you physically, mentally, emotionally. The healthier you are, the better off you are—especially in recovery. Come into this situation with no expectations, but know that something positive will come of it.”
Jen plans to continue to challenge herself with an upcoming hike up a Colorado fourteener, followed by a multi-day camping trip, complete with an additional 20 miles of hiking. She’s also a member of the Making Strides Walk for Breast Cancer Committee.
“I feel like I have more endurance now. I’m using muscles I’ve never worked before. I feel the results. If it wasn’t for the BfitBwell program, I probably wouldn’t be trying to push myself in other ways, too.”
BfitBwell is a three-month-long individualized exercise program for individuals diagnosed with cancer who are currently going through treatment at the University of Colorado Cancer Center or no more than post six months treatment. The goal is to provide evidence-based, individualized and supervised prescriptive exercise interventions to cancer patients and to promote increased functional capacity and quality of life for individuals with cancer during and following treatment.
Find out more HERE.