“Consider the Alternative”

We all walk in to the gym at some point during the week, roll our eyes and complain about the WOD. “Why are you making us do this?” “Wait, what is the Rx and scaled weights?” Then, we all laugh it off and get it done. But what about those members and friends that see a WOD and really wonder if they can get through it? Have you ever looked at the person grunting through a WOD, sweat dripping down their face and wondered what their story is?

For those of you who have not met an amazing woman named Joan Weldon, this is her story:

In 2009, Joan Weldon went to her doctor for her yearly mammogram. When the test came back abnormal, Joan was diagnosed with Stage II Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC) Breast Cancer. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma (ILC) Breast Cancer is a type of cancer that is a thickening of cells, so there are no tumors or lumps.  Joan’s breast cancer was confined to the left side. Joan had a big decision to make and  opted for a bilateral mastectomy. “This turned out to be a good decision. After my surgery it was discovered that the cancer was on both sides already.”

Joan and her son’s during chemo treatments

This led to a second surgery and in addition, 6 months of chemotherapy, then reconstructive surgery. “Most of us know someone who has gone through chemo and can relate when I say it kills everything. My side effects from the chemo and present medications are a challenge every day.”  Joan has a year and a half left of meds of the five-year treatment plan she must follow that she got from these compounding pharmacies.  Some days, the meds cause her fingers to swell and can often create obstacles for her when trying to grip a bar or kettle bell. And this is not the only hurdle that Joan tackles when she attends CrossFit. Joan travels about 45 minutes from the lake to get to CFP and work out.

“My husband Vic, and all of our sons are all Crossfitters. Vic travels a lot for business and always finds a box to visit while he’s on the road. Believe me…he’s a serious CrossFitter!! He started at CFP after we bought a house on Lake Martin and tries to get a workout in on Saturdays. He’s a member of CrossFit Troy in Troy, OH. Our youngest son, Matthew, works out at Full Force Crossfit in Santa Clarita CA where he attends Cal Arts. Our oldest, Ben, is in Intel at Wright-Patterson AFB and is a member of Centerville CrossFit in Dayton, OH. Our middle son, Kyle, plays baseball for the Lake Erie Crushers and gets a workout in whenever he visits. Our daughter, Carli, is busy teaching and chasing our two beautiful granddaughters around in Tulsa OK, which is a workout in itself!!”

Her beautiful children

“This fall I’ll retire from the Air Force Reserves (Vic and I were both active duty AF for over 10 years each). I’m stationed at Wright-Patterson AFB and travel back and forth for my duty weekends. After 22 years it’s time to retire. I’m not physically able to keep up anymore which I hate. I am looking forward to being at the lake full time though.”

“I’d like to thank the CFP coaches for their patience with me. You are all so encouraging. It’s frustrating to ask for everything to be modified. Coming from a military background, I’m used to sucking it up and getting in line!”  It’s a privilege to work out with such a welcoming and encouraging group of individuals.”

“Everyday is such a blessing. My faith, family and friends have been amazing through all of this. Their love and support lifts me up and carries me. Whenever I get down about something like my hair being way too thin or I don’t feel good, I hear Vic in my head saying “consider the alternative”. His words help me laugh at the little things and be so very thankful for the big ones!!”

Joan and Vic living it up on Lake Martin

Joan is on the end of her journey and its amazing to see what she has been through. Joan is an inspiration to not just the females at any gym, she is an inspiration to us all.

Joan usually attends workouts on Saturdays with her husband Vic and various times throughout the week. They are planning a CFP lake day in June and want everyone to attend. We all can’t wait!