How old are you?
I am 49 as of August 21.
Tell me a little about yourself.
I am a Mother of 2 with step kids and a total of 8 grand babies. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on October 5, 2009 and 5 days later my husband was killed in a car wreck. About a year later, I met the man I am married to now. 5 ½ years ago I started Crossfit and loved it and still do. I have done a few Crossfit competitions but felt like I had hit a wall with it so 3 months ago I decided I am coming up on my 10 cancer anniversary so why not try a powerlifting meet.
How long have you been active or been working out?
I played softball all the my teenage years and I guess somewhat always been active even if it was walking daily. After I had bilateral mastectomy with the reconstruction in November of 2009. I knew I had to get back on my feet and go back to work for my kids. I was an Advanced EMT and working for a 911 service so I had to work hard to be able to go back to that and provide for my kids and myself. I started as soon as the last drain tube was pulled and was allowed too. After nearly 4 weeks of drain tube which put me into December I started stretching and by the end of January I was allowed to go back to work, lifting and pulling. But 5 ½ years ago when I ran across Crossfit is when I truly fell in love with working out.
When & how did you get diagnosed with breast cancer and what made you go get checked?
One Saturday morning in September 2009, I was taking a shower and felt a lump, doing what I do for a living my next shift at work I stop the first doctor I saw in our little small town hospital and ask him to write me an order for a mammogram. He ask when and I explain to him what I had found and within a few weeks my greatest fear had came true.I was very blessed in that I never had to have treatment I decided to have the bilateral mastectomy and my cancer being Stage 1 was enough.
Tell me how fitness impacted your overall recovery?
Fitness was the only way I could back to work as quickly as I did giving my career.
What does your normal workout look like today?
Right now my normal workouts are hard since my meet is next Saturday October 12. I want to show up and give it everything I have. I workout with heavy weights for 1 to 2 hours and go power walk for at least 1 hour a day and sometimes 2 . With weights I workout 5 to 6 days a week and the cardio is everyday.
How important is powerlifting now not just physically, but mentally?
Powerlifting for me has been a challenge because in a lot of ways its so different then Crossfit and I love the challenge to do better everyday. I feel like I have just a drive and will to want it all.
You said you're in the best shape of your life now, how did you get there?
I have work hard everyday wanting to look better and feel better. I have had a few to tell me rest is good and I know deep down it is but I don’t know how to slow down. I am blessed and alive so I want to give it everything I have.
What do you say to people who think that 49 is too old to start powerlifting?
Age is number, it’s a feeling that you chose. I chose to stay active and happy.
If you had one piece of advice for women over the age of 35, what would it be?
Oh goodness don’t let age bother you. Get up everyday and make today the best day of your life. Celebrate your gift and make a difference in someone life. I always want others to know never to give up and always push forward even when you don’t feel like it. It’s a mindset that you get up with everyday. Make today better than yesterday.
I've been cancer free for 10 years now and this is my chance to help others.
Dee Ann Biggers in OLG Crush Cancer Tank