Able (Member Blog: Emma Burgess)

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Here goes: 

So a term I am utterly obsessed with after beating cancer last year is ABLE. Being able sounds like such a basic thing doesn't it? It's something we don't give much thought to and instead feel like it's just our right. However being ABLE to do things really is the greatest privilege and it’s one that we don't notice until it's taken away.

Not being able to do the things you want to do is such a powerless feeling and one I struggled with in cancer. I used to hear people complain about work, exercise or that social event they wish they didn't rsvp to. When they made these things a chore I suddenly felt baffled! Not to say these concerns are trivial however I guess I had a different perspective. I would find myself getting almost jealous that the people around me were able to even make those choices.

At times I felt so ignorant of how I used to think that my health was just a given. That I didn't cherish all the times it allowed me to be well and all the choices that subsequently gave me. I recall so strongly the feeling of barely being able to make it out of bed some days. Of struggling to do the bare minimum and how I used to long to be able to exercise.

Once I was in remission the strong desire to take my body back and make choices surged. I wasn't fully well again but I knew what the other extreme was and I wanted nothing more than to start somewhere - anywhere. There were many times it was hard and I struggled to do the physical things that were once easy for me.I was also so frustrated that my body would not allow me to do what my mind wanted.

In those weak moments I came back to the term ABLE time and time again. I reminded myself that now I was ABLE to make these choices, I was ABLE to exercise (even if it was not at full capacity). Even time it was hard I would remind myself that I could now do hard things - I had proved that to myself. If cancer didn't kill me then a push up wasn't about to (can I get an amen!).

I feel so incredibly grateful to be ABLE to exercise and to make choices in my life. I no longer find this a chore - I find it empowering. Cancer is both the hardest and most humbling thing I have ever gone through and I feel so grateful to be able to live life a lot louder.

Health is a privilege and it’s not a right. If I can impart some wisdom that cancer has give me - don’t take being able for granted and let it be the reason you start something great.

Love Em XO

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