Exercising in Nature

This time of year, in Vermont, the leaves are just coming out. We’ve had a lot of rain this year, and the green is a very welcome sight. I was driving back home, along a river, when I remembered: this is the time of year that I was just starting chemotherapy four years ago.

I remember how strange the normal signs of spring looked to me during my cancer ordeal. I felt like I couldn’t get enough of looking at those new signs of life. Spring, always beautiful to see, looked even more potent and life-filled.

I was scared of chemotherapy, and didn’t know how it would be to have chemotherapy drugs (Carbo/Taxol) for six times, every three weeks. I had just had major surgery. But, I remember just looking at the leaves and thinking how beautiful they were.

Nature has always been a tonic to me. It was before cancer, and it certainly was during treatment.

I like to enjoy nature and exercise together. During my cancer treatment, I would walk outdoors often, swim in a lake , or just enjoy walking around the garden. I know some people enjoy “working out” in a gym. I applaud them for their exercise habits, but I’m more comfortable exercising in the natural environment. It adds so much pleasure, for me, to hear the sounds and see the sights of nature around me. It reminds me that I’m alive.

I hope that if you are facing a cancer challenge, not only will you find a way to make exercise part of your cancer recovery, but I hope you can do some of your exercise in nature. It can soothe your spirit well.