spin saved me after my treatment of prostate cancer


I was about four months out from having my prostate removed and sitting on my front porch sipping a beer when my wife came home from “spin.” I have cycled all my life but I thought when people did “spin” they were doing some acrobatic exercise. My wife, who is quite the exercise enthusiast, approached me from the car soaking wet. “I have never sweat like that in my life,” she said. ( I did not have the heart to tell her that my mother told me that “horses sweat, men perspire and ladies get warm.”) “What actually do you do at spin?” I asked. “You are on a bike that you adjust the tension and then to music ride seated, standing and  everything in between,” she said. As it turned out, we had hired an office manager about that time that was “into spin.” And it so happened that a new YMCA opened near my office, about five minutes away. I had been essentially dry for about three weeks at the time and decided to give it a whirl. My office manager, Keith, was the instructor and  I was quite surprised at what I saw and experienced. First of all, he was all decked out like a real competitive and professional biker and so was most of the class. There were attractive girls in the class all dressed in tight stuff and there were fans, lights blinking and loud as hell music. Keith began yelling stuff and choreographing the class to the song that was playing. I have done about every sport known man and have three knee surgeries to prove it, but I had never seen or experienced anything like this. He was yelling stuff through a little microphone attached to his ears and everybody was just pouring sweat, I mean pouring. It was a veritable show he put on, he calls it pyscho-spin. After that first class of course I am soaked as well and all of my leg muscles are sore as hell. Keith asks, ” How did you like it?” ” I think I get your gig Keith. I get the deal man, the music, fans, girls…I get it.” I have always exercised on my own, cycling and rowing a skull I have at the lake attest to that, but this spin stuff  appealed to me. I’d work until about 5:25 and rush over to the Y for the class. I’d make rounds after the class and did office dictations early the next morning. That was about three years ago. I have done 3-5 times a week every since. I have never been in better shape. I have enjoyed meeting new people through the class. I look forward to seeing them and I especially enjoy the “cool down” phase of the class. There is a sense of pride and accomplishment at the end of a class and I am sure the endorphin effect adds to the feeling of well-being that over comes you after a spin class. I am hooked on spin but have been working on something that rhymes with spin to some how tie it to prostate cancer but have not figured that out yet.  ” Gland spin” or “Prostata-spin” or “Put your prostate on a seat for cause” just are not getting it. I’ll keep working on it. I was very happy to see this article on spin and how it can help cancer patients. Spin’s time has come.

CYCLING SUCCESS: Cancer survivors cycle themselves back to life
Foundation donates $10K to local program
Andy FalesReporter
8:32 AM CDT, April 22, 2010

Cycling class at the Clive YMCA has a special air about it.

Along with the sweat and the strain, there’s pride.

“I’m Kathy Jorgenson and I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor,” announces one participant.

“I’m Judy Neppel and I’m a cancer survivor. I had kidney cancer almost five years ago and I survived,” announces another.

“I’m Gail Andres,” says a man riding nearby. “I’m a cancer survivor from prostate cancer and Dr. Deming was my radiologist.”

When Dr. Dick Deming isn’t treating cancer, he’s pushing its would-be victims.

And though their legs burn and their hearts race, they’re loving every grueling minute.

“Have you ever done a spin class?” asks Deming, the medical director at the Mercy Cancer Center in Clive, and leader of the “Livestrong at the YMCA” cycling class. “For those of you who haven’t, you might have walked by and you go ‘there’s no way I can do that’ well, that’s kind of part of what going through cancer is all about.”

“There’s a great sense of community here,” says Don Cue, a survivor of prostate cancer and cycling class participant, “a lot of these folks know each other, they like each other, they get used to seeing one another.”

Wednesday night, they saw this: a $10,000 check donated by Des Moines’ Livestrong Foundation — to provide more cancer survivors with the opportunity to cycle themselves well.

“There’s a number of studies that show that patients going through cancer treatment who engage in rigorous physical activity while going through treatment will actually have fewer side effects,” says Deming.

“My own personal cancer left some lasting side effects,” says Cue. “I lost a lot of muscle mass, I lost a lot of my own fitness, my endurance during my treatment. This program helped me get that back.”

More cycling means more survivors and more pride in Clive.
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