We recently received a letter from Virginia W. a Physique 57 client, who asked us to share her story with you about her fight against breast cancer. Read on to find out how strength, positivity and a sense of community can carry you through even the darkest of times. UPDATE: Check out this video on NYTimes.com of Virgina’s story.

Dear Physique 57 –
I wanted to share this story with you. During a Physique 57 class in April of 2012, I found myself adjusting my top during back dancing and was able to feel a lump in my breast. It had never been there before and concerned but not alarmed I made an appointment to see the doctor. About 2 weeks later I received the diagnosis that I had breast cancer. At age 31, with no family history of cancer, this was a complete shock.  It had spread to my lymph nodes and required surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

Virginia W. pictured with Physique 57 Instructor, Emily Z.

The night before my surgery I did an Advanced Physique 57 class and went into this battle with Physique 57 in my mind and heart. Throughout this entire time my gauge of my strength has been “Am I able to get through a Physique 57 class?” The doctors told me I couldn’t exercise but I assured them that Physique 57 was more of a pilates/ballet workout. If any doctor every attended a Physique 57 class they would have yelled at me knowing how intense it is. But I didn’t want to stop- even if it had to be a private class or even if I could only do 1 rep.  Going to class and being there was so important for me to feel like myself. All the teachers were supportive, patient, caring and most importantly friends to me during a very scary time. I felt like myself being there even without hair or without a boob.

Eight months later, as I conclude my major treatment items I reflect on what got me through, and I have to say Physique 57 had a lot to do with it. It motivated me, challenged me and most importantly saved me in so many ways.

Please share this with your clients. We all go through our lives and jobs and rarely get a moment that you truly feel like you have made someone’s life better- to everyone at Physique, you have done that for me so, thank you.

In good health-

Virginia W.

Feel free to leave comments below for Virginia. She will check in to read them.