In December of 2018, 12 days before Christmas, my husband was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).
It was a shock, to say the least. My 23 year old, rugby-playing, weight-lifting, healthy-eating, handsome husband had cancer.
We arrived at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center that day for some blood tests because of unexplainable (and horrendous) pain he had been experiencing for a few weeks.
We left the appointment with no answers, went to grab food and 15 minutes into our drive home received a call to turn around immediately because what they found looked “pretty sinister.”
Now, I don’t want to spoil the ending of this story, but before you get worried know that we are 1 year and 7 months down the line and my husband is happy, healthy, and in remission. We also joke about the “sinister” comment pretty regularly, so no hard feelings about that bedside manner (or lack thereof).
But on December 13, 2018, we had no idea we would be where we are today. There were days and weeks spent stuck inside 4 corners of a hospital room.
At least I was able to be with him unlike what so many are experiencing today in this COVID-19 pandemic.
There were nights (too many to count) spent giving back rubs while my husband tried to sleep on the bathroom floor between… well you know.
Chemo does amazing things to cancer but the path you take to get there isn’t pleasant or easy.
There were a lot of days spent catching up on sleep, sitting in the quiet tending to my plants, updating friends + family and trying to figure out things like Medical TDY orders, Special Compensations for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL), Non-Medical Attendant orders (NMA) and the Medical Evaluation Board process.
Even with a cancer diagnosis and on-going chemotherapy treatments, the most stress came from dealing with the military side of things. If you ever find yourself in that position, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
But through all of it-we found opportunity.
We met amazing people – quite literally every single doctor, nurse, social worker, staff member, etc. at WRNMMC was amazing and is considered part of our family today.
We learned amazing things about the human body, cancer and treatment.
We grew as individuals and as a couple.
We came out of this with more love to give, more patience, kindness, and joy found in things like not getting nauseous from coffee or being able to eat a medium-rare steak.
Heck, I came out of this with a career.
If it weren’t for this struggle, I would have never started training friends and family online. It would have taken me months, if not years, for me to find my individual voice as a trainer.
Prior to December 13, 2018, I was a Certified Personal Trainer + Group Fitness Instructor (with a B.S. in Health Studies) who coached group classes at a local gym (a wonderful job that truly ignited my passion to help others in their health + fitness journeys).
I had my own little family (me, my husband and our crazy husky, Milo). We had amazing friends (still do). I loved every part of my life.
Fast-forward to today, August of 2020, and I am still all of the above… but now I’m also a Fitness Nutrition Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist and the owner of my own online training business, Cochell Fitness LLC.
I’m here to empower women with sustainable training + eating habits. I’m here to remind “ex” athletes that you are still an athlete.
I currently offer one-on-one online training + nutrition coaching and have steadily been growing my business and loving every single second of it.
Checkout www.cochellfitness.com/join-my-team for opportunities to work with me!
So I’ll leave you with this:
No matter what your struggle is, there is opportunity waiting somewhere inside of it.
It might suck now, you might not be able to see it yet. Sit with the suck. Experience it, but don’t stay there. You might be missing an opportunity that will change your life.
Kirsi started Cochell Fitness LLC to empower women and “ex” athletes with sustainable training + eating habits. She prides herself on being a teammate, not just a coach. She works one on one with her clients to educate them so they feel confident in their abilities and program execution. At the end of the day, she helps clients find success and learn about themselves so they are able to go on to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.