Hammer Strength Standard: Cheryl Nitahara Is No Wimp
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Cheryl Nitahara questioned her circumstances.
“How could I have cancer when I'm so fit and I've been healthy all my life?" she asked. "I don't smoke, barely drink. Do everything right that I thought, and here I have cancer.”
After successfully completing the Chicago Marathon in both the fall of 2017 and 2018, Nitahara qualified for the Boston Marathon, which was a dream of hers.
However, that dream was put on hold when Nitahara found a lump in her left breast and received confirmation in December that it was a malignant tumor.
“That started a whole whirlwind of things, and then my story changed. Cheryl Nitahara, wife, daughter, friend, emergency room nurse, and now a cancer warrior,” Nitahara said.
As a firm believer of how fitness plays an aspect in how people overcome obstacles that they may, or not be ready for, Nitahara claims that her fitness journey helped her inadvertently prepare for her battle against cancer.
“I (had) all the questions, then it kind of hit me. I said to myself, well that's why I got (cancer). Because I was strong,” Nitahara said. “I'm strong and I can get through this. I decided to just push through it. I was able to run up until maybe the fourth treatment. Fifth and sixth (it got) harder,” she explained. “After that I (had a) hard time even walking a mile or two, and that's when I realized cancer treatment isn't for wimps.
Although the diagnosis has hindered her training for the Boston Marathon, Nitahara has no intention of letting anything stop her from achieving her dream of completing the run. She is currently running up to four or five miles now, while waiting to get through another surgery.
“The Boston Marathon is everybody's dream race to run. And with having this diagnosis and having to come back from this cancer treatment and everything, it would show that cancer didn't beat me,” Nitahara professed. “Anybody that sees me, and if I'm able to do this, which I'm pretty sure I will, that they know that it's not the end after cancer and treatment. You can still do the things you want to do, and that's what I want to prove.”