Shelley Kagan is one of our OG members working out at Mo-Mentum since 2013. The last few years she has overcome some incredibly tough circumstances including breast cancer treatments, unemployment and the death of her best friend during the Seal Beach Massacre. Working out made her physically, mentally, and emotionally stronger during a difficult time in her life (plus she lost pounds in the process).
While battling breast cancer, she had to stop working out for eight months. She realized how much fitness was a part of her life and how much she missed it. Now that she’s back to working out she is stronger than ever and rarely misses a workout. Congratulations Shelley, you are truly a Superhero!
Q & A
Describe what your life (and your health) was like before fitness.
My life was super busy – I was involved in charity work and multiple booster clubs. I had three teenage sons and they all participated in multiple sports. I was queen of the bleachers. I did make a point of walking my dog an hour a day. I basically took no time for myself.
Was there ever a low point or an experience that made your priorities change?
I had multiple awful situations occur over about a three-year span. My best friend was murdered in the Seal Beach Meritage massacre. All of the things that I went through during those years were terrible, but this stands alone due to the unexpectedness, shock, and anger.
How did fitness come into your life (or back into your life)?
I was that person that would join a gym, go twice, and then pay for a year without going. (I did that more than once.) A girlfriend called to tell me she had started working out with a trainer. I commended her and told her it was a goal of mine to someday start exercising regularly too (I said this for years). The next morning she was in my driveway to take me with her. I couldn’t think of a way out fast enough so I just got in her car.
What kind of results have you seen since starting a regular fitness program?
I am physically stronger. I also witness other member’s bodies’ change, which is inspiring.
Please talk more about the actual changes in your life? (weight loss, confidence, more endurance, less medications etc).
I started working out twice a week with a trainer and twice a week spinning at South Coast Athletic Club. I saw Amanda’s classes and decided to try one. I probably lost 15 pounds and started discovering muscle definition. I believe, with the stressful things going on in my life that exercise kept me sane. I became committed to exercising and gym time was scheduled in so other appointments wouldn’t conflict.
What kind of changes have you seen there? What do these changes mean for your lifestyle, longevity, finances, etc?
I’m aware of what I eat. I don’t always make a healthy choice, but for the most part, I do. The commitment for me is what I absolutely was missing before. When I was forced to take time off, I came back. I’m proud of that
Why do you make fitness a priority in your life?
I need to have exercise be part of my life. It controls my stress and keeps me in good health. I’m dependent on it and I think that is a good thing.
These days, what makes you truly happy and feel at peace?
My children and grandson are healthy and happy. My boys love that I workout and it’s really fun to share that interest with them.
How do you feel compared to 1 year ago?
It’s been a year since I completed breast cancer treatments. I feel blessed and healthy. I couldn’t exercise for about 8 months but I came back! I’m back at it but my goal is now to loose the 10 pounds I gained during that process.
Specifics: age? job title? children? spouse?
I have a son who is married, a doctor, and living in Baltimore. Another son who is a lawyer in San Diego, and my youngest works in insurance and has a new baby- my first grandchild! I believe age is what you feel mentally and physically. For me, that’s pretty good.