Q&A with Lindsay Hawker on Running Past Cancer
In our support of breast cancer awareness, we interviewed mother, survivor, and certified health coach and certified run coach, Lindsay Hawker.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I usually start my day with gratitude for simply waking up. I remind myself that every day is a gift to wake up, that’s why it’s called the present! I also always start my day with a big glass of water!
Tell us about your family?
My husband Jason and I have been married for almost 15 years and we have two sons, Jett age 12 and Cash age 8. We live in Florida and love to frequent the theme parks, the beach and just love being outside enjoying nature as well.
How were you able to detect cancer at such a young age?
I found a lump at age 34 while doing a self-breast exam in the shower. Most breast cancers are detected by self exams, that’s why I’m so passionate about reminding people to complete them monthly!
Can you offer a piece of advice for talking to kids about breast cancer?
I was as open as I could be with my kids at the time and tried to explain things to their level. I explained that Mommy was really sick and was doing everything in her power to get better. I also explained that I would be losing my hair and having to wear wigs. My kids didn’t care how they got me, they just wanted to be by me, even when I was in bed sick from chemotherapy!
Best resources for learning how to properly do an at home exam?
The National Breast Cancer Foundation has a great page on how to complete a self breast exam. Also, Know Your Lemons is a great resource and app that educates you on the 12 signs of breast cancer that can be detected through exams!
Besides supporting fundraisers, like Meems is doing this week, what are other great ways to support the cause?
I love the American Cancer Society, but if you can’t donate money, then donate your time! There are great ways to volunteer in the cancer space. Including volunteering at your local cancer center or even volunteering at a local race which benefits cancer foundations.
What is your top self-care tip?
I always say that self-care is health care! My favorite self-care tip is to always prioritize sleep (shooting for at least 7-9 hours per night). Sleep is one of the most underrated healthy habits, especially in this technology connected world we live in.
Where did your desire to run come from?
I was never a runner before cancer. My desire to be active came when the ability to move my body was stripped from me. I was so sick from cancer and chemotherapy and I longed to move my body. I made a promise to myself while laying in my dark bedroom that I would move my body once I was cleared to workout. 6 weeks after my double mastectomy I went on my very first run, as I was determined to get healthy and I haven’t looked back. I have now ran thousands of miles!
How has running changed your life?
Running made me feel alive at a time when I needed it most! Running was and is hard but cancer was harder, so I always have that mental toughness to call on. Running has shown me that even in my weakest moments I am strong!
A tip for helping moms start running?
Start slowly and build up over time. Rome wasn’t built in a day. My initial goal was to run to my mailbox down the street and I built upon that over time. I still utilize run/walk intervals as it’s easier on my body than straight running. Every master was once a beginner, so it’s okay to suck at something new! Just start and keep at it!
Aside from running, what other physical activities do you recommend?
While I love running, I try to diversify and I recommend a mix of cardio, strength training and stretching (think yoga or pilates).
How do you keep your kids active?
I have boys so they are already pretty active, but my oldest has been influenced by seeing me be active. He asks to run with me sometimes and asks to join in on some 5K races as well! I’ve learned the best thing to do with kids is show them the behavior instead of telling them what to do!
Favorite products Meems is currently selling!?
I love the tennis skort, so adorable!
Future goals for running past cancer?
I am in the process of completing a Health Coach certification with the Dr. Sears Institute. I chose this certification because Dr. Sears created the L.E.A.N. system to follow as we all age. It stands for Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude and Nutrition and I can’t wait to bring all that I’ve learned with the certification to my clients.
Where can we follow along on your journey?
Christine Russell Janis writes about life as a mom of four children, living abroad, and travel on her life & style website ashadeofrose.com. You can also follow on social media @a.shade.of.rose.in.paris.