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Lift … Pump … Curl … Squat … Repeat

Lift … Pump … Curl … Squat … Repeat

This is Chapter 6 in the on-going story of Alex Kip, 23, and his battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (Type B) cancer.

I’m worried I’m not painting an entirely accurate portrait of Alex.

So much of what I’ve posted has been all about Alex in the hospital, in bed, hooked up to needles and machines, and vomiting, as he prepared for his upcoming stem cell transplant. All of this is true, and a big part of life with lymphoma, but Alex is far from weak and feeble. He’s young and strong – and a workout freak.

You've got to be strong to beat cancer

So much so he plans to bring his bike and indoor trainer to The James with him for the three to four works he’ll be cooped up there for his chemo and transplant. Working out is a big part of Alex’s physical and mental fight against the cancerous mass in his chest – and he plans to do the 100-mile route in Pelotonia11.

“It feels like I’ve been in the hospital non-stop for the last month,” he said Tuesday morning as he prepared to start pumping some iron at Excel Fitness Center in Gahanna.

This is not much of an exaggeration – and all this time in the hospital has left Alex feeling like a caged lion – and a bit on the weak side. But trust me, weak for Alex is pretty darn strong for the rest of us. He has dropped some weight due to all the chemo, and is down to about 180 pounds of pure muscle.

“I haven’t been here in about 10 days,” Alex said, and then started pumping 150 pounds over his head.

Alex has his workout routine on his iPhone, a sign of his organizational skills and how seriously he takes his workouts. He’s in the midst of studying for the personal trainer certification test – and this is how he plans to eek out a meager living when he finally gets to Manhattan and Broadway and starts auditioning.

OK, one more time...

“I have to listen to music,” he added, and danced, in time to the music coming from his ear buds, as he made his way from one machine to the next.

Tuesday’s hip-hop selections included H.A.M. by Kanye West and Jay-Z and Over by Drake.

Alex ripped his way through the 15-minute, non-stop workout, which left him sweating and coughing. He took a few minutes to hydrate and recharge.

“I want to go how I normally go, but I can’t,” he said, a little frustrated at his conditioning. “It’s not so much I’m weaker, it’s more like, breathing wise I can’t get enough oxygen. The tumor in my chest doesn’t help.”

But it wasn’t time to quit.

“I’m going to do the whole routine all over again,” he said, plugged in his ear buds and danced his way over to the bench press, where 160 pounds awaited.

To read Chapter 5 of Alex’s story, click here.

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1 Comment

  1. rosanne kraus - January 21, 2011

    I will never complain while I’m working out again! What an inspiration! This is why I’m riding the 100 mile Pelotonia. Thanks for sharing this!

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