Book Review: WARRIOR: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED by Jessica Duemig

WARRIOR: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED by Jessica Duemig

A Women’s Health/Cancer Novel published by Bright Publishing, LLC (08/11/20)

First reviewed through Reedsy Discovery

Summary:

One woman’s story of and experience with a triple-negative breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment and recovery. The story follows the nine most challenging months of her 32-year old life.

Keywords:

Women’s Health, Cancer, Breast Cancer Survivor, Triple Negative Breast Cancer, 2017, Age 32, Aggressive Treatment Plan, Chemotherapy, Surgery, Fertility Preservation, Reconstruction

My Review:

I zipped through the first half of the book, mesmerized with Jessica’s story and all the fascinating details of a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Jessica’s writing style is charming and humorous. She provides the full picture, filling in all the little details as she tells her story. As someone who has not had firsthand or even secondhand experience or knowledge of cancer of any kind (let alone breast cancer), I felt like I could truly empathize with Jessica’s story and truly understand what she was going through. I know cancer is no joke but I never really knew what it felt like to go through a double mastectomy surgery and recovery before reading her story. Jessica was just one year older than me when she was diagnosed and she brought a little more fear of this unknown into my heart. But she also laid it all out there. If I were to receive a similar diagnosis or knew someone going through something similar, I would definitely recommend a book like this. Fear of the unknown can grip you and fester but knowing all these little details could pull back some of that worry. And Jessica writes about her experience with more than just details, firsthand knowledge, and a little bit of advice, she also writes about her experience with humor, compassion, and wit.

The second half of the book started to lose my attention. After Jessica finished with the details of her experience – Parts 1 and 2 of the novel – she delves deeper into the self-help/inspiration/motivation/support aspect that makes the reading experience feel much more like reading nonfiction than the first two parts. I started to lose interest in Part 3 because this is the part of cancer that I’ve read about over and over. The Grief, Strength, Attitude, etc. is generally what I’ve read over and over when it comes to cancer. I did not appreciate this part as much as the more detailed first two parts; however, I’m sure that for someone who is actually experiencing a similar diagnosis or supporting someone with cancer, this is the moment that could help provide momentum and strength.

Jessica has a natural writing style that is easy to read. She is a great storyteller and has a knack for punchy hashtags. Though I hope not to read a similar book by this author (#cancerfree), I would definitely pick up and read her next book.

This novel was published by Bright Publishing, LLC on 08/11/2020 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

2020 Physical Activity – Dance, Health, and Fitness

How do you work out?

Pole Dancing Highlights for 2020
2. I took 35 classes total
3. I spent $225 total (I have credit as an ambassador that I use towards classes)
4. I spent 55.75 hours in class
5. I worked with 7 different instructors

Lifetime money spent (just for pole classes): $7139.95
2014 – $90
2015 – $422.21
2016 – $1777
2017 – $2594
2018 – $1465.74
2019 – $566
2020 – $225

Lifetime total pole classes: 445
2014 – 6
2015 – 19
2016 – 109
2017 – 139
2018 – 92
2019 – 37
2020 – 35

Total time spent poling: 703.25 hours (29.3 days)
2014 – 10.5 hours
2015 – 37.5 hours
2016 – 173.5 hours
2017 – 226 hours
2018 – 144.5 hours
2019 – 55.5 hours
2020 – 55.75 hours

Class Breakdown at different studios for 2020
Divine – 20/35 = 57%
Spinderella – 14/35 = 40%
Habitat Pole and Fitness – 1/35 = 3%

 

In other fitness accomplishments:

  • I biked 446.5 miles (390 miles on my new ebike)
  • I took 16 stretch and flexibility classes
  • I took 3 booty dance classes
  • I took 1 yoga class
  • I took 3 inversions conditioning classes
  • I took 3 handstands classes
  • I took 4 Pilates classes
  • I played soccer one time (and practiced several times)
  • I completed P90X along with some other Beach Body classes
  • I lost 3% body fat over the summer
  • I was able to do 9 chin-ups in a row
  • 7/17/2020 ran a 10:03 mile (after a 13:50 mile and then 11:02 mile with exercise-induced asthma)

My favorite fitness photos: Running up a small pyramid in Teotihuacán, Mexico; biking home across the 520 bridge over Lake Washington on my new ebike; camel pose success during Divine flexibility class

2019 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2018 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2017 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2016 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2015 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2019 Physical Activity – Dance, Health, and Fitness

2018 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2017 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2016 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2015 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

How do you work out?

Pole Dancing Highlights for 2019
2. I took 37 classes total
3. I spent $566 total
4. I spent 55.5 hours in class
5. I worked with 9 different instructors

Lifetime money spent (just for pole classes): $6914.95
2014 – $90
2015 – $422.21
2016 – $1777
2017 – $2594
2018 – $1465.74
2019 – $566

Lifetime total pole classes: 410
2014 – 6
2015 – 19
2016 – 109
2017 – 139
2018 – 92
2019 – 37

Total time spent poling: 647.5
2014 – 10.5 hours
2015 – 37.5 hours
2016 – 173.5 hours
2017 – 226 hours
2018 – 144.5 hours
2019 – 55.5

Class Breakdown at different studios for 2019
Divine – 6/37 = 16%
Spinderella – 27/37 = 73%
P3 – 1/37 = 3%
BeSpun – 1/37 = 3%
Vertical Academy – 2/37 = 5%

 

In other fitness accomplishments:

  • I measured my body three times: Once with BodySPEC 1/4/19, and twice with InBody 3/31/19 and 7/26/19
  • I completed the Blogilates 100 abs challenge in January
  • I completed the Blogilates Glutes, abs, and squats challenge in August
  • I took 1 Thriller rehearsal class this year
  • I biked 221.8 miles
  • Did some strength training (16 sessions)
  • Took 5 AcroYoga classes
  • I played tennis 3 times
  • I tried out Katalyst fitness

 

My favorite fitness photos: Buying a new helmet, volunteering at PSO, hiking in CA

 

2018 Physical Activity – Dance/Tennis/Acro/Fitness

2017 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2016 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

2015 Physical Activity Blog Post Breakdown

How do you work out?

Pole Dancing Highlights for 2018
2. I took 92 classes total
3. I spent $1465.74 total
4. I spent 144.5 hours in class
5. I worked with 12 different instructors

Lifetime money spent (just for pole classes): $6348.55
2014 – $90
2015 – $422.21
2016 – $1777
2017 – $2594
2018 – $1465.74

Lifetime total pole classes: 365
2014 – 6
2015 – 19
2016 – 109
2017 – 139
2018 – 92

Total time spent poling: 592
2014 – 10.5 hours
2015 – 37.5 hours
2016 – 173.5 hours
2017 – 226 hours
2018 – 144.5 hours

Class Breakdown at different studios for 2018
Divine – 21/92 = 23%
Spinderella – 53/92 = 58%
P3 – 18/92 = 19%

Class Type breakdowns for 2018
Intermediate Inversions = 13
Intermediate/Advanced Spins = 6
Level 3-1 = 35
Level 2-2 = 1
“Intermediate” classes = 8
Open level drop ins = 11
Other = (pole power hour, Open choreography session) = 1
Level 3-2 = 12
Ayesha workshops = 4
Boudoir Classes = 1

In other fitness accomplishments (53.75 hours):
1. I did 3 acro yoga classes and one at home yoga class (8 hours total)
2. I went to 2 Thriller refresher classes before the Flashmob dance at Thrill the World (2 hours)
3. I went to only 4 volleyball drop ins (8 hours)
4. I took a golf lesson with my SO (45 minutes)
5. I went to 6 different 24-hour fitness classes with my SO (5 hours)
6. I spent 7 hours in the pool doing aqua classes and laps with my SO (7 hours)
7. I started playing tennis and went to the park to play 18 times with my SO (18 hours)
8. I played basketball – shooting hoops – once with my SO (2 hours)
9. I went on two scenic hikes with my SO (3 hours)

 

My favorite fitness photos:

 

Rachel’s Favorite Recipes throughout 2018

2016 Favorite Recipes

2017 Favorite Recipes

My health and my work influenced the new recipes I tried this past year. I went from working two part time jobs to working both a full time job and a part time job to finally working a full time job from home. I also had a lot of gut healing going on in 2018 and for half the year was on a strict LEAP diet. According to Emily Fonnesbeck, RD Nutrition Therapist, “The Lifestyle Eating and Performance (LEAP) program is a diet for those suffering from delayed food and food chemical sensitivities. These sensitivities can result in an immune system reaction with the release of mediators which cause pain and inflammation in the body.” I was not eating the following foods strictly for 3 months and then reducing my intake of the yellows and continuing to avoid the reds: Coffee, Salmon,  Sweet Potato, Onion, Cherry, Cocoa (Reds). Chicken, Turkey, Pinto Bean, Soybean, MSG, Cottage Cheese, Cow’s Milk, Whey, Maple, Sesame, Clam, Tuna, Wheat, Amaranth, Honeydew Melon, Banana (Yellows).

These are the recipes I have liked and used more than once:

  1. Instant Pot Split Pea Soup
  2. Gluten Free Bread
  3. Pistachio Macarons
  4. Black Bean Brownies
  5. Banana Muffins
  6. Meringue Cookies

Continue reading

Seattle Specific Saturdays: Local Fitness Club Review – Koko Fitness

Pros:

As a newbie to weight lifting and those infernal machines where you change the weight and hook up different attachments, having the workout planned out in advance for me was wonderful and made me a lot less nervous to step into the gym.

The workouts are timed.

The workouts can be personalized depending on what you are looking to get out of your workout.

Every time I went I didn’t feel crowded.

There is a helpful employee there during staffed hours.

Easy parking

Central Woodinville location

You can try this gym out

The equipment is new and clean and the building is clean as well.

Data is readily available for all your workout sessions – you get a historical view of what you’ve accomplished!

For example – look at what I did during my trial:

Cons:

The machines are still made for regular sized adults (I’m 5’2″)

The beginner sessions were not challenging for me

The timeout on the touchscreens kept getting in my way

It took the entire first session to understand how to track my progress with the technology

If you go out of turn/out of step, you’ve lost your workout

The price of membership

You’re still mostly working out alone (I like the group mentality)