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Topic: Motorcycle fitness

Forum: Working on Your Fitness —

Conversations about exercise, diet, and getting back in shape after breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Posted on: Feb 11, 2020 11:08PM

NewtoPink2018 wrote:

Hello All! I am a motorcyclist and have found it challenging to find the best resource to get back to upper body strength. Will my mastectomy / reconstruction ever get close to "normal"? Is there a resource to help get my upper body, arms, biceps back to to strength?

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Apr 22, 2020 07:35PM KKimi wrote:

Hi there,

I'm a motorcyclist too, but only had a lumpectomy. I was running about 3-5 miles 3 days a week before the surgery. I started walking again 1 month post surgery - walked a little less than 2 miles. I'm small chested, but had to wear 2 jogging bras for the first couple of weeks that I started exercising again. I usually walk a couple of cool-down rounds with light weights and do stretching exercises as I do that. I hold the weights (only 2 lbs each) out in front of me in the position of my bars for 20-30 seconds at a time.

My first ride was as a passenger 2 months after surgery, and that was enough. My first solo ride was about 3 weeks after that (wearing the double bras). I just hit 6 months post surgery and feel like I can go for longer rides again. I'm also back up to 5 miles when I run. HOWEVER, I've noticed that the muscles around the surgical sites have tightened up and are feeling more sore and bruised. My breast is also uncomfortable (painful throbbing) lately. I'm thinking that I need to increase the amount of stretching that I do to help with the pain.

I don't think I have a problem with strength as much as stamina while riding. What kind of bike do you ride? Do you have to muscle it around a lot? I ride a Harley Softail Slim (I'm short), so the center of gravity on my bike is low - not too much actual "muscling" involved in riding. I find that longer rides make my breast ache later, and I'm physically drained after the ride, but that may be a side-effect of the radiation (the fatigue they keep talking about). I require naps now. lol

I hope you get another answer to your question. I'd love to hear what it is.

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Apr 23, 2020 09:35AM NewtoPink2018 wrote:

Hello KKimi!

Thanks for sharing your story. Something I do know is every breast cancer story is different, no two paths the same. None of them easy for sure!

Like yourself, I did have a lumpectomy but after a couple of tries they were unable to get all the margins so a mastectomy was needed. I did not have the radiation but appreciate the fatigue women feel after. The surgery and reconstructions path has it's own challenges.

I have been a motorcyclist for many years. Currently I ride a BMW f700GS adventure bike with a focus on local roads and paved mountain roads. Off road riding in the dirt is too difficult with such a big bike. :) This bike is a lowered BMW that makes it very stable and easy to touch the ground. I love it!

I was able to get back to some shorter rides within 3 months once my surgeon released me. I agree, riding does not take a lot of chest muscle strength but I want to be sure I am prepared and confident for any ride. I am aware of the fatigue after and find a need to raise the arm on a pillow while I sleep to limit the swelling and irritation. Indeed, keeping range of motion, even after the one year mark is a priority.

What I have found difficult is keeping all upper body muscles in shape as those exercises that trigger the chest muscles can cause the discomfort you described. Planks trigger those chest muscles. Bicep work triggers the chest muscles. Yoga as well. I continue to try and find the balance for staying in shape and not "over-doing".

This is actually a short response but I want to thank you for responding. Best wishes and stay safe.

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