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Approximately five years ago, I ended a very toxic relationship. I wanted to be stronger both mentally and physically, so I started lifting weights. The gym gave me so much strength, even beyond the iron. Since then, my goals have varied and changed. The most recent goal for me was to return to the stage after being diagnosed with breast cancer and enduring 16 chemo treatments, 3 surgeries including a bilateral mastectomy, reconstruction, and many other procedures.
Training through my chemo and in between surgeries was extremely challenging. I lost so much strength and gained weight from the medications. It was very hard to see the body and physique I had worked so hard for change so much, and there was nothing I could do about it. I can't say that I ever had moments where I wanted to quit. I knew from the time I was diagnosed that I would make it back onto the stage. However, there were some days at the gym that my body wouldn't and couldn't do another set. Those were the hardest days of all. Some days I trained for only 20 minutes, but I always came back the next day and tried again. I had to keep going. I had to show my friends, family, and my son that I would not only BEAT cancer, but I would also return to the stage and laugh in cancer's face.
I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that when I prepared for and competed in my 2 shows PRIOR to my cancer diagnosis, I was laying the groundwork in my mind and body to fight cancer. Bodybuilding is an extreme mental challenge, because you are constantly pushing limits and breaking boundaries. The boundaries are only in place because of mental limitations. And of course, bodybuilding requires physical strength and dedication. In the same way, my mind and body was pushed to extremes through my diagnosis, surgeries, and chemotherapy. Without bodybuilding, I would not have conquered cancer in the same capacity. That is why fitness is such a passion for me. I will continue to stay strong and healthy and inspire others to do the same. Unfortunately, cancer does not discriminate. However, we can be the very best and healthiest versions of ourselves in order to fight any illnesses that come our way!
My journey has, first and foremost, shown my 10 year old son that NOTHING can stop him from achieving his goals. NO SETBACK, no matter how big, should deter him from following his dreams. He has been by my side this entire journey. He will be (and already is) the strongest, most grateful, and hardest working young man. Secondly, I am a different woman because of my journey. The hardships especially have made me a stronger woman, a better mother, filled with more gratitude, perspective and love than ever before. Sometimes it takes life-threatening and life-altering situations to change a person.
My message to everyone and anyone is no matter how big the setback, no matter how impossible it seems, never give up. Never let your dreams take a back seat to anything. You CAN conquer your setbacks. You CAN achieve your dreams. Keep fighting. Fight with integrity, passion, compassion, and love. BELIEVE that anything is possible
I LOVE training. And I love training HARD. I ask a lot of my activewear. Full support and coverage is extremely important to me. I don't have to worry about anything falling out or my uneven nipples showing in a Handful bra. The only thing I need to be concerned about in the gym is my mind/muscle connection, creating and building the very best version of myself.
I am so excited to wear the BATTLE CRY PINK bra. Even the name gives me goose bumps and makes me so proud to be a survivor. One year cancer free!!!
Erin I love your passion and perspective! Continue fighting and show the world this C will not put you down! Thanks for sharing your story!
I love your message! Strong and amazing – true grit. Go Girl!
Thank you for being BADASS and rocking Handful (and laughing in cancer’s face)! 🤩
Your last paragraph brought me to tears as it perfectly describes the PURPOSE of Handul (“supporting” you so you can focus on ALL of the important tasks in your life)! 💪🏽🧡😘
Keep laughing in cancer’s face, Erin! Your strength inspires me❤