It’s only been a few months since Amy Jordan realized she was no longer dependent on adjustments during Pilates classes. Since being diagnosed with aggressive cervical cancer and undergoing grueling treatment just over two years ago, Jordan is slowly building up her strength in hopes that she will be able to. move her body like she once did.
“I really feel like I can do the workouts I used to do with no breaks, no adjustments,” Jordan, the 47-year-old founder and CEO of WundaBar, a Pilates studio in New York City and California, tells TODAY. com. “It was sometime in November that I thought, ‘Wait a minute, I just took a class and felt about the same as I did before cancer.’ And I was so grateful.’”
In 2020, Jordan was diagnosed with small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma of the cervix, a rare and aggressive form of cervical cancer. According to the MD Anderson Cancer Center, about 100 out of 11,000 cervical cancer cases fall into the minor or major types. The diagnosis meant she had to undergo an intensive treatment plan.
“My oncologist said, ‘This is really rare and aggressive, and we have to do everything we can,'” Jordan told TODAY.com in December 2020. “‘We’re striving for a cure.’”
After five months of treatment, which included 90 hours of chemotherapy, 25 days of radiation and a radical hysterectomy, Jordan celebrated being cancer-free with a photo showing her scars and a touching caption about the experience. Sometimes it feels surreal.
“When I look back at pictures or just think about experiences, it didn’t even seem like it happened in an almost Twilight Zone kind of way,” says Jordan. “I have this new filter, this new lens of how to look at life and what a gift it is to be able to show up and help people.”
During her treatment, Jordan was unable to learn Pilates the way she used to and she quickly adapted. She used body models to get into the poses she couldn’t sustain or even do in some cases. Having a large abdominal scar meant having to curl up completely – moving from a prone position on the floor to a curled-up sitting position – was unwise.
“That was impossible to do, and it wouldn’t be a smart choice to do while you’re healing,” she says.
Having and recovering from cancer taught her how to be a better teacher.
“This experience has given me a very intuitive way of working with people who have health issues, and it has made me a better exercise teacher,” says Jordan. “It allows me to really meet people where they are and allow for space and adjustments and changes that keep them moving without keeping up with anyone else and really stay within the framework of your own skin while you move.”
It was during her recovery that she even developed a new tool to help her as a teacher and her students, the WundaCore Resistance Ring.
“It’s basically a fitness tool that replaces a trainer’s hand because during COVID, during cancer, I couldn’t have my hands on my clients to adjust their bodies and help them get the most out of their (exercise)” , she says. “It really gives you the feedback to get the most out of your practice.”
People have reached out to Jordan about her cancer story and often said it helped them to hear about it.
“They come up to me and say, ‘Oh god, I’ve seen your journey. I’m so inspired and it’s helped me get through XYZ,'” says Jordan. sharing and showing so others can also grow and understand the importance of resilience and that’s my purpose in sharing the story – to serve people with positivity, to serve others with hope and understanding that no matter how bad it also is right now, keep moving. Just keep breathing.”
Jordan believes it’s important to be open about her experience with cervical cancer to raise awareness and encourage others to get screened regularly.
“There’s a pretty big void in honestly and openly discussing health crises, cancer, especially when it comes to cervical cancer or anything that’s a little touchy or a very private and personal area,” she says.
This article was originally published on TODAY.com