Bright Spot: Jeannine Pelkey

If you don’t know Jeannine, let me tell you that she’s a BAMF that has been kissed by fire! She deserves to wear that Wonder Woman outfit you see in the picture below.

She’s been through a fight and carries it with a grace that few can. No victim mentality allowed. Instead she’s like MF’s I need to get my sexy on for the bikini. It’s the lightheartedness that makes her a joy to be around.

Meet Jeannine.

TH: When and why did you join the Treehouse?

JP: I joined Treehouse in June, through Barbells for Boobs, an organization in California that sends breast cancer survivors to Crossfit, to get through post-diagnosis through fitness. I knew a spike in my workouts could help me “get my body back”, and I signed up for the chance to try something new. I’m always training for a new challenge, and Treehouse came to me in a way that seemed like it was meant to be when I really needed, and still need, help getting stronger.

TH: What were you struggling with in health and fitness?

JP: After a year (2016) of doing the most road races (paid) (I did 36 ranging from 5k-7 miles) for my challenge, In December 2016 I had a double mastectomy and in 2017 had 16 weeks of chemo and 28 days of radiation.

I’ve had 7 surgeries in total, and still need a few more. Plastic surgery left me with limited mobility in the muscle in my chest connected to my armpit and a lot of scar tissue. I could not lift my arm totally over my head, do a pushup, pull-up, or touch my arm to my back as I could before. I also lost some feeling in my chest and under my arms, both sides. It was unknown if I would get that back, ever.

I was never sick, and stayed active throughout, however, chemo made me gain about 35 lbs. This is from the chemo itself and the steroids. During the whole treatment I was still running alot and boxing when I could, but weight gain was out of my control. I have 15 lbs left as of today.
My 5k time is still 8 minutes longer overall than it used to be, so that’s on the list to fix asap.

TH: How did it impact your life?

JP: I gained the weight, lost my hair, but continued with normal life, and lots of running. In 16 weeks of chemo I did 16 5k’s and a 5 miler, and during radiation a 10k. It only slowed me down, it never stopped me from doing most things.

TH: What has been your greatest victory thus far?

JP: PUSH-UPS! In the last week I’ve been able to do pushups again, and hang from monkey bars. I definitely cried the day I did full pushups.

TH: How has that impacted your life outside of the gym?

JP: I might not be the strongest in the gym, but I’ll never back down, and I’ll always push to improve and do better every day. I’d like to think I’m an example to anyone struggling with ANYTHING, that you CAN do it, I know because I did. And, always keep fighting.

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