A few years have passed but Jude still remembers the moment when his mum told him she had found a lump on her breast. As they drove for scans, the look of worry on his mum’s face made him realise that the potential for life to be so different moving forward had suddenly became very real.
Cancer is a scary word and unfortunately, one that most of us are likely to be affected by in one way or another during our lifetime. I’ve seen the devastating impact bowel cancer has had on my family, and know we could potentially face similar anguish with breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed female cancer in Australia.
To say Jude and his entire family were relieved is an understatement when doctors confirmed her lump was benign and cancer-free. But the scare was a huge eye-opener – she was lucky, but many Australian women are not.
The scare gave us a brief glimpse of the anguish this disease can cause loved ones, and with two young daughters, we knew we needed to do something.
Last year, Jude and I danced the quick step on Dancing with the Stars. This year, we are taking a step of a different kind, helping the 44 Australian women diagnosed every day with breast cancer. This year we’re taking part in the Mother’s Day Classic and urge everyone to Walk With Us towards zero deaths from breast cancer in 2030.
But whether you’re walking or running, it’s important to prepare. So if you are participating too then here’s my top tips to help you be at your best during and after the race;
- Drink at least 2-3 litres a day: Drinking water before, during and after the race will keep you hydrated. Avoid alcohol or excessive amounts of caffeine on race day and the day before. Also, drinking plenty of water may avoid muscle cramps.
- Eat well and fuel up: Make sure you have a nutritious dinner the night before the race. For the big day include a healthy and light breakfast, so your body is fuelled and ready to go.
- Stretch before and after the race: Stretching will reduce the muscle ache that everyone feels after a big race or a long walk. Stretching before helps you be ready for your walk or run and stretching after helps your muscles bounce back quickly.
- Get active: Incorporate some exercise into your day in the weeks leading up to the event. Try walking 20-30 minutes at a reasonably brisk pace several times a week and you’ll see a noticeable improvement. Give yourself a rest day in between exercise days and the day before the big race.
- Prevent blisters: It might sound like common sense, but make sure you wear comfortable shoes. I recommend testing them by wearing them to walk or run the distance you’ll do on the day and also bring some band aids with you just in case they start to rub on the day. You don’t want sore feet to hold you back!
Good luck for the big day!
Lynette and her husband, AFL legend Jude Bolton are ambassadors for Walk With Us and will lead Team HCF in the Mother’s Day Classic this coming Sunday. HCF will donate $100 to breast cancer research for every person who joins their team or $10 for every tag with #WalkWithUs throughout May. Join the team at www.hcf.com.au/walkwithus