As a cheerleader, she reached the top of the heap, though she’d not tell you that herself.  Still, accolades, including being named an All-American and winning a state championship her senior year as well as three league titles during her high school years, reveal the truth of just how driven, competitive and talented this smiling, considerate 21-year-old truly is.

A 2015 graduate of Ludlowe High School in Fairfield, CT, she went on to study business administration until January of this year when her life twisted in a direction no one saw coming. Now she’s channeling all that fierce, upbeat determination in a new direction, with the Adventure Project cheering her on.

“I was diagnosed in January (2017) with Hodgkin's Lymphoma,” said Patrice.  “I was heartbroken when I found out but having my friends and family around to support me means the world to me.

“Going to Mission Training Center has not only helped me physically gain strength but mentally. Suzy (Patrice’s Adventure Project coach) has helped me push myself to work harder and persevere through the pain. It's been an honor to work with her and (be part of) such an exciting experience.”

To read more about Patrice, click here.


Strength Within …and Out


Long-term athletic goal: “To be a person who exercises regularly, to become stronger and more flexible both in mind and body”

Personal Motto: “You’re stronger than you know/do what you think you can’t do.”


Fitness for Life

Her story: Giulia, now 14 years old, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia in 2005 when she was just 20 months old.

Two weeks after starting chemotherapy, the doctors found a tumor attached to Giulia's brain stem. It could not be removed so the doctors installed an internal shunt to permanently relieve the pressure in her brain. After several weeks in intensive care, Giulia returned to the high-risk cancer ward to continue her battle.  Five months later, doctors transferred Giulia to Boston Children’s Hospital where she received a bone marrow transplant from her 6-year-old sister. Today she is in the eighth grade and is looking to the Adventure Project grant to "give me the training I need to learn how to better take care of myself."

In her words: "In school, I enjoy math and science while I am not fond of social studies. I am hoping that the skills I learn in school will help me prepare for business school in the future, and later help me own my own bakery. In my free time, and in the summer especially, I love going to the beach and hanging out with friends. While I am active in the summer months, I do not play any sports. I am hoping (the Adventure Project grant) will help me attain the physical exercise I need for an overall healthy lifestyle."

Her short-term athletic goal: "To improve conditioning, increase endurance, and manage pain associated with physical activity."

Her long-term athletic goal: "To become more active improve my overall health."

Personal Motto: "I do not have one yet."


Row Row Row ...Your Rowing Machine

From  |  By Bethany McIlrath


Excerpt: “Many gym-goers tend to focus on just a few common pieces of equipment, like the treadmill, the elliptical, or free weights. The rowing machine, however, gets woefully overlooked and is rarely incorporated into one’s regular fitness regime. Combining both cardio and strength training, the rowing machine is one of the most efficient, low-impact exercises out there.”

For a sample 20-minute rowing workout from, click here.

Rebuilding your body after battling and defeating cancer is no small feat. However, using a rowing machine to strengthen your body can help you reach your health and fitness goals in no time! Known as ergometers, rowing machines measure the performance of your body as you exercise so you can assess how much effort you exert during your workout.

Believe it or not, rowing is an excellent way to burn calories. There’s a reason why competitive rowers are in such good shape – rowing works both your cardiovascular system and your muscles. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a professional rower to see some of the same amazing results.

Rowing For Cardiovascular Health

Rowing boasts wonderful benefits for your heart and lungs. After strenuous health issues, the body needs physical activity to assist in the healing process. Rowing is a great stepping stone to more difficult workouts because it suits people of all fitness levels. What’s more, ergometers are adjustable and can be set to a comfortable level for cardio novices.

When it comes to cardio, few exercises get the heart pumping like rowing. Rowing works both the heart and lungs because it forces the heart to work harder to transport larger volumes of blood through the body. The cardiovascular system transports oxygen and nutrients to the muscles and organs, so heart-strengthening workouts are essential to helping the body function optimally.

Intense workouts, like rowing, can be very beneficial for individuals at risk for issues that threaten heart health.

Rowing is Both Effective and Low-Impact

Rowing machines are great for low-impact workouts. Rowing is known for torching calories, but it does so without placing stress on joints. Another great benefit of a low-impact workout is it affords you control over your pace and range of movement – making it a great active recovery exercise. Unlike high-impact exercises like running, rowing can actually help gradually improve joint function.

Rowing Workouts to Build Muscle

If your goal is to look and feel your best, rowing should be part of your regular workout routine. Many people believe that rowing only works the arms when in reality, it works out your entire body. Rowing machines offer a workout for both the upper and lower body, toning and strengthening your muscles and increasing endurance.

A round on a rowing machine targets these major muscle groups:

  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Quadriceps

If you want to see more definition in your arms, pectorals, abs, and obliques, rowing helps in those areas, as well. Rowing engages your legs when you’re pushing off from the foot base, also known as the drive portion of the stroke. In short, rowing can help transform your body from head to toe. 

Rowing Helps With Mind-Body Connection

Exercise of any kind promotes the release of endorphins – the feel-good hormones that decrease stress. Lower stress levels mean better mental and physical health, which is key to healing the body after a battle with cancer. Use rowing as a way to fuel your mind-body connection, making sure to focus on each phase of the rowing stroke as you perform the exercise to feel great inside and out.

As your endurance improves, so will your cardiovascular and muscular health. Hit the gym or order a personal rowing machine to use in the comfort of your own home to start seeing the results you desire. You can start slow and gradually increase the intensity to suit your activity level, using rowing as a stepping stone back to peak health.

How Hiking Is Good for Body and Mind

From  |  By Kara Mayer Robinson

Excerpt: "Hiking outdoors has plenty of perks: nice views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature. It's good for you, too. Benefits include

  • Lower risk of heart disease
  • Stronger core
  • Improved balance
  • Mood boost: "Research shows that hiking has a positive impact on combating the symptoms of stress and anxiety," says Gregory A. Miller, PhD, president of the American Hiking Society. "Being in nature is ingrained in our DNA, and we sometimes forget that."

For the complete article, click here.

The Power of Self Affirmation

From University of Pennsylvania  |  Annenberg School for Communication

If you're looking to adopt better wellness habits or steer yourself away from self-defeating choices, you might want to consider self affirmation, particularly when you look at the results of this University of Pennsylvania study which reveals the neural mechanics of self-affirmation.

Excerpt: "Researchers have long marveled at the almost magical power of self-affirmation: Minority students who reflect on their core values do better in school. People with opposing political views become more open to hearing one another, while people with bad health habits become more amenable to happing up. The simple act of focusing on the sources of meaning and purpose in our lives is incredibly effective at lowering defenses and changing behavior."

For the complete article, click here.




Want to really get moving? Go to sleep.

From  |  By Adam Bornstein

Excerpt: " Even with the very best diet and fitness routine, if sleep is off, you're wrecked. Here's why: No matter what your fitness goals are, having some muscle on your body is important. But sleep (or lack thereof) is the enemy of muscle. Scientists from Brazil found that sleep debt decreases protein synthesis (your body's ability to make muscle), causes muscle loss, and can lead to a higher incidence of injuries. Just as important, lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to recover from exercise by slowing down the production of growth hormone—your natural source of anti-aging and fat burning that also facilitates recovery."

For the complete article, "Why Sleep Is the No. 1 Most Important Thing for a Better Body," click here.

Patrick McIntosh

Extreme Survival.
Intrepid Traveler. South Pole Trekker.

Meet Patrick McIntosh, the 58-year-old Brit who trekked a grueling 138 miles to the South Pole unsupported, (e.g., he and his guide carried all their own supplies and equipment), after recovering from three types of unrelated cancer diagnosed within the same year. His aim? “I wanted to do something to keep spreading my message that eating the right foods and taking exercise is the key to surviving cancer, along with early diagnosis." Click here to read more about Patrick and his epic feat.

Something to Laugh About


Most of us have heard it many times before: Laughter is the best medicine. Why then do we keep forgetting this? We like this piece from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America for how it reminds us to give humor a place of honor in our daily travels while shedding an interesting light on the benefits of laughter, especially for anyone living with or beyond cancer.

Excerpt: "Over the years, researchers have conducted studies to explore the impact of laughter on health. After evaluating participants before and after a humorous event (i.e., a comedy video), studies have revealed that episodes of laughter helped reduce pain, decrease stress-related hormones and boost the immune system in participants.

Today more than ever before, people are turning to humor for therapy and healing. Medical journals have acknowledged that laughter therapy can help improve quality of life for patients with chronic illnesses. Many hospitals now offer laughter therapy programs as a complementary treatment to illness."

For the complete article, click here.