Carrie Avirett

Avid Cyclist. Yoga Teacher. Survivor.

Carrie Avirett was 29 when she was diagnosed with AML Leukemia.

“Being an athletic person, I knew this was going to be the race of my life,” says Carrie. She decided that fitness was going to play a key role in her cancer journey.

Before treatment at Johns Hopkins, Carrie donated all of her hair to cancer. She went through six rounds of chemo, radiation and bone marrow transplant.

“I would spin anywhere from 3-8 hours. This is something I would not recommend now to others, but it is what I needed at the time mentally to get me through. Helping others’ health through exercise one of my missions.”

Carrie has always had a passion for fitness and became interested in yoga and meditation in college. After switching majors many times, Carrie decided to go to Kripalu, the oldest yoga institute in the US, to become a certified yoga teacher. The training changed her life and made her realize that she wanted to help others heal through exercise. This led her to teach yoga at a women’s detention center in Baltimore, an initiative to foster connection and prepare women for life after jail.

Carrie started working at Lululemon seasonally. She was later brought on full time and climbed the ladder to become a visual merchandiser lead. While she is still with Lulu, Carrie says she is shifting back into teaching and growing into other areas post-cancer.

Carrie was selected to be a #comeback story for Peloton. Her goal is to get bikes donated to more hospitals and centers that help those affected by cancer.

She recently ran with 10 survivors and others from Baltimore, to the southernmost point of Key West, FL. It took the group one week.

When I asked Carrie her “words to live by,” she said to “play big because this is not your practice life. Don’t be afraid to fail big and stick around. Make the world wonder why you are still smiling. I also tell myself constantly, this too shall pass. It is something my mother told me as a small girl and has always stayed with me.”

While Carrie has made an incredible comeback over the past two years since her diagnosis, she says she still struggles with depression and isolation after cancer. It’s been particularly scary entering the dating world for the first time, she added, but “I make myself go out and connect and try to have fun.”

She stressed the importance of a strong community of friends and family who inspire her every day to do and be better. Other tools that help Carrie post-cancer include morning meditation, walking her dog, quality time with others, and of course, a good sweat.

Read more about Carrie’s “Spinning Through Cancer” story on Peloton.