By M.J. Tidwell
Boston University News Service
Three years ago, New Yorker Arielle Weinstein got the type of news no one wants to get. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
But now, Arielle’s mother is cancer free, and her daughter attributes some part of that to her fit and active lifestyle.
Arielle says she saw how exercise helped her mother boost her energy and lower her stress levels, allowing her body to heal. Long an active athlete and runner herself, this inspired her to run her home race, the New York City Marathon, a year later in 2015.
Unfortunately, she ate something that didn’t agree with her stomach the night before the big race and fell ill during the run. Still, like mother, like daughter; Arielle refused to give up.
“I finished under four hours,” she said, “on cloud nine, wanting to do another race.”
Now she’s geared up for her most challenging race yet: the Boston Marathon. Once again, she’s drawing inspiration from her mother and running to raise money for the charity Aktiv Against Cancer.
Aktiv Against Cancer works to integrate exercise into cancer treatment through a research partnership with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, instructor training programs, physical fitness center donations, and oncology education programs.
“Recent research indicates the benefits of physical activity extend beyond controlling symptoms and side effects of cancer therapy,” Aktiv’s website states. “It is shown to reduce cancer progression and improve a patient’s response to anticancer therapy.”
According to the website, the charity has donated over $14 million towards its mission.
Arielle is proud to say she’s a part of that effort, raising over $5,000 for Aktiv during her training for the Boston Marathon. She and eight other runners are part of the Aktiv team on CrowdRise and have raised funds through workouts and training sessions.
Arielle also held an event for friends and coworkers to donate to the cause, sharing camaraderie over drinks.
That’s not to say the training has been easy. Arielle works in the Amazon Fashion Studio in Brooklyn, New York, so she didn’t exactly have long leisurely days to prepare.
“I have a very active job, so it’s hard to run after work.” she said. “The past 3.5 months I have been going to the gym during the week and doing my long run on the weekend.”
“I also did a sound bath last week since I was nervous about my registration,” she added. Sound baths are meditative experiences that involve the sound of gongs and crystal bowls, which Arielle uses to relax.
Pre-race jitters are normal, especially when confronting 26 miles of road to cover culminating in the comfortingly-named “Heartbreak Hill.”
With the money she’s raised already for Aktiv and the hard training behind her, Arielle says she feels ready for her first marathon in Boston and has her eye on the finish line.
She also has her priorities in order.
“I’m already excited to eat a burger after the race and have a cider!”