This week, I sit down with Fitz Koehler of The Fitzness Show, and author of the book My Noisy Cancer Comeback.
On her podcast, Fitz talks about the smart, crazy, effective and fun stuff in fitness. Fitz is also an author and TV personality, and has an incredible story to share about her breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent journey, which we talk about in this episode.
Topics up for discussion this week include:
- why it’s important that her podcast is a fun endeavour
- why she only puts out episodes when she has something to say
- why she doesn’t get starstruck when working with celebrities
- how male celebrities can often be under more pressure than female celebrities to look a certain way
- why doing something that won’t hurt you is key
- how she came to discuss getting a husband with her teenage daughter
- how she’s trying to share some of her mom’s teachings with her daughter, while still respecting space and room to grow
- why she isn’t afraid to drop the angry mom card on her son if needed
- why she started the Morning Mile fitness program for kids around the world
- why her diagnosis with breast cancer was not going to deter her from continuing the way she lived her life
- how she wasn’t expecting the sheer amount of chemotherapy and toxic treatment she underwent
- why being loud about her cancer and treatment gave Fitz her formula to survive
- why she took the raw and honest approach when it came to her book about her cancer journey
- why she has big plans for her podcast and other programs in 2021
- why Chris Hemsworth would be a dream fitness client
Settle back for a fun, engaging, moving, and uplifting chat about motivation and finding your formula to survive.
Connect with Fitz:
- The Fitzness Show
- My Noisy Cancer Comeback
- The Morning Mile Program
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- RODE PodMic
- Focusrite Scarlett Solo 3rd Gen Audio Interface
- TRITON AUDIO Fethead In-Line Microphone Preamp
- Denon DJ HP-1100 Over Ear Headphones
- RockJam MS050 Adjustable Mic Suspension Boom
- Dragonpad Pop Filter
Nobody told me XYZ was gonna happen. So they tell you up front with chemo. Oh, you might feel sick. You might be extra tired. You might be bald. Nobody tells you that your eyes may change colors or that your fingernails may rod out while on your hands and stink to high hell. Nobody’s told me any of those things. So as the accumulation of side effects became the size of a mountain, I CA I, it turned humorous. You know, it was one of those things where I thought, Holy crap, this is so fun.
Hi, and welcome to Podcaster. Stories each episode. We will have a conversation with podcasters from across the globe and share their story. What motivates them by the start to the show are the crucial. And More, we’ll also talk about their personal lives in some of the things that have happened that made them, the person who you are to do. And now here’s your host. Danny Brown hi, and welcome to Podcaster. Stories where we get to meet the people behind the voices of the show. As we all listen to him this week, I’m talking with Fitz Koehler host The Fitzness The Fitzness shop, where Fitz talks about the smart, crazy, effective, and fun stuff in fitness Fitz is also an offer and TV personality and has an incredible story to share with you will speak about it in the show.
Danny (1m 16s):
So Fitz, welcome to Podcaster Stories, really appreciate you coming on. How about you? Tell us about yourself and your show.
Fitz (1m 22s):
Sure. Well thank you, Danny. Thank you for having me. So I’m a fitness expert. And what I do is basically I do a variety of things that helped me do one very specific thing, which is helpful live better and longer by making fitness, understandable, attainable, and find. And so I’ve done that for decades on TV, radio books, magazines. Anyway, I could reach a mass audience is where I focus my efforts. I do a lot of corporate speaking engagements and spokesperson work because corporations bring people and that’s what I want. I want people to help. I also am a professional race announcer So I host to start and finish lines of some of the largest, most prestigious running events in America from the Los Angeles marathon, Buffalo marathon, Philadelphia, a big Sur.
Fitz (2m 9s):
I announced the D C wonder woman and Batman run series. So I am once again, handling mass audiences and helping them achieve their goals within sports and celebrate those goals as well. I own a youth running a program called The Morning Mile and I’m also an author and I have a brand new book out called My Noisy Cancer Comeback.
Danny (2m 33s):
Wow. So you get busy.
Fitz (2m 35s):
I like to stay as busy as possible because man, do I love what I do? You know, that a moment when I’m not working on lesson with my kids, it’s a moment that I want to be working or with my kids. So, yeah.
Danny (2m 47s):
And, and you mentioned obviously the podcast that speaks about the, the fun stuff in fitness and not just the, obviously a bit talks about the fitness goals and plans, et cetera, but I know you make up a fun, you know, endeavor much like you do with your offline, you know, a fitness programs, et cetera. So how did he do the idea of the show come about?
Fitz (3m 5s):
You know, I only, I only put information out there when I have something to say, and I do enjoy the medium of writing. You know, people like to read articles their, their, their evergreen forever, or people can go back and review, but there’s something special about being able to put a personal touch on the communication, whether it’s the inflection of your voice or a pounding your fists on a desk. You know, I think you have video and audio provide just a lot more exciting and understandable version of communication. So I started the Fitzness show back in 2016. So far we’ve recorded over a hundred episodes in there and they ranged. So I get into the nitty-gritty nuts and bolts of fitness, you know, how to become, fit, how to achieve your ideal weight with the exact formula for weight loss, how why, and how to pursue strength training.
Fitz (3m 56s):
And even within that niche, how to pursue it within certain sports. And then we talk a lot about really cool products for athletes and, and folks are just getting started with a fitness and we’ve talked to fitness celebrities and athletes and coaches, and you know, anything that makes people a, a little more motivated. You know, I, I do understand that even while I have tons of incredible answers, I’m not the only person with an answer. So it’s nice to speak to other people who have some golden nuggets to share.
Danny (4m 29s):
And you had mentioned, obviously you’re working with a lot of people, you were celebrities, movie stars you’ve even worked with the wiggles, which is cool. Cause that was one of my kids at my book. My kids loved that show a growing up. And I think we took them to like a live performance and Toronto, maybe two or three years back. So what, what’s it like? I mean, obviously you share some horror stories about working with them, some mistakes that you’ve made, maybe when you were working with them, what’s that like, you know, working with people like that,
Fitz (4m 58s):
Do you know what I’m not starstruck? The only thing that’s ever left me a little bit excited and giddy has been American presidents, some American president. So I’m a raging fan of my country. And so American presidents have really floated my boat when it comes to celebrities. I’m not Google crazy. So I’m able to just greet them casually and, you know, obviously respect what they do and the list of people I’ve interviewed includes Brooke shields and Christina Applegate and, you know, tons of Olympians, tons of athletes, ah, the crew for me, ESPN to so many actors, I really couldn’t even pull them up the wiggles.
Fitz (5m 38s):
I got to tell you out of all of the people that I have now, I have, I have interviewed the wiggles when I met them for the first time in Chicago. And I probably worked with the wiggles almost a dozen times now over the years, but they were coming in off of their tour bus into the arena where I was going to interview them on video before the show and the purple Jeff wiggle. He walked by and that’s the first time of the celebrity. I got a little like, woo. I felt, I felt like I shouldn’t be seeing this. It was almost like peeking in on Santa Claus. So they were very cute, very sweet. They came out one by one and we did a little workouts together and talked about their healthy habits. And it was just adorable.
Fitz (6m 19s):
There, there was so much fun, you know, celebrities, just regular people. There’s that book called everybody poops. And I truly believe that, you know, and there’s nobody that’s truly better than the others, but you know, their careers quite often in real rely on there, physique, you know, Brad, Pitt’s, wouldn’t be Brad Pitt or if he was out of shape. So there is a unique burden on certain types of actors and performers to be in great shape and maintain beauty regimens above what you are or I have to do. And so I really enjoy the fact that when I work with celebrities, usually they tell a really good tale.
Fitz (7m 0s):
They say, I used to do really dumb diets and gimmicky things. And I found out that it doesn’t work. And so I’ve committed to exercising often and watching what I put in my mouth. And so my purpose with working with celebrities is often for them to tell the tale that resonates with people, because there are their career relies on them being fit or being the most beautiful version of themselves. And, you know, even with my master’s grain exercise for the sciences in all of my years of experiences. And so I got on a stage with beyond say, And someone in the audience wanted to know how to get a fantastic rear end.
Fitz (7m 42s):
They would ask her not me. And so, you know, it’s and I used celebrity’s as a tool. I use them as a tool in quite often, they’re very effective.
Danny (7m 52s):
And obviously, I mean, you mentioned that you worked with, you know, various celebrates for years. Have you seen that? There’s a huge disconnect between male and female movie stars are still, there is more pressure on women to look a certain way to, to wear a certain way or to have a certain, you know, body index, et cetera. Is that the case when, when the celebrities come to you and do you try to help them overcome that? Or is that it never really come up?
Fitz (8m 18s):
Pressure is doled out. Eve equally. And you know, a lot of people want to waive the women quite often. Are you or anyone in these little subgroups? We liked the way the, the pity party PFLAG and where are the victims and so forth. But no, I see pressure equally doled out on men. I mean, a Chris Hemsworth for crying out loud, he is, he doesn’t get to be thorough other than the last Avengers. You know, he doesn’t get to be that guy without abs. And I do think there’s a tremendous amount of pressure on men as well. They’re hitting the gym hard. They have to watch what they put in the mouth in. Some of us have seen more men and women have to do those dramatic weight fluctuations. Remember Tom Hanks in Philadelphia.
Fitz (9m 0s):
Oh. And cast away Matthew McConaughey. He’s done it. There’s been so many actors go up and down. So yeah, I think actually it is, it’s possibly in some regard easier to be a woman, but I, I feel bad for you guys. They get it too, for certain things.
Danny (9m 16s):
It’s funny. I just read a story about Daniel Crick with a new bond movie coming out in the us as his last breath out in a James Bond. And he’s 53, you know? So the regime he went through for this movie is it actually is 15 years ago. It was completely different. It had to be, as you mentioned, a toner to his age, his, his fitness, his body, et cetera. So it just, it’s interesting to hear, as you mentioned, the different things everybody has to go through for their role needs.
Fitz (9m 40s):
Well, you know, it’s interesting with fitness and coming out of my recent Cancer battle, my, my rule with fitness, it’s always first do no harm. And we hear doctors have that mantra where, you know, they can injure or cause harm to the patients. But I do think with fitness, that’s the first priority as well. You shouldn’t do something that’s going to hurt you, you know, and if you make smart progress, if you pursue baby steps, you can get to your end goal. Even the same goal you had when you were 20 years younger, if you’re smart about it. And I’m sure Daniel Craig, this is, is really keen to the fact that he may throw out his back more easily now than he did before he can still achieve those extraordinary results.
Fitz (10m 24s):
But you just can’t be reckless in the process.
Danny (10m 27s):
Nope. Did you had mentioned also that you’ve got various guests on the podcast and then some of the episodes I was laughing at, as opposed to listen to your Show are the ones who have done when your daughter Topics you have done with your daughter or your daughter’s teenager. And you’re talking about a book from the fifties and how do we get a husband? And I have a follow-up episode to that. What’s it like record on a show of your doctor and how did that come about?
Fitz (10m 47s):
Oh, that’s hilarious. Ginger is 17. And you know, what I learned really early on is she has my exact same skillset as a presenter and a, we call her Fitz 2.0, the new and improved version. She’s just, she’s more beautiful than I am. She’s she got on a stage and her first grade play. And when she wasn’t cowshed, all she had to do is read. Maybe three sentences are from memory. And she stood, stood on this stage with this extraordinary posture and , and she was the only kid out of a, 150 of them that spoke clearly and concisely. And it was beautiful.
Fitz (11m 27s):
And I thought, wow, she is incredible. And, and so she will go on to be a pro presenter as well. And she had done race announcing with me, but she just really funny person. So I saw that article. It was from, I think it was McCall’s in 1950 something, how to get a husband. And it was outlandish some of the suggestions where, you know, go by the engineering department out of college and paint a picture. So the will come and want to meet you. And then one of them, one of the suggestions was go stand in a corner and cry, but certainly some guy will come and, you know, wanting to comfort you and you may get a husband. So I, I just thought it would be a lot more funny to bring her in on the subject.
Fitz (12m 11s):
And then of course the follow-up was the modern day, 2020, how to get a man or how to be sexy. I think. So it was very, very funny. I try to keep it very wholesome and clean, and I think we, we achieve that, but she’s hilarious. And you know, I’m, I’m not opposed to any guests, if they are going to make my podcast more interesting or exciting and humorous.
Danny (12m 33s):
Oh, it’s like, I can imagine when we see how much, you know, society has changed over the last years. And we always started to look back and I mean, I can still remember when you were allowed to smoke on an airplane, for example. And there was a separate smoking section. ’cause obviously a little current would make all the difference in a plane with smoking. So it does, it’s funny to see the examples you shared with me, you know, how a woman should behave and get a husband because that’s her on the road and a life basically. Right?
Fitz (12m 60s):
Hysterical. Yeah. I mean, I just, through the years and even between this year and the last year, you know, if I walk out in my house without a mask on, people think I’m a gangster. They were like, look at her. What does she think she is? Show in her mouth. So, you know what I mean? It just, I don’t know where the world has gone crazy lately, but, but yeah, things are definitely different in which you read an article like that. And I understand why there’s a disconnect sometimes between the way my mom did business and the way she wanted me to do business, because I thought, well, clearly that some of those guidelines are out of place. In fact, she used to tell me, never call the boy. You can even call it a boy back if he called you first.
Fitz (13m 42s):
So you were just not allowed to dial the boys number. And so there’s a part of me that still thinks, you know, ginger, don’t go pursuing guys. Don’t do that. Don’t but I do believe you should be able to return a phone call. So I don’t know, I kinda like some of the old fashion stuff. And then some of that obviously needs to be left behind way behind in the dust.
Danny (14m 2s):
They’re all saying we won’t have to become, parents were always to where I’m not gonna do the things that my parents’ did with my cousin. And we do, you know, you stop yourself because you have done exactly the same way.
Fitz (14m 13s):
Now, let me ask you this. Do you look back and wish your parent’s had to intervene when they didn’t?
Danny (14m 20s):
Maybe sometimes that was just a couple of things. When I was maybe a younger man that I did stuff that wasn’t so good that I had my parents center or a vendor given me like a stronger moral compass. If you like, it would’ve been a whole different story. So, but I think if you grow as a person by making mistakes right. And learning from him. So I think this whole helicopter parent that’s for me, one of the more dangerous for one of the battle of work aspects of Parenthood at the moment and not allowing your kids to much of it.
Fitz (14m 49s):
Yeah. Yeah. It’s a fine line. I really, my kids are so good and I just caught my husband. Oh, not my husband, my son getting into a little mission last week. And I was terrified him. I gave them this really abrasive, like get in the car now. And he, the look of shock on this six foot one boy, you know, he was like, Oh know, and I laid it on things just to scare him, just to let them know how serious it was. And then I didn’t lay on. And it’s a tremendous punishment. I think I gave him the assignment. If you know, you’re going to clean these five rooms and if you ever do that again, then, then I’m going to drop the hammer. So I do believe in, you know, some mischief, but the thing that my daughter and I get into a, she, she wears just really stupid stuff sometimes is that it really is an unflattering.
Fitz (15m 36s):
And so I look back and I think about all the terrible clothes I wore and how I wish my mother would have stopped me from leaving the house, looking like a moron. And now I’d try to pay that forward with gender and say, Oh, those jeans are kind of where they don’t, they don’t fit you. You’re so beautiful. These are really unflattering. No mom, they are cool. So when I back off and so, you know, quite often I just let her walk out of the house looking like a bozo, but she has got to make that mistake too. Right.
Danny (16m 3s):
Yeah know. And then you’d mentioned off, so you’ve got two kids, you got to change or your daughter and your son. And you’ve talked about the program that you’ve come up with a The Morning Mile program, where you get kids involved across the us, Canada and Japan with mine and routines and fitness. How did that come about? And what’s the, the impact in like, what’s the feedback you’ve been getting for that? Cause I’ve been, that’s been going for a few years now. 11, 11 years. Yeah.
Fitz (16m 29s):
So when my kids were little three and five, my daughter started kindergarten and some of her friends went to different schools and the moms kept telling me, Oh, Aiden is running before school. Aden is running that at all. And I kept thinking, wow, I wish ginger could do that. That sounds great. I wish my kids could do that. And I had a few parents that kept bragging about this and Ben My, you know, fitness innovator, a light bulb went off and I thought, you know what? I don’t just wish my own kids could do this. I wish all kids could do this. This is really quite the solution for a health and fitness. You know, it’s a mindless activity, walking or running requires very little skill, little to no equipment.
Fitz (17m 9s):
These many of my Morning milers are out there in boots and sandals who cares or just, you know, moving. So when I decided that I wanted all kids to do that, I went to the various schools that had before school walking, running programs and said, Hey, can you tell me what you’re doing? I would like to create something duplicatable. And so they shared their best practices. I took some of theirs. I added some of my own, and I created this turn-key program, which is any school can implement. It’s 30 minutes before school walking or running. There is no coaching choreography or instruction whatsoever. It’s just literally you let everyone come out and do loops, whether they’re students or family, faculty.
Fitz (17m 51s):
And then we make it really fun, really welcoming, really rewarding. We have music playing. We have a great system of rewards and my Morning milers are they blow our mind. So we have individual elementary students that complete six or 700 miles per school year. We have small elementary schools or middle schools completing over 20,000 miles for school year and a yeah, it’s funded by corporations. So, you know, schools don’t often have money to put into fitness. They’re too worried about math and science. And I get that. So we have allowed the corporate corporate world to invest in the schools and the, and the students.
Fitz (18m 32s):
And in return, we allow them to market their business on the field with a big banner. You know, it could be Bob’s plumbing or, you know, ABC hospital or Aquafina a water company. It doesn’t matter to me as long as it’s a wholesome family-friendly product, we’re happy to share their banner. And yeah. So in The Morning Mile is in over 400 schools worldwide. My kids have completed millions and millions of miles is actually kind of stopped keeping track. I just couldn’t keep up with it anymore. And yeah, I feel like these kids, and not only have a better start on life and I have a habit that they can continue into their nineties for certain, because anyone is, as long as you are able to walk, you can get up and go for a walk around in your house, your block, your neighborhood, whatever And I I believe soon we’ll be seeing an Olympian say, you know, I’ve got my start back in elementary school doing this program called The Morning Mile.
Fitz (19m 27s):
And I think we’ll see the same for CEOs of major organizations are just really teaching these kids consistency, discipline, attaining goals, and having fun, being healthy. And that’s it.
Danny (19m 42s):
I love the fact that it’s not structured. It’s, you know, the kids or the parents of the faculty just gets it out and it does a Walker or On or whatever. I always called them up. When my kids are on a bus, I’m just saying that you have to run and their sillies out to the house to get out. And that, but as you mentioned, it belts habits. And I don’t know if you’ve read James Clear’s book, atomic habits. I had asked them and it points to your very point now at a punch to your point had a box and it can’t get completely glues with the point where it’s about building habits to achieve goals, as opposed to setting goals and not reaching them. Cause you don’t have the habit to attain that. So, and especially with kids because kids, you know, their, their minds are all over the place.
Danny (20m 22s):
It can be a here, here, here, here, or at school, but to get habits early on an easy, a ti attainable habits, is that
Fitz (20m 28s):
Awesome? Absolutely. And you know what, like you said, it gets their youthful energy out. Are there sillies out? And when they show up to class, there are settled. There are a lot calmer or they’re ready to learn. They behave better. There’s so many benefits. Principals reach out and say, ah, where you have slashed our problem with tardiness because the kids want to be there at The Morning Mile. So they naturally arrive at class on time. We give out far fewer referrals and punishments because our kids are far better behaved because they’ve got that energy out. And then the teacher, you know, I I’ve been hit with hugs and it felt like I was being tackled by a, an American football player because teachers are saying, Oh my God, my third grade boys are sitting still, thank you so much.
Fitz (21m 12s):
So it really is beneficial and so many ways. And not just for kids, I know as a grownup in society, whether I’m working or being a parent an early morning workout, just kind of expels any stress I have. And it gives me that a long time to think if I’m swimming and there’s absolutely nothing to think about are nothing to entertain me. But the bottom of the pool, I certainly am focusing on my next step as a professional speaker or new topics to talk about with my podcast. So yeah. Exercise goes a long way from the beginning to the end of your life. If it matters,
Danny (21m 48s):
You know, you’d mentioned earlier you, how about your cancer or your recent cancer journey and that, that happened in 2018? I think, I mean, obviously you’d been busy with fitness programs and TV and the podcast, and then you get diagnosed with breast cancer. So what, what was it from being a composer? A silly question probably. But what was that like? And what was it at a time when you were thinking, I can’t do the things that I’ve been doing up to now. I won’t be able to do this moving forward.
Fitz (22m 16s):
So great questions. And I, you know, as I was diagnosed, I thought for certain I’m dying, you know, I, I have I’m I’m the ultimate optimist, but I couldn’t use that at that point in the second I found the lump and then the doctor said, yeah, we see that. And three hard swollen lymph nodes. I thought, Oh my gosh, this thing has taken me out. Cause I had had a clean mammogram less than seven weeks prior and clean mammogram and then six and a half weeks later, I found the lump. So, you know, I had to get passed the death and not see my kids grow up. You know, that was basically the, the laser focus. But then once I got my feet underneath me in my doctors convinced me that the types of breast cancer I have is curable.
Fitz (23m 1s):
In fact, 94% of all breast cancers are curable that I, I instantly decided, well, I am not letting this disease a win. Not that there were points to give. Not only was I not only had I intended to survive, but my career is extraordinary. It’s one of my driving forces for every breath I take. So I decided I am not missing out on any of my work obligations. North quality time with my children. So if I would have taken a year and a half off, absolutely nobody would’ve blamed me. They would of said, well, of course you are going through this nightmare treatment, stay home, stay in bed. But for me, I just decided, hell no, I am getting to work.
Fitz (23m 43s):
I’m doing what I do. And what I do predominantly is I travel 35, 40 weekends of the year across America and announcing races. And my smallest event has 2,500 athletes. My largest has about 35,000 and I just decided I’m not missing it. I’m going to figure it out. And I did. So I, I actually made a video declaring, you know, I had to share with people, I have breast cancer and I, I didn’t wanna share it. I’m a private person when it comes to my actual personal life. But knowing that I was gonna go from two feet of hair, I had waist length, one hair, two bald. I figured people are going to start asking questions.
Fitz (24m 24s):
So I better let them know. And so I make this video and it’s very cute. Its still on. Fitzness both on my website and in my Facebook page, but I look back and I think, gosh, I was so naive, but I was so determined. Because I look in the camera and say, listen, this is what I got. I’m going to be fine. I am going to probably feel a little bad. I’m going to look kind of weird, but I will not miss my races. I will not miss any of the events on my calendar. I expect no pity. You can root for me, but that’s it and onward. And so I didn’t know what I was in for it. It turned out that I got hit when they gave me the most toxic combination of chemo drugs. There are, I responded accordingly being violently ill for five months and then 10 months more of a lesser chemo.
Fitz (25m 9s):
I had the surgery and I had the radiation, but I never missed an event. And a, it was, it was awesome. You know, it was really, really hard, but looking back, I’m really proud of myself.
Danny (25m 20s):
So you mentioned that you you’ve got like a really strong mix of different treatments, six to combat this, but you still kept, what were your commitments? You still did what you had planned. How hard was that? Both emotionally and physically to do that whilst going under the treatment.
Fitz (25m 37s):
So I you know, one of the things I have said is that if I were, you know, stuffing envelopes for a living, I would, I would have definitely stayed home, but I’m so fortunate at that my career I could Subsys subsists on adrenaline alone. You know, when I got on the stage and there’s 30,000 people in front of me and it’s hard to even think of yourself. So the hard part was a while. There was a lot of the hard parts, but when, when it came to work, you know, I would go to the airport and my husband would drop me off and I’d be balled and gray and glossy eyed and sick. And he would say, Hey, how are you going to do this? And I would just look at them and say, I just am I, and you know what? I had an ultimate faith in me. I knew I would be okay.
Fitz (26m 17s):
I knew I would figure it out. And so traveling with an exploding stomach is not a good time airports with an exploding stomach, not a good time, but I would say I asked my race organizations and my race directors for a little help. I, you know, and I, I, on occasion I could reach out and saying, Hey, can you help me get some Ivy fluids while like, you know, I’m in your town. So I would fly to California to get off the plane and race director had a range for me to get a ride over to a hydration place to go get fluid’s in Buffalo, New York, they had a nurse come to my hotel room and, and I needed that. I needed that to stay upright and not be dehydrated, but a even if I spent the night on the hotel bathroom floor sick, when my alarm went off in the morning, I would put on my ally, my running clothes.
Fitz (27m 5s):
Or was it not that I was writing? I hope nobody thinks that I was running these races that was purely on the microphone, but I would get dressed and I would just March forward. And that’s sometimes what you got to do that you just have to March forward. But then when I got on those stages, it was like a, nothing was wrong or almost nothing. You know, I, I, I D I certainly felt some of my side effects while working, but the, the joy filled me up so much. And that’s really, you know, with my new book, that’s one of the main lessons is, or messages is that pursue your passions, no matter what’s going on, are going wrong in your life. You need to find your passions and you need to hold on tight to them.
Fitz (27m 44s):
And if you, if you love animals and you spending your time at, on the farm, and that could be a great joy, and now you’re in a hospital, fine. Maybe you can’t bring your donkey to the hospital, but you can get online and watch cute little animal videos. You know, there’s always a way to include your passions and your present. And I think that my running community saved my life, that in my time with my kids, it just, I, I found the formula for thriving while surviving.
Danny (28m 13s):
And, and obviously you had mentioned that you were very upfront about your diagnosis and you’d made the video and you see, and you, you probably are pure you baldness. And you know that there is also a treatment and that takes peripheral into the title of your book, I think, which is My, Noisy, Cancer come back. What you really epitomizes, you know, that the journey you went through and how others can learn from it, with their own, if they have gone through a similar process, no, also written a book. It can be hard for anybody, but when you were going for a treatment and you’re gonna be feeling drained and tired, how hard was it? And where are you ever wondering why you started writing on the first place?
Fitz (28m 49s):
Yeah. You know, and you know what? I wish I would have known I was going to write a book from the start because I, you know, two things. When I, as I went through the treatment, I didn’t let anybody know what was going on. I they know what I was being treated and they knew I was fall, but I would say I was always smiling and saying, I’m fine. I’m fine. Thank you for your great, I never let on that. I was sick or crying my eyes out every day from stress. You know, I just kept a, a smile on my face publicly because my job is to care for other people. Right. So what happened is, you know, a couple of months into the process, I started thinking, well, nobody told me XYZ was gonna happen.
Fitz (29m 30s):
So they tell you up front with chemo, Oh, you might feel sick. You might be extra tired. You might be bald. Nobody tells you that your eyes may change colors or that your fingernails may rot out while on your hand and stink to high hell. Nobody’s told me that any of those things. So as the accumulation of side effects became the size of a mountain, I kept, I, it turned humorous. You know, it was one of those things where I thought, Holy crap, this is so funny and I was suffering, but I also thought it was hilarious. And then I, I just kind of resented the fact that nobody not even all these celebrities with their memoirs, none of them were coming clean and telling the truth about what treatment was really like.
Fitz (30m 11s):
So I started making a list in my, the notes section on my iPhone, have, you know, a chemo round one, what side-effects came with those round too. And I didn’t know if I was going to let me just do a talk or write an article. And then eventually I got to the point and I thought, no people, people would get a kick out of this. You know, AI can help people do better and be better. I can help guide them on good practices for doing battle with cancer and winning every day. But I also thought it would be a really fun story. You know, things went haywire in a way, as you look back in a hilarious way. So to have my chapter title is one of them’s called the bright side of poop on my face.
Fitz (30m 55s):
And the other one is called, when things go wrong, don’t go with them naked at the airport. And both of those things happen to me. There was poop on my face, threw my treatment and I was naked in an airport and it was hilarious. So I would write on an airplane on airplanes. And that was the only time I really had, you know, four or five hours where I wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t that the doctor I wasn’t working, I can just sit. And so I was making progress with a book on airplanes and, and that was, I liked being productive. I like when I have something to say, and then once COVID shut down the world and still my career, I had plenty of time to sit on my back porch and finished that book.
Danny (31m 36s):
And as you mentioned, as a very raw and honest as to what happens when you’re going through this journey of varsity, some that are not deliberately should cost the process, but maybe if you don’t want to be as upfront because they’re embarrassed or it’s not what they’re trying to portray themselves, which you obviously, you know, Admiral admirably didn’t want to do. And what’s been the feedback I’ve received from people that I’ve read it, that you have met at conferences or emails or whatever it about them in the book and the impact on them.
Fitz (32m 4s):
So most importantly, the book has been from people who’ve actually had. Cancer the most common bit of feedback I get is I wish I had this book when I was diagnosed. They look at it and say, Oh my gosh, I had not, I did not have a tool like this. That was, it would have been great. And then on the flip side, I have so many people buying the book for friends that are newly diagnosed or going through it. And the response from present cancer patients is extraordinary. They just, you know, this is helping me. This is inspirational. This is going to allow me to pursue happiness while I’m being treated. You know, I have a new respect for perspective. You know, my attitude, even though again, I suffered to the max, I never had a pity party because I wasn’t a kid with cancer.
Fitz (32m 51s):
You know, that’s going to be way worse than me in a grown up. It wasn’t my kid with cancer. And for me, it wasn’t one of the more lethal types of cancer or ALS you know, something or, or instant paralysis. You know, there is some things that could go horribly wrong. And I was very fortunate that there was a light at the end of the tunnel for me. So I decided to suck it up like a good little soldier. So yeah. So those bits of feedback that it, it, that cancer patients say, this is a valuable tool and this is helping me. And I, and I go on to some rants because people, Oh my gosh, it’s for the majority, almost everyone was so kind of right. I have all of this wave of kindness as tsunami of kindness always sent my way, but then people did some really weird things.
Fitz (33m 36s):
So for example, when I was newly diagnosed and I have time, I have, I don’t have thousands of connections around the world. So people would reach out and saying, Oh, I’m rooting for you, blah, blah, blah. But some people would reach out and saying, Hey, just wanted to let you know, my aunt just died of breast cancer. And I thought, Oh wow, thank you. Like, I know what to do with that. And I know they were just trying to connect and they were rooting for me, but to constantly be reminded by people say, Hey, my sister just died of breast cancer. That made me feel bad. And if I wasn’t such a sturdy person, that type of comment might have, you know, left me and a ball of tiers on the floor. So the, you know, the message being, if you hear of a friend who has some newly scary diagnosis, trying to aim for the positive, you know, don’t, don’t bring up the dark and gloomy side because they already know that that exists.
Fitz (34m 27s):
Some people would say things like, Oh, it’s just hair. You know, it’s not just hair. If it was just here, we all just shaved a head and, and, and we’d all be balled, but it’s not just here. We like it here. It can make us feel pretty. It could make us feel warm. And so, you know, I try to include some lessons in the book. And then really, I think, you know, they always say, choose a market, right? You don’t your book. Isn’t right for everybody. But if it’s, if you’re a person going through hard times, or you just would like to have a laugh, because as there is a few places in the book where people tell me, they’ve cried, most of them say, is it okay that I lacked my head off through your book? And I want them to know that was, that was part of my intention.
Fitz (35m 9s):
I thought my experience was a hilarious in hindsight ’cause it was just so preposterous. So, you know, if, if you’re not laughing, when the poop, it’s my face, there is something wrong with you.
Danny (35m 21s):
And, and I, I love the fact that you have, you mentioned that people had wished they had it, you know, when they were going through it or had been diagnosed, because generally as you mentioned, friends and family, or trying to come through you and, and make you feel good, but we said the wrong things, you know? And, and to your point, we say that we consider in the dark, but you’ve got this, you’ve got this. Like, I don’t know if we do have those, you know, so it’s really interesting to hear that you mentioned that.
Fitz (35m 44s):
Yeah. How do you know, how do you know its interesting. I asked my family, you know, asked my son I when I told my kids, I can. I said, adamantly, I am going to be fine. I’m going to look weird. I’m going to feel a little sick, but I’m going to be fine. And, and my son, his response was mommy, you are going to look so cute bald, which is so sweet. So I thought I did a good job of convincing him. But a year later when he and I we’re having a conversation, I said, Parker, was there ever a time when you thought I might, you know, not survive. He said, Oh yeah, I definitely thought you were going to die. And I thought, well, why didn’t he said, I didn’t want to make your life more difficult by telling you that. And I thought, wow, what a sweet or, but yeah, its hard to convince everybody you are going to be okay when you’re really unsure that you’re going to be OK.
Fitz (36m 30s):
I mean, I, now I still have to keep looking over my shoulder. So am I going to have a reoccurance am I going to find out, you know, last time I had a, a very identifiable lump and my breasts, when I come, if it comes back, we’ll come back the same way. Will it just land in my brain? And I have no idea what, you know, it’s just, it can be scary. It’s a tough situation, but the book is definitely full of laughs.
Danny (36m 52s):
Awesome. Now, and obviously it ties in now to your podcast and that we can compliment each other power for Claire. Your show is over a hundred episodes and I have, as you mentioned earlier, what are your plans for the future of the podcast? Is that to continue with their current format? Are you looking to start and maybe do a live on, on the field events? I guess if there are, you know, the kids do in the morning and my own, et cetera, what was your plan for it?
Fitz (37m 16s):
Great suggestion. You know, My a podcast, to be honest with, you has kind of slid off the front burner for the past couple of years. Once I got diagnosed, I just kind of lost my steam for that. And so where I probably should be at episode a hundred, 200, right now I’ve really only recorded a handful in the past two years. So I, my intentions are to come back in video format. I mean, one of my great greatest assets as a presenter is that eye to eye contact. You know, I do like that. So more interviews, more engagement. I have some new online broadcasting software, so Fitzness dot com will be back in color.
Danny (38m 1s):
Nice. And I don’t know if I said, well, I’ll, I’ll be sure to share a lot with all of our listeners know you mentioned earlier when we’re talking about your, your fitness programs and how your helping celebrities, that you got the room of UN with the wiggles have old people. Yeah. But who would be your all time here or that it would make your ultimate were and why that person or people. Right.
Fitz (38m 22s):
Well, okay. Thank you for giving me a few of, so I would love to meet Garth Brooks. He was my favorite singer. My another woo. I mean, there are some hunky guys that would definitely take Chris Hemsworth he’s doing nothing wrong and there’s my laser focus. Apparently. I’m After cute guys too. Woo Over. I’d love to bring back Abraham Lincoln and work out with him actually are, are former president George W. Bush. He is an athlete. He, you know, he’s not a, a, a, well, I’m just going to say it. He’s an athlete and he’s a cyclist and he multiple times a year, it gets together with large groups of veterans and goes on long bike rides with him.
Fitz (39m 2s):
And I just think that’s so magical. And for someone to one of my favorite thing is not one of my favorite things in my actual favorite thing is the United States of America. I love my constitution, one of the bill of rights and I’m, couldn’t be more grateful for all of our freedoms. So to be able to go work out or consult with a president and a bunch of wounded warriors who have fought so hard for freedom, that would be, you know, that would be an exciting beyond belief that what that would make me go fan girl, for sure.
Danny (39m 33s):
That would be amazing to have someone like Tammy Duckworth, for example, work alongside you. Like her story is incredible. I just, anytime you see her speak at the time, so Tammy Duckworth, I think she’s, I think she’s in politics now and I’m pretty sure she’s like a, a representative like one day, I don’t know if it’s a Democrat or Republican, right. But she is a war virtual support for the legs and comeback. And she is very big obviously on VAT, you know, the vets they are being looked after. So it would be amazing to see like you both very powerful forward women. So it’d be amazing to see us together. I think. Sure. I love that. All right, cool. So you mentioned a joint Toby, which there, and I was watching one of the, bring it on movies with my kids, like the children of movies and it, and one of them.
Danny (40m 20s):
And I, I don’t know if this was just a movie, but it’s actually a lot of a, I’ve been there for something, but they mentioned it to George W. Bush was the actual cheerleader and we all cheer letter back in the day. So have you heard of that? I don’t
Fitz (40m 32s):
Call, but I imagine it probably wasn’t GW. I imagine it was probably his father, George Herbert Walker, Bush. He was also a baseball player for, I believe Yale. So I don’t know if it’s GW. I haven’t heard that GWL was a cheerleader, but he was a fun guy. He was an enthusiastic Mann, perhaps he was going to have to learn about that now.
Danny (40m 54s):
Yeah, we did some Google and I couldn’t find anything. So I think maybe its just like a throw over a lane in a movie, but I just also, I just stuck there thinking, but possibly I am at all.
Fitz (41m 3s):
Oh for sure. Yeah. I know that sports. We’re a huge deal on that family and Gen
Danny (41m 7s):
Well, for me, this has been amazing. I’ve really enjoyed talking to you today and I know our listeners are going to really enjoy our chat For for people to wanna connect with you online, to learn more about a year. You know, you’re more than a mile program for kids for the schools, buy your book, et cetera, whereas the best police for them to connect with you.
Fitz (41m 25s):
Ah, thank you Danny. So Morning Mile dot com will take you to get more kids moving in the mornings. Fitzness dot com is my home base. That’s F I T Z N S S. So Fitzness dot com. AU is where you find me every day of the year. You can also follow me at Fitzness on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook and follow me. Yes, but also engaged with me, say hi, say I heard you on Danny’s podcast and they want to say hello because why just following each other? Why not actually communicate? And then if you’d like to purchase my book, it’s available in hardcover, paperback e-book and audio books, and it’s available, wherever books are sold war worldwide. So certainly Amazon Barnes and Nobles, audible, et cetera.
Fitz (42m 8s):
However, I love it when people buy it directly from me at Fitzness dot com because I can autograph every one of those books. And if you order on my website, there is a little spot that says, who do I inscribe this too? And so I sign all of those books and I have a fun little gift with purchase that comes with the book in it. It’s a sticker that says I can do hard things, which was my internal mantra as I was going from one scary moment to the next, during treatment. And it really got me through it. So, but yeah, I appreciate everyone who does take interest and you know, I hope that the book brings some big laughs and some comfort for those who need it.
Danny (42m 47s):
Awesome. And I’ll be sure to drop all the links sent to the show notes. So all of your list that all your favorite podcast app made sure to check the show notes as usual, so you can collect straight through to them. It’s a fit, as I mentioned, I really appreciate you coming on today. I, I know I personally, I’m looking forward. I actually have a lot of your book on Amazon, but it might cancel that. No, and go direct to your website to get a little ones, to know that they know that. That’s awesome. So I’m looking forward to reading and I’ve had an absolute blast talking to you today and, and listen to your story as a thank you. Thank
Fitz (43m 13s):
You, Daphne. And thanks to all of the listeners.
Danny (43m 16s):
It’s been another episode of Podcaster Stories. If you enjoy this week’s episode, be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast app like Apple podcast, Google podcast, Spotify, or a head over to Podcaster Stories dot com to cat h up on other episodes, and subscribe to the free newsletter. Until the next time, stay safe and take care.