Survivor-Athlete Spotlight: Maryellen Kloiber

Survivor-Athlete Spotlight: Maryellen Kloiber

Maryellen Kloiber, cancer survivor, ST&BF survivor-athlete, and Indoor Row Group member sporting a special T-shirt that her husband presented to her (read on to learn more)!

Maryellen is another one of our dedicated and adventurous ST&BF survivor-athletes and an Indoor Row Group member! In addition to her kind and compassionate nature and her supportive and encouraging influence, Maryellen has also contributed her knowledge as a retired Physical Therapist to the group! Like so many other ST&BF participants, Maryellen has embraced a variety of new experiences and adventures including Hiking Along the Cancer Journey backpack outings, Navigating Along the Cancer Journey Orienteering, and the Indoor Row Group. She snowshoes with us, flies kites with us, does Qigong with us, takes Steps to Survivorship with us, and was a committee member for our recent WANDER-thon (and so much more).

With the start of the 2022/23 Indoor Row Group just two months away, Maryellen shares these remarks about her experience with the Indoor Row Group with the intent of encouraging other cancer patients/survivors to join us in the upcoming season.

Why I started rowing & why I strived for a million meters:

Rowing was what initially got me hooked on ST&BF activities 5 years ago. At that point, I was just a year past completing chemo for non- Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and was feeling kind-of ok, but not nearly as energetic as I used to be. It was as if something was missing.

Timing to begin rowing was perfect, since Tim invited me to row at the beginning of the row season, in November. So, I started slowly. I found muscles that hadn’t been used in a while, and met some nice, very encouraging people in the group.

There was talk of a “Holiday Challenge,” where a person rows 100,000 meters between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I doubted I could do that but signed up anyway. I thought I’d see how far I’d get. All the nice, new rowing buddies would be at the clinic or “Y” encouraging me and each other, so as that challenge wore on, I rowed the 100,000 meters (and then some)! And as the meters rolled by, my strength, endurance, and outlook improved, and I was having fun through the sweat.

Next, I aimed for rowing a million meters. I did that, for which my husband got me a T-shirt saying, “I rowed a million meters just for the health of it.” I am well past two-million meters now, although Covid put a damper on rowing and I do not have a rower at home. But I continue to enjoy the challenges, rowing games, virtual classes with Kym, and especially rowing with my fellow cancer survivors.

NOTE FROM TIM: Even if, like Maryellen, you don’t think you could ever row a million, or two-million, or three-million meters... remember, “a journey of a million meters begins with the first meter”! If you are interested in scheduling an Indoor Row Group demo/instruction prior to the 2022/23 Indoor Row Group Season (which runs from November 1st through April 30th), please contact Tim.

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