ORANGE, Conn. (WTNH) — Three years ago, Sharon Parlapiano thought she was healthy. She walked daily and felt great. So when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, it came as a shock. After battling the disease, she says The Edge Fitness Clubs has helped her take her health to a whole new level.

“It’s an amazing total shutdown of your whole body — your mind, just your physical being, you don’t know how to process anything,” Parlapiano recalled.

Parlapiano was diagnosed with the disease in June of 2014. What followed was two years of treatment that led to further complications.

“The chemo was causing my heart to fail basically,” she explained.

Parlapiano was told to limit her activity, so when she was finally cleared to exercise in September of 2016, she headed straight to The Edge Fitness Clubs.

“I’m definitely more active now than I was prior to any of the treatment or the diagnosis,” Parlapiano said. “Going to the Edge – amazing difference.”

Parlapiano started slowly.

“I started with just free weights around the gym, riding the bike and walking on the treadmill and knew I needed to do a little bit of something else so I did try the [Body Pump] class,” Parlapiano said.

Soon she was hooked.

“The encouragement and just the liveliness, that’s what brings you back,” she explained.

“I’ve seen a tremendous change in her fitness level,” said group fitness instructor Lisa Roman. “She’s really increased her weight training as far as increasing the weights, the level of stamina.”

“Lisa is amazing,” Parlapiano said. “She was the first instructor that I encountered through the [Body Pump] class, and having had the surgeries there’s a lot of stuff I couldn’t do with the chest muscles so there’s always a modification that she offers.”

Parlapiano soon added another class — Body Combat — to her routine. Between the two, she’s averaging five classes a week, and still walking every day.

“I think the breast cancer was definitely an awakening so to say,” Parlapiano said. “It’s just amazing how it gives you that little boost to say you need to start taking better care of yourself.”

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