Athlete of the Month: July 2019
July’s AOM has an inspiring and motivating story that we are so grateful she agreed to share with all of us. Sahar Delgado is one of the cornerstones of the badass 7:30 pm crew plus she rocks the best t shirts and has terrific taste in music. Sahar began with us at Windy City little over a year ago with her Husband Jerry, who thankfully talked her into coming to level 1 class, even going with her to Level 1 classes. Sahar’s calm outward demeanor is just cover for one the most resilient, determined fighters in every sense of the word. It has been a pleasure to be part of her journey, and it’s an honor to share her story with Windy City Community.
Full Name: Sahar Shereen Qamar-Delgado
Member Since: April 2018
“We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that Death will tremble to take us.”
Born in Chicago and I grew up in Uptown. I was raised in a multi-cultural family. My mother is half Mexican and half Black, and my father is from Pakistan. My mother is a retired flight attendant, so I have a life long love of travel. One of my favorite places to visit is Australia where my sister lives with her husband and 5 sons. I love music, especially live music. I try to go to as many concerts as possible. Whether it’s rock, jazz, blues, classical or hip-hop, I want to be there. I have an overflowing collection of band t-shirts and ticket stubs. I am a self taught artist, I mainly work in graphite, charcoal, and acrylics. Still trying to get the hang of oil paints. I also work with fine silver in jewelry making. Of all of the arts though, my true passion is writing. It is where I can most express myself.
I’ve dealt with chronic health issues since 2002, when I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Although this was a set back, I worked hard to live a healthy lifestyle and not let fibromyalgia stop me from living my life. In October 2012 I suffered a ruptured aneurysm in my brain and had to have emergency brain surgery. Even though the doctors prepared us for the worst, fortunately I came through the surgery relatively unscathed. I did suffer a small stroke which has caused weakness on my left side, and unfortunately there was some nerve damage, that has caused some chronic pain issues other than the pain from fibromyalgia. Still I consider myself very lucky, my surgeon told me before I was released from the hospital that he had never seen a case like mine, and couldn’t tell me why I was still alive. I am grateful for everyday that I’ve had since, even the hard ones. I was told that full recovery would take about 5 years. Again I pushed myself to stay active and healthy. It took a few years, but i saw the light at the end of the tunnel and was getting back to my old self.
Shortly after the 4 year anniversary of my aneurysm I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. In February 2017 I started cancer treatment. I was lucky that I didn’t have to have chemo, they were able to remove all of the cancer through surgery and I had 5 weeks of radiation just to be on the safe side. I had a few setbacks, a major infection and bad reaction to some medication, but I got through it. I’ve had 4 surgeries, 2 to remove all of the cancer, and 2 for reconstruction. So this brings me to the part where I started CrossFit. My husband was going to CrossFit Chicago and had been nagging me to join him. I had finished with my first 2 surgeries and radiation and found myself too weak to even open doors in my building. I knew I couldn’t live like that so I gave in and joined my husband at CrossFit Chicago. It was tough. I was exhausted all the time, I was in pain, but I was determined. Gradually things started to click. In January 2018 our beloved CFC closed down, and that’s what brought us to Windy City. We had a great conversation with Justin and decided Windy City was the place for us. My husband Jerry joined in January 2018, although I had to wait until April 2018 to start due to a severe infection and also having my 3rd surgery. I knew starting back up was going to be hard, but all the coaches were so helpful and understanding. Slowly but surely I found myself getting stronger and more at ease in the gym. I also found myself making meaningful connections with people at the gym. I can be a very introverted person, so this was something I didn’t expect but am very grateful for ( 7:30pm crew I’m looking at you! ).
Training at Windy City means being independent again. Training here has helped me to regain confidence in the strength and abilities of my body, and it’s brought me out of my shell (a little).
What does living BIG mean to you?
It means not only surviving, but thriving. Even if it’s just going for a walk on the lake front, I’m so thankful that I’m able to do it.
What would you do and where would you go if time / money were not object?
I would spend a few months in Australia with my sister and her family, just enjoying all the natural beauty of the country.
What adventures, events, trips, races do you have planned?
Honestly, the last seven years have been so crazy that I’m just taking everything one day at a time. I just want to enjoy feeling the sun on my face this summer.
What are your goals:
- Fitness: It’s still a long way off, but I want to be able to rope climb.
- Professionally: Maybe one day have something published or have a showing of my art.
- Personal: To write something everyday.
What is one thing that most people don’t know about you?
I’ve always been super clumsy. Like, ridiculously clumsy. I walk into walls on a regular basis.
Words to Live By
Above all, be kind. You never know what struggles someone is going through.