In the last two months, since becoming an Ambassador for both FitFluential and Sweat Pink, I have been introduced to many to people (through their blogs), and become a fan of so many interesting, informative, and fun writers. I’ve been reading vegan recipe blogs, fitness blogs, and most especially, because I’m a runner, running blogs. One thing I’ve noticed about all these writers, is that with a few notable exceptions, they are young. Very young. Which all serves to make me realize that I was late to the party.
These young men and women, some of whom are still in their teens, are running, cycling, doing crossfit, creating recipes, many of them while raising a family, holding down a job, and then, writing about it. And writing well!
As an, ahem,
older person (well I tried crossing that out to substitute another word, but basically, I am older. Damn it!), I find it exciting that these young people are so focused, not only on their families and careers, but on fitness as well. They are training, running marathons, competing in other sports, staying fit and active at an age when it is so easy to “get by” on youth.
I say it that way, because that is exactly what I did. When I was their age, I too was working and raising a family, but exercise? Eating right? I didn’t have a clue. I had my youth and good genes, I wasn’t overweight, so therefore I didn’t need to do those things, right? Seriously, and I’ll tell you this now, because things have changed so dramatically. When I was 21 and waiting tables, my meal at work every day was two pieces of fried chicken, french fries, a small salad (which was basically iceberg lettuce with a slice of tomato), with extra blue cheese dressing to dip the fries in. (If you’ve never lived in my world, that was a Bob’s Big Boy Chicken Snack.)
It wasn’t until 10 years later, my boys were both in school, I was still in the restaurant business (management by then, more stress, less movement, not a good combination), when two things happened that changed my life.
The first was that I was recruited by a customer to apply for a job as an activities director at a local membership campground. The second thing was that I finally quit smoking. You can read the details of how water aerobics changed my life, but basically, my new job required that I teach water exercise, something that I’d never even dreamed about. I also began to teach line dancing, then aerobics (also arts and crafts but you don’t want to hear about that here!).
When quitting smoking started me on the path to weight gain, I began to exercise more, on my own time. Soon, I started strength training, then running. I ran my first race, a 10k, when I was 37. I found that, not only did I love running and the competition, but also that I was pretty good at it.
Now, it is almost 18 years later (!), and I’m still running. Slower, to be sure, and not as frequently, but still running, racing, and loving all of it. I coach now, high school cross country and adult runners, and I’m a personal trainer. I’m one of the lucky ones who has made their love of fitness a career.
When I started writing this, I didn’t mean it to end up a history of my road to fitness. I just want to pay tribute to so many young bloggers, who are doing so much and most importantly are already thinking about their health and fitness. They are getting out there and doing it. I also want to assure those who haven’t arrived at the party yet, that it is never too late. Start now, at any age. You can accomplish so many things, but most of all, you will be changing your life forever. We, the party goers, to hang mercilessly onto this metaphor, welcome you.
Dog Rescuer News
Those of you who have been following my stories know that I call my husband the Dog Rescuer. If you’re new around here, you can catch up by reading “We Call Him the Dog Rescuer,” and “Because It’s What We Do,” and since Alan has been know to rescue other species, don’t miss “Today’s Ride.” And those are the animals that we didn’t keep.
So today, Alan was outside in our front yard when he spotted a little dog, no collar (of course), but very friendly. So friendly that he actually snuggled with a few of the cats that Alan cares for (I’d say feral cats, but most of them are so tame by now that the word hardly applies). I was at cross country practice, so I heard all this by phone and email.
Alan checked with the neighbors, but the dog didn’t belong to any of them. One woman said that she’d seen him the night before, just hanging around the neighborhood. So, Alan brought him in, introduced him to our pack, and spent the day making “found” posters. Before you ask, yes, we’ve given him a name.
The rest of the pack is a little perturbed, but they have been friendly (they just give me sidelong, sad looks). We’ve posted a few signs in the neighborhood and at Starbucks, and Alan has made a few phone calls, but we’ve already decided that if we don’t find his home, we’ll be keeping him.
Welcome to the family, Buddy!
When did you “get into” fitness? Were you an early party goer or a late arrival like me?