Two triggers motivated me to start running. One, I was tired of standing at races (impatient!) waiting for my husband to cross the finish line, and the other was while I was watching, I saw women in my age-zone at these races, and I determined, “I want to be strong and fit like that!”
We were both in our early forties. My husband was in a mid-life change, and good for him, he was ‘doing the work’, supporting his goals to lose weight (stop eating doughnuts!) and to get fit. For me activity started a kid – we didn’t have television so our entertainment was baseball, skating and riding bikes. Later when I had kids I made sure to walk and take gym classes because I did not want to gain weight! But by the forties, those two kids had grown up and moved out – more time for me! I had my picture of that ME – a fit and strong woman and running was going to be my adventure to get there.
Making these fitness goals absolutely changed our lives. It happened for us that the timing and mutual inspiration was a good fit for us both and discovering our inner runners we jumped all-in. We:
Other than the occasional injury??!! – we loved it all.
Now in my sixties I look at the photos and old running journals with nostalgia and yes, a wee bit of longing! When the emotions tempt me to get out and go for a run to repeat those feelings of freedom and the adrenaline high, I have to quickly flip on the mindset switch. I would be so bummed-out if joint pain or injuries sidelined me from living out the daily-ness of my longterm goals for fitness and mobility!
Now staying fit is hiking with a backpack for a day or more ( hiking adventures here ), paddling my kayak, cycling the back roads, snowshoeing if the weather’s right, strength-training in the pool to help me do all of the above! Movement makes my heart sing and so much of the energy for my fitness comes from being in nature – where I love to be! The decision my husband and I made to move cross-Canada in 2007 placed us into a totally new area of Canada – with so much beauty and to explore while staying fit!
I’m very blessed my spouse also enjoys hiking and cycling. But although he’s my favourite (smile), he isn’t my sole fitness companion. The good thing is we’re okay with getting rejuvenated in our individual ways – for which I am SO thankful as I have no desire to go on motorbiking trips! I don’t mind the solitude of a paddle or hike through the woods, but through my connecting with other active women, I have great fun sharing a week-end backpacking hike (a first time experience for some!) or kayaking somewhere new. We learn together, and my circle of friendships and fitness companions gets bigger!
The view in my ‘crystal ball’ for the far future?
And for the present?
Stay connected to my fitness purpose: know what I want to do for physical activity and how that fits for longterm wellness. Be safe, accept new challenges, be grateful.