No, this is not about the race held each summer in Marietta, it’s about literally running for the rest of your life. This past weekend I was in Florida and spent time with my father-in-law, who is 84 years old. He is a lifetime runner, and still runs daily, along with going to the gym to swim and lift weights.
We sit and talk about races, speed work, trail runs, running shoes and training schedules. He hasn’t raced in four years, because he is ticked off that he can’t run the 37-minute 10k’s that he could do when he was younger. He said he’s not going to race until he can get his speed back (I love it!). I did elude to the fact that maybe he should race against other 84-year old guys, not someone 20 years younger than him. But he didn’t want to hear that. Did I mention he was fast? And stubborn?
He serves as a role model to me, and proves that being fit will help lead you to a long healthy life. He is not on any medications, very rare for someone in their 80’s. He’s thin, tan, happy and fit. He gets adjusted every now and then, uses the cold laser technology regularly, has a beer each night, and hardly gets massaged. Yet he keeps on going.
He’s made running part of his lifestyle and because of that, I believe it is allowing him to move these days. I hear too many people tell me that running will ruin my knees and will not allow me to walk later on, and I must disagree. Lack of exercise in your life leads to the sedentary lifestyle, and will make things that much more difficult when you are in your 70’s and 80’s. Exercise does not slow you down, it keeps you moving.
Do you want to be 80 and sitting in a chair or wheelchair all day, or do you want to be 80 and out there running? While there is never any guarantee, I do encourage people to exercise daily (or close to it), and don’t give up.
That is one thing I love about Get Fit Atlanta, and how the group can encourage others to get out there and get fit. Those of you in the group, stick with it….forever. Those not in the group, think about getting involved to make fitness part of your lifestyle.