Thursday, January 01, 2009


I was getting a workout on the treadmill last week. While I like running outside, it’s more convenient—and much more comfortable running inside this time of year.

As a pretty new runner with just three years under my belt, I’ve just not been able to muster up the dogged determination that you see in some runners. You know, the ones with all the cold weather gear, dogged determination, and really fast times.

But that’s O.K. I’m fine with it. Besides, I have a few treadmills, so I might as well use them! So you probably won’t see me out on the road until March when the weather breaks.

It does get a little boring when I do the long runs on the weekend, but that’s where the TV comes in handy. On the shorter runs during the week, it’s not bad at all. Especially when doing interval training which keeps your attention.

So there I was, silently stalking through the tall wet grass, intently listening for any sound of the dangerous predator—my senses heightened, for it could strike at any moment…whoops, that’s another story.

So there I was, walking and warming up with my training partner, as we getting ready to do some speed intervals. On the other side, one of my clients was getting on a treadmill too.

She stepped up, hit the button and started jogging. I looked at her and said, “Wow.” She said “not bad for a sixty-five year old.” She was right. I was impressed. I think Josh was too.

This is a woman who had difficulty walking a quarter mile not too many months ago. Now she’s running. Sure, it wasn’t all that fast, but it was fast for her and she was running.

She took away all our excuses. Her goal is to be able to jog all the way around the quarter mile track displayed on the treadmill. I did suggest she walk a bit to get warmed up before running—to help avoid injuries.

I’ve noticed that there are really two groups of people—and I admit I’m generalizing. The first group is people that seem to be able to get and stay fit. I think they’ve simply decided that they’re going to be healthier, so they just do what it takes and get there.

It might not be easy for them, especially early on, but they do it anyway. They might have to lose some weight. Perhaps they already have. They’ve fought through the aches and pains and are seeing results.

They’ve made a decision to stick with it and you can set your clock by them working out. They are so consistent that you just know they’re going to get what they want.

Often, they’ve been able to cut medicines in half or eliminate them. They’re doing better and things are getting much easier—even doing normal, everyday activities.

The other group has it harder. They’ve waited so long that now, it’s really hard. Sometimes, their bodies won’t even allow them to exercise, due to serious illness.

They have to take more medications, some of which cause more problems. It becomes a worsening cycle that traps them in their own bodies, with a life of pain and frustration.

Meanwhile, the others just keep rolling on. Which group do you think enjoys their life more? Which has a better quality of life? Which doesn’t?

The sad thing is that it is so doable. And getting trapped is so avoidable—especially if you do something about it—sooner, rather than later. And you know what? Even if it’s later, it’s usually not too late.

Most people can do something, even if it’s just coming up and riding the bike. Bob was in his late 70’s, and his wife “dragged him up here” to see if I could do anything with him. He had pretty serious health problems, and his body hurt all the time due to serious arthritis.

Bob’s first day at the gym was one of silent rebellion—I could see it all over his face and body. He told me “I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to exercise, and you’re not gonna make me.”

I said “that’s O.K. Why don’t you just sit here on this exercise bike and watch TV. If you feel like pedaling, that’s fine, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.” I left for awhile and when I came back, Bob was pedaling slowly.

He worked up to riding 30 minutes, not once, but twice a day, and lifted some weights too. He took great pride in being my oldest customer and I remember him well. Though we lost him to a serious illness a few years later, I believe he improved the quality of his life while he was here.

Another year has come and gone. A new one’s almost here. What will you do with it? What’s it going to be? Which group will you be in? The group that’s feeling better or the group that’s not?

One thing that might help is Biggest Loser “6” which starts Friday, January 2nd at 6:30 pm.
We have 24 people so far, and you need to be registered by Friday at 1:00 pm. The cost is $50 to participate and you should have a gym membership somewhere. Terry Elston Insurance will be providing the weekly prizes again, and the grand prize this time is a one year fitness membership!

Think of what you could accomplish in 2009. Whether you join Biggest Loser “6’ or not, do something. Get started. It’s not too late. Make it happen. Happy New Year!

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