Exercise

Trail running in the Swiss Alps

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I didn’t start out as someone who exercised. I was always active in sports but after I graduated college, moved and got a full time job, I was more interested in enjoying my freedom and relative prosperity. My lifestyle involved a lot of beer drinking and partying. And even at the young age of 24, it was apparent that I was in the process of letting myself go.

Fast forward 3 years, and I was “shamed” into doing something about my lifestyle. I decided to give “running” a try even though I hated it, thought it was stupid. I managed to survive (barely) running once around a track (1/4 mile). I wanted to quit but I saw other people running and I felt inspired (or competitive or maybe guilt) to continue. I gradually worked up to a mile and even entered my first organized race. People noticed the positive changes and I was hooked.

Over the years I somehow managed to keep up my running. It wasn’t always easy or convenient but I was committed. It was a priority for me.

Today I still run 4 -5 times per week. I do what is called trail running where I am running on unpaved trails in a preserve. I run between 4 – 6 miles at a time.

Not only do I reap the benefits of aerobic exercise, but I equate my style of running with meditation. I’ve tried to meditate at home but I just can’t seem to shut up that little voice in my head. So running is a good substitute for me. When I run there is no one around me, the scenery is spectacular and my mind is free to just let go and be in the moment. Sometimes I think about things but eventually I just zone out and enjoy the experience.

Unfortunately for many runners, parts like knees and hips wear out. I have been fortunate to not have had any problems. I have read that some now consider running to strengthen your joints. That may be the case for me as my ankles are very strong regardless of how they twist when I make a misstep.

Well, I guess you get the point about me and trail running. It is something I just do and will do until I can’t walk. I remain committed.

While running is my number one form of exercise I do some other things as well. I bike ride, swim a bit (don’t really like it), hike, walk and do yard work (I like it more than swimming). After retirement, I decided that I needed to maintain a strong core. So I do about 10 minutes of sit ups, leg lifts, pushups and stretching almost every day. I take every Sunday off to let my muscles catch up to my age.

My wife, CeCe, also exercises. She enjoys hiking, walking and bike riding.