Why wait until illness forces a team of medical professionals to heal you? Why wait for disease to force you to take the time to get better? Why not commit to getting as strong and healthy as you can now, so that you enjoy your body and revitalized health?
Wow, that’s a lot of questions and challenges. And now for the reality.
When I set out on my super-fit journey at age 50, I knew one thing: I could not do it alone. I did not know how to pull it off. So I sought help — coaches, running club, friends and support. In short, I surrounded myself with a wellness team to help me get on the path to better fitness.
For the journey of my book, Older Faster Stronger, I focussed on turning back the clock on aging, to recapture the fitness and energy of my 20s. This is what I asked myself: Why enter the second half of my life in an aging decrepit vehicle when I could train myself into a younger zippier sports car? While my project was almost entirely physical — run a fast marathon, lose weight, kick the social smoking habit, eat better, get stronger and faster — I also wanted to get happier. I wanted to haul myself out of a mid-life malaise and charge into the second act of my life with the wisdom of my years but the piss and vigor of my twenties.
I am proof that it’s possible. I’m also proof that there’s no end goal to this challenge. Though we can achieve goals along the way, we can’t ever achieve super fitness then set it on the mantle like some trophy collecting dust. Super fitness entails a continual striving to improve wellness, in every way.
I can report that training has become a happy habit. I actually look forward to runs, pumping weight, doing yoga and moving my body in a myriad of ways. I’m tweeking my training in 2015 to give myself more of what I love because doing what I love is the key to adherence.
I enjoy shorter harder runs, so I’m focussing on 5 and 10K events this year. I love being over-all fit, not just runner fit, so I’m taking more time to lift weights, do yoga and other sports because, hey, I want to have fun with my younger fitter body! One of the biggest surprises of my super-fit year was discovering just how much I enjoy competing so I’m entering many more races; focussing on shorter ones allows me to do that.
Do I have it all together? Not by a long shot. Finishing Older, Faster, Stronger was hard because my favorite place to be in the world is INSIDE A BOOK, writing, researching, meeting people and trying to wrestle all that into something readers might enjoy. Writing a book is a hugely challenging but satisfying and even comforting place to be. Frankly, I miss being inside Older Faster Stronger.
So what’s next? I’m continuing to live the journey by speaking to running groups, book clubs, university groups and companies. If you would like me to speak to your group, just scoot up to the contact button and drop me an email.
As for my next big writing project, I’m test driving a number of ideas to try to figure out that next big step. This is not easy work. There is so much I want to do. Many days it involves enough questioning to drive me batty. I get mired in the questions. But, being on the super-fit journey means striving to improve all the areas of our lives — family, career, relationships. Which is when I recalled one of my favorite quotes in OFS, from sports psychologist Peter Jensen. He told me, “When you’re ready for the lesson, the teacher will appear.” I said, hell, I turned to a running coach to help me run a marathon. Maybe I need a life coach to help me sort through these career questions! The very next day, a partner of an old friend friend called me up, asking for a signed copy of Older Faster Stronger for a Christmas gift. She told me that she had changed careers, become a life coach. So the super-fit journey continues……