Friday, August 2, 2013

New challenge. And a dose of gratitude.

So I managed to walk/jog/run 130 miles in July, which helped me hit that 700-mile mark for the year. What better way to celebrate August than to go for 150? That's only 4.838 miles a day – let's just call it five, shall we?

We'll be going on a short trip later in the month, but I'm pretty sure we'll be able to manage a couple fitness walks among the other touristy walking we plan to do. If I throw a couple six-milers in each week, that should take care of an unplanned rest day.

But since I'm streaking (18 straight days so far), I'm not planning on having any unplanned rest days, either.

I was sitting somewhere yesterday – can't remember if it was in the car or in a chair – and felt a little itchy right between my shoulder blades. So I scratched that spot, and then realized that was something I didn't used to be able to do. It had more to do with shoulder pain than mobility, but 40 pounds ago I had to ask for help. 

When I get down to brass tacks, I think not wanting to ask for help – not wanting to need help – pushed me to try Whole30. I seriously did not want Velcro sneakers, but I was seriously having trouble lacing up my Brooks Adrenalines.

Like most women my age (62), I'd like to look as young as possible for as long as possible. I've been blessed with youthful genes. Most people are surprised to learn I'm in my 60s. But more than not looking my age, I don't want to feel my age. Here in southern West Virginia, 60-year-olds use walkers and ride scooter chairs in the grocery. They tote portable oxygen tanks with them wherever they go.

Some of the health problems in the aging population here are due to work conditions. Retired miners have lung problems, and retired loggers have been injured on the job. But far more age-related health issues are due to lifestyle.

West Virginia's obesity rate is third in the country, behind Louisiana and Mississippi. Thanks in part to the pepperoni roll. The  gooey, doughy, cheesy West Virginia concoction came out on top this year in a national competition of favorite state snack foods. (Our local Amish neighbors have learned how to make them; only glazed donuts are a bigger seller at the bakery.)

West Virginians smoke. A lot (we're 9th in the country).

It's difficult for the average Joe or Jane to get out and walk, particularly in hilly, rural areas which don't have sidewalks and do have one-lane roads. 

My mother, her mother and my father were very good examples of how I don't want to age. All were obese, all smoked, all died due in large part to health conditions which could have been prevented.

I'm glad I've finally found a way to get and stay fit and active.

Oh, and to scratch my own back, too.


jen said...

Congrats on the milestone and on your new healthy outlook!

Unknown said...

I think you should pat yourself on the back too!