20 Miles and Counting: Mom's my Hero

In my last blog I introduced you to my almost-80-year-old mother, and tried to shame you into beginning an exercise program. (Click here to read “Mom's mailbox journey motivates toward marathon milestone.”

Mom has committed to participate in the Senior Marathon, a Fort 4 Fitness event taking place the last weekend of September, and is really going gang-busters with her training. The Senior Marathon is a wonderful program sponsored by Parkview Health. It’s a part of the Fort4Fitness event that has seniors log miles walked over the summer. The goal is 25 miles by the end of September. Participants will complete the last 1.2 miles of the 26.2 mile marathon at the Parkview Field at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, September 28, in front of a packed stadium.

So, how is mom doing? Well as of August 6 she has logged just over 20 miles and has 7 weeks to go before the event. She is on an absolute "tear" and plans to "crush" the goal (and her competition) of 25 miles.

Mom is so excited about the event and the progress she’s made over the last few months that she wanted to tell you about the challenge herself. “It’s almost mind boggling that I can do this at age 79,” she says. I've embedded a video we made in this blog to tell her story. Stay tuned for her challenge to you at the conclusion – “Get out and get moving.”

Just imagine, going from couch potato to "ultra-marathoner" at the ripe age of 79. Mom and all the participants of the Senior Marathon are my heroes! I have always advocated a healthy active lifestyle as a way to prevent the development of heart disease and these participants are actually doing it and becoming healthy in the process.

As I said last blog, the event is truly a spectacle to behold and even if you choose not to participate I encourage you to come to witness this marvelous and incredibly motivating event. We all have been amazed by the athletic prowess of the Olympic athletes these past several weeks, but I can tell you from experience there is nothing more amazing or motivational than seeing these seniors, many with canes or walkers walking into the stadium and crossing the finish line.

When asked what she is looking forward to most about the event, Mom says, "All the stuff I get when I finish". (We in the racing business call this "hardware", consisting of Finisher Medals, Trophies, T-shirts, basically any memento from the event that one can "show off" to their less motivated friends). The real prizes, of course, are immeasurable – a healthier life, weight loss, improved blood pressure, and the sense of accomplishment. I cannot be prouder of my Mother's accomplishments to date and cannot wait to see her cross the finish line as a winner, hero and inspiration to others.

Plan to come cheer on my mom and all the other seniors on September 28. I know I will be there and would be happy to discuss exercise options with any and all who wish.


Here are some links with more information about the Fort4Fitness events, including the health fair for those of you who don’t plan to enter an event.

Fort4Fitness home page: http://www.fort4fitness.org/

Senior Challenge Registration: http://www.fort4fitness.org/fort4fitness-seniors-marathon.asp

Community Wellness Calendar of Events: http://fort4fitness.mhsoftware.com/View.html

Fort4Fitness Schedule

Friday September 28, 2012 1 – 8 p.m., Fort4Fitness 4Yourhealth Health Fair

Friday September 28, 2012 1 – 9 p.m., Kids Marathon and the Senior Marathon, registration and packet pickup for all races.

Saturday September 29, 2012 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., All race events begin at 7:30, 8 or 9 am depending on the race chosen. The 4 mile, the 10K or the Half Marathon are open for registration and all feature a downtown Fort Wayne Baker Street Station start and an exciting finish at home plate in Parkview Field. All events can be either run or walk or a combination.

See www.fort4fitness.org  for full details and for start time of each event.

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