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My non-exercise (actually food related) injuries - Confessions of a Klutz.

Friday, October 19, 2012

We are often warned by well intentioned people about a specific activity because of potential injury. Donít do X, Y or Z. It will hurt your (insert body part here).

Looking back at my history of injuries serious enough to require rest and/or rehabilitation, the activities most dangerous to me are eating out and food shopping.

In reverse chronological order:
July 2012: I tripped over a step while checking out the items on the restaurantís buffet. I landed awkwardly and twisted my left knee.
Result: 2 months of rehab exercises and no workouts.

April 2010: While grocery shopping, I caught sight of a half price sale on chocolate! I did a quick pivot and strained a ligament in my right knee.
Result: Ice, Advil and 2 weeks of not running.

May 2007: In a local supermarket I was buying a salad and bottle of water for lunch. I didnít have a cart for the 2 purchases and as I came around the corner of the aisle, I fell over shelving that the employees had left on the FLOOR. Nothing broken, but I got a 6Ē by 6Ē ugly purple bruise on my thigh and a lot of pain.
Result: 2 months of inactivity and a lot of Advil.
Note: The first thing the manager did was order his people to remove the shelving. I actually had to ask them for ice. No apology from the store, just a letter from their legal staff that any claim would require my submitting all my medical records for the last 10 years without any guarantee of confidentiality. Fortunately, I didnít have any expenses or miss work, but it did give me a new perspective about those who hire personal injury attorneys.

June 3, 2006: Our 39th wedding anniversary. We were coming out of the restaurant where we had dinner and were looking for the Cheesecake Factory for dessert when I tripped over a concrete planter on the sidewalk and fell face first, breaking my fall with my outstretched hands.
Result: 6 months of rehab for a frozen shoulder. At least I could still run.

OK, 3 of the 4 were my own fault. However, bizarre things happen to other people too. At our gym last week a woman tripped over the weights she left on the floor and fell into another woman. The 2nd woman broke her leg - another case of wrong place, wrong time.

Be careful out there!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIONE 10/20/2012 9:11AM

    And I thought exercise was dangerous! Stay safe!

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SOUTH_FORK 10/20/2012 8:24AM

    Ok, thanks for the laugh and- you have my sympathy! As a woman who has been stabbed with scissors, kicked by a horse, thrown by horses, stepped on by a horse, been in several car accidents, run over by a 4-wheeler, and involved in more than my fair share of sheer clutziness, I think my worst injury was food related as well:

When working as a pastry cook, I was dipping strawberries in molten sugar to create a thin candy shell on the outside, then sprinkling with turbinado sugar. I glanced away as a co-worker came into the room and instead of grabbing the turbinado, I stuck my hand right in the pot of sugar and came away with 2nd and 3rd degree burns. Looking back, this was probably karma. There really is no reason to dip strawberries in sugar- chocolate maybe, but not sugar! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/20/2012 8:24:50 AM

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PHEBESS 10/19/2012 11:57AM

    I'm sorry about all those injuries, but that really is funny!!!

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BETHGILLIGAN 10/19/2012 11:34AM

    I'm sorry but I had to laugh at this blog! I understand these caused you pain and emotional distress and I do feel badly about that. But still......... emoticon

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MOOSLADY 10/19/2012 11:32AM

    Yes, I agree, my worst injuries have had nothing to do with exercise.
1986- hurrying from class to the student center for lunch, slipped on a wet floor, dislocated my kneecap and broke a half dollar sized piece off the back. Surgery to remove the chip, an atrophied quadricep and 6 weeks off my feet. It was rated a a permanent 15% disability.
1989- trying to bring a rug back into the house before an approaching thunderstorm, caught the storm door with my elbow and broke the glass. Would have had stitches if I had had insurance but have a scar to this day.
1996- pulled a prickly weed in my dog yard in passing as I fed the dog and flung a seed into my eye tearing a flap on my cornea. Several trips to specialist and only a tiny scar but worst pain I ever felt.
2003- trying to quickly sharpen a knife so I could cook dinner, slipped and cut my pinky. Trip to the ER to be glued together, could use the hand for nearly 2 weeks.
2011- trying to catch up with kids running ahead of me into the library and carrying a load of books in front of me, stepped into a hole in the pavement and twisted my ankle. Never had it x-rayed but it was almost a year before it wasn't stiff and painful.
I guess the lesson for me would be NEVER to hurry.

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MAHGRET 10/19/2012 10:10AM

    Wow, be careful out there!

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SUZYMOBILE 10/19/2012 10:02AM

    Oh good. I was feeling particularly warped until I read two other people laughing. You must be really entertaining to hang out with! emoticon

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MJZHERE 10/19/2012 9:22AM

    At first I was laughing - until the list kept going and then I felt sorry for you! Hate when I am put on the sidelines cuz of an injury - determined to push thru the latest. Good for you for keeping on - your running is an inspiration.

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WILSONWR 10/19/2012 8:45AM

    That was a great way to start my Friday - very entertaining!

I've had more than my share of fluke accidents. I've only broken a bone once in my life and that was jumping for beads at a rainy day parade at Mardi Gras and coming down on a sloped curb. Broke both bones in my right leg and ended my running future. Try to explain that one to folks - they especially don't believe it when you tell them that you didn't have anything to drink!

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Why do my mind and body lie to me?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

If I feel good, eat healthy and exercise, isnít that enough? No, not for me and looking around at the general population, not for a lot of other people either. Without some objective measure, itís way too easy to deceive myself.

The voice in my head says:
Compared to others, Iím not fat
Compared to others, Iím fit.
Compared to others, I donít eat a lot.
Compared to others, I eat healthy.

But Iím not the others and if I only depend on subjective measures, Iím going to be one of them Ė again! Society is giving me license to gain weight. Clothing manufacturers allow me to feel good about myself by calling my 38Ē inch hips ďsmall!Ē or in the case of one brand ďextra small.Ē Yeah, sure! It was their miracle fabrics that allowed me to gain 25 pounds and still fit into the same clothes. Who knew underwear could stretch like that?

My body knows what it needs, right?
Why does MY body think it needs so much sugar and salt?

Without a stopwatch my mind overestimates the distance Iíve run and underestimates the time elapsed. Without a food scale, I underestimate portion size. Without reading food labels, I underestimate calories, sugar and salt. Over time this has unfortunate consequences.

I do get a complete physical every year or two, but I can do a lot of damage in that time. A lot of chronic conditions can creep up on you with no early symptoms at all.

Fortunately, I have an objective measure to keep me honest. I have a scale. Itís great for maintenance. (Yes, I know it doesn't define my self worth and I'm aware of daily fluctuations) However, if the trend is up, up, up, I can't continue to lie to myself. Iím doing something wrong and I want to find out in time before itís hard to turn things around.

I want to make this weight loss journey a one-time trip and just stay at my destination permanently.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MPLSLINDA 10/21/2012 12:52PM

    You're touching on some really big issues with this blog, each worthy of their own post, if not a book! The comparisons we make with others, the advertising and marketing pressures to eat, the cultural judgments against fat people, the changes to clothing sizes. If I want to know I'm obese, I don't need to look much further than that list.

Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight is countercultural these days.

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SOUTH_FORK 10/18/2012 2:38PM

    I absolutely agree, we all need tools to hold ourselves accountable. However, sometimes the less rigid measures are equally important. While the scale is nearly inexorable in its downward progress in my case, I am delighting in being able to run and play with my sons like never before, climb a roof ladder without feeling shaky, or take a morning run (without needing to be carried home,j/k). For me, I have to balance the scale with all the other measures of health- something I KNOW a smart cookie like you is already doing anyway! emoticon The 30 pounds I've lost would never have crept on (with a few of their friends) if I had been more diligent...

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MOOSLADY 10/18/2012 2:05PM

    I was going to comment but I had so much to say I think I may just write a blog entry. There is definitely another side to society's messages about weight.

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/18/2012 12:14PM

    Wonderful blog. Your attitude and approach are inspiring!

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GOTTAPLAN4U 10/18/2012 10:29AM

  So true, thanks.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/18/2012 10:07AM


Bill and I were just talking last night about how clever our minds are at trying to trick us. Mine often tries to talk me into adding just one more thing to my regular meals, plays little games about how much of everything I actually eat, tells me I don't really need to work out when I know better.

We are our own worst enemies sometimes, but so is (for lack of a better word) agribusiness. Bill just finished and has been transformed by the book "Wheat Belly." He's sworn off (gasp!) pasta and beer, among other things. The basic message is that we're being inundated with genetically modified wheat that is not only not good for us, but addictive. I bet 75% of what's in a typical supermarket contains gluten. I barely eat any wheat products myself any more and just traded Total for Corn Chex. I'll let you know if I see a difference after a couple of weeks of this, but it should make a BIG difference for Bill.

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MJZHERE 10/18/2012 8:59AM

    Very well said! Right there with you. This drive to compare ourselves with others is exactly one of the things I used to justify all the extra weight - kept looking and would say, "its not so bad." Thank God I started having a hard time carrying the weight around - my body said no! Even when I was younger my back would complain of the extra 10 lbs and that use to keep me in check (being very active I think I felt it more-now a silver lining from my accident). Definitely nothing in our society anymore to keep me in check.

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62NVON 10/18/2012 8:35AM

    I find myself with the same mindset sometimes... Thanks for the reminder to keep pushing and use objective measures.

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CELIAMINER 10/18/2012 8:20AM

    So much truth in your blog! I depend on my scales, both for my weight and my food, and on my watch and/or mapping technology for time and distance measurement. Much harder to argue or lie to myself when presented with cold, hard numbers.

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KANOE10 10/18/2012 8:06AM

    You are right about society welcoming obesity. Being thin is not the norm.

Ironically, when I was overweight, I thought you would just fit in when you were thin and be normal like everyone else. the truth is that being thin, exercising, eating healthy is NOT normal for our society..You are on your own.

Hope you find a solution to the up scale. I went through that a few weeks ago.

Great blog. emoticon

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 10/18/2012 8:05AM

    A lot of good points in your blog!

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BOILHAM 10/18/2012 7:26AM

    Nice blog, but reading it just puts me in 'grumpy old man' mode. It is a crying shame that society has given us license to be fat, lazy, and unhealthy. We are now giving awards to our kids for showing up. No need to strive for excellence, you're a winner if you have a pulse.

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MISSILENE 10/18/2012 7:12AM

    Oh this blog is perfect. I love your thoghts and attitude. Thank so much for posting it. emoticon

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Really people? Do I have to run through a cloud of smoke?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

There is a ďloopĒ in my town, a 2.75 mile route with paved sidewalks and no streets to cross. Thereís also a short ďnotchĒ along the way which adds just enough distance to make it a 5K for those so inclined. Itís a favorite of runners, walkers and strollers of all ages and levels of fitness.

Thereís a school along the route and a hospital across the street about 1.5 miles further on. Smoking is banned on both properties. Occasionally, I would come across a person standing just off the property and smoking. Recently I ran at the wrong time of day, specifically noon or 3 PM. Then groups of smokers were congregated in both locations and I literally ran through a haze.

Iím glad times have changed enough that school children and hospital patients donít have to breathe polluted air. I remember being in the maternity ward with the lady in the next bed puffing away along with all her visitors. However, Iím also glad I donít live in one of those adjacent houses. The cigarette butts on the ground provide evidence of the daily activity.

I well understand the addiction of nicotine. My Dad smoked for over 40 years before his heart attack. He told the ER staff, ďI quit this morning!Ē And he did!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THE_FOG 10/18/2012 11:06AM

    First world problem.

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PMRUNNER 10/18/2012 9:14AM

    That's one of my peeves too. That and parents smoking with their kids, like pushing them in a stroller or driving.

I have lived in states with inside smoking bans for about 12 years now, but when I travel it is a bit of a shock to go into a restaurant and get asked "smoking or non?" and then get a dose of second hand smoke whether I wanted to or not.

I still remember flying commercial with a smoking section!

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SPEEDYDOG 10/18/2012 8:13AM

    I live in Colorado that is, by some measures, the healthiest state. There is a proposal to ban outside smoking on the Boulder mall. The proposed penalty is $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail!

The problem is that young people aggregate in large groups and smoke. There are clouds of blue smoke haze and people are starting to avoid the mall. The owners of shops and restaurants are losing money!

My dear old dad died of lung cancer after 50 years of smoking. If these young people want to commit slow suicide, no law is going to stop them. But they can be stopped from inflicting deadly smoke on others.

Thanks, Bruce

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MISSILENE 10/18/2012 6:58AM

    My Dad also had his last one @ 50 years old. At that time 50 years ago, It was cool to smoke. I run away from smokers, sneezers and coughers.

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MOOSLADY 10/17/2012 3:09PM

    Since 80% of the night shift workers smoke(has someone done a study on the reasons for this?), my husband often ends up going to meetings in the smoking area of the plant(picnic tables by the hourly entrance). When he takes a vacation, it take fully 4 days to get the smell out of his sinuses. Corporate has demanded for them to go smoke free but hasn't happened in the 2 years since. I suspect it is because such a high percentage of the employees smoke, they doubt it would be enforceable. Since once they arrive for a shift they never clock out, there would be no congregating on a corner off property since they cannot leave the property while clocked in. What would probably happen is people hiding out to smoke in the box cars of paper, room where the rolls of paper are stored or the room where the paper scraps are baled, a fire safety nightmare from any angle.

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LADYPIXEL 10/17/2012 12:29PM

    I quit smoking in February after 25 years of smoking. Perhaps it's because I've seen the hell that smokers go through nowadays trying to find a place to smoke that I'm less inclined to be upset about such things. Nobody provides a smoking area. Smokers are ostracised, told to go away with those things no matter where they're at. If there was a designated place to go TO, it would be easier... but many places have gone to completely nonsmoking properties, and that makes it so that you're going to find smoking-clumps on streetcorners rather than one or two smokers here or there.

I can't be upset about people smoking on the street, no matter how much I dislike the aroma (because it spawns cravings). And it's not the nicotine that I miss, because I still HAVE nicotine via electronic cigarettes and through natural sources like tomatoes, etc (you did know tomatoes are a high-nicotine food, right?). It's the 4000+ other chemicals in the cigarettes that are the addictive part, and the part that smells so damnably bad.

I'm so glad to be off those things. But at the same time, it is an addiction, much like an addiction to unhealthy food, and so I just hold my breath for the few seconds that it takes to move past an ambulatory cloud. :)

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MAHGRET 10/17/2012 12:03PM

    I can't stand smoke.

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RTCT2013 10/17/2012 11:44AM

    Sorry to hear that you had to run through a haze of smoke. My mom smoked heavily (2 packs a day) when I was young, she'd smoke in the house, in the car (with me) & that's just the way it (unfortunately) was. That was "back in the day" before people really knew all the dangers of smoking. I somehow learned to live with the smoke, but I hated it. Now, I am so sensitive to smoke, that just being around it for a few seconds makes me cough. The smokers throwing their sig. butts on the ground are also creating a danger for something catching on fire. A friend of mine who lives in my neighborhood had her house catch on fire yesterday. She was smoking outside in her backyard (she won't allow smoking in her house), and she put out her sig. butt on the ground...guess it wasn't completely out, because she went inside, and minutes later, her garage was on fire. Luckily the house wasn't heavily damaged (except for all the water from the fire dept. dousing the fire) and no one was hurt. Sorry to go off on a tangent here! Keep up your great work with exercise and maintenance!!!

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MJZHERE 10/17/2012 10:12AM

    My dad died from emphysema after being a chain smoker his whole life. What a terrible death it was - don't know what they do now, but then no pain meds as it slows down the breathing (no matter what - he had to have gallstones removed and they didn't even knock him out). I never touched a cigarette because I so hated growing up with the smoke.

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CELIAMINER 10/17/2012 9:28AM

    Ugh, truly hate running (or walking) the gauntlet of smokers! My parents also had that terrible addiction. Mom quit after her big stroke, but Daddy would have smoked while on his deathbed hooked up to oxygen if he could have gotten away with it.

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/17/2012 9:26AM

    The previous Medical Director at the mental health agency where I work used to say nicotine is more addictive than cocaine. I believe him. My dad also quit smoking cold turkey after he was told he had the beginning of emphysema. I've seen that sort of diagnosis or medical experience cause people to finally stop smoking or else you pretty much knew they never were going to.

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WILSONWR 10/17/2012 9:15AM

    That is bad. Smoke didn't bother me when I was younger, but I can't stand to be around it now.

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 10/17/2012 8:31AM

    Funny that you mention that, at my last 5k (during the race) I smelled cigarette smoke... was in a park, it was a trail run and there were not any spectators along the route.
Lo and behold, there was a 'walker' smoking emoticon
The walkers were still on the 'out' and I was on the 'return', some moron was smoking.
If I wasn't concerned about my time, I may have gone back and poked him in his eye!
So far, almost every race I have been in, I have sucked in my cigarette smoke from someone watching the race.
I am glad we live in a different day and age, as well.
(Remember being on an airplane when smoking was allowed?)

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KANOE10 10/17/2012 8:20AM

    That is too bad that you had to run through a haze of smoke. I hope you can later your times to avoid the groups of smokers. I would not want to walk through them either.

Great job on exercising and maintenance. Have a great day. emoticon

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The soundtrack of my life echoes through my workout

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Many SP articles, blogs and threads involve workout music. At age 65 I have to admit that Iím not familiar with much of it. The last I remember being surrounded with popular music, my 3 kids were in high school (1983-1993). Soon afterwards technology allowed everyone to carry around their own personal soundtrack and tune out the world around them.

Other than stores that pipe in seasonal music, the only time Iím surrounded with sound is at the gym. Iíve discovered that I choose my aerobics class as much by the music favored by the instructor as for the moves she incorporates. When the music triggers an emotional response, Iím energized to put more effort into the activity. When the song reminds me of a time or place, Iím transported back there and a younger version of myself takes over. While ďlost in the sixtiesĒ the hour session just flies by. Of course, it helps not to look too closely in the mirror or the reality of how time has actually flown by disrupts the atmosphere. (I remember Jamie Lee Curtis in ďFreaky FridayĒ ĖďEEK, Iím the Crypt Keeper!Ē)

Note: This doesnít apply when running outdoors. There, as Iíve written in a previous blog, being alert and aware of my surroundings is more important than any boost from music. Be careful out there!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONMYMEDS 10/16/2012 12:55PM

    When it comes to music, I confess I'm stuck in a 60's musical time warp although I do like bluegrass from any era. The music (noise) at my fitness club is atrocious and an assault to the senses, but I just leave my hearing aids at home and that helps a lot.

When I'm running outdoors, I never listen to music. Like yourself, I like being alert and aware of my surroundings, and I like to monitor my effort from the sound of my breathing and the way my feet are striking the pavement.

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BOILHAM 10/16/2012 12:52PM

    Hey, you know I'm a geezer, so I totally get this blog. Though I'm not a gym rat these days, I used to be one.

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MJZHERE 10/16/2012 10:13AM

    I really enjoy the music while rollerskating. Also the only time I listen to it - unless my dd is here as she immediately turns it on. DGC keep theirs plugged into their ears.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/16/2012 8:35AM

    Disco had its benefits--in exercise class in the 70s and 80s!

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I know where all the men are Ė at least the old ones

Monday, October 15, 2012

No, this isnít like one of those spam emails ďmeet sexy singles in your area.Ē But as I get older Iím coming face to face with the statistics of life expectancy. Sadly, Iím attending more funerals lately and have even begun to read the obituaries. People are showing up there who were born in MY decade and men outnumber women.

I see the gender gap all around me. On the river cruises and bus trips favored by senior citizens, there are many couples, but the solo travelers are overwhelmingly women. In the nursing homes I visit, itís unusual to see a man in the dining room or at any of the activities.

However, there are 2 areas where the balance is more even or actually tipped in the other direction. I live in an area popular with retirees and certain times of day are dominated by us old folks.

Looking around the gym one morning, I counted equal numbers of both genders. Women were the majority in the classes, but the men were there on treadmills, lifecycles, ellipticals and pumping iron. In the pool women gravitate toward water aerobics, but the men are well represented in the lap lanes.

Then thereís our local road races. The highest age groups are not equally defined. Women are grouped into age 65 and up, sometimes even 60 and up. Men, on the other hand, continue their 5 year grouping until 75 or 80 because there are just more of them. At one winter race (in bad weather I must add) there was a prize (a turkey) for the oldest participants in the race. I won as the oldest woman and I was only 61. The oldest man was 79!

My conclusion? Women may still outlive men, but those men that do beat the odds are out there working out and staying fit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSUSRIVERRAT 10/18/2012 8:03AM

    Very interesting observation! Thanks for sharing this observation. I've seen evidence of the bad stats among friends, family and at the nursing home. Good to hear some good news to offset that.

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MISSILENE 10/18/2012 6:59AM

    Same thing here in South Florida.

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SOUTH_FORK 10/15/2012 10:39AM

    In the 5k I ran last month there were two 80+ men, but no women in that age range, sadly... i hope that I'll be plugging away when I hit the 8-decade milestone. I know I have genetics on my side, but I'll have to do the work to keep it up!

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WILSONWR 10/15/2012 10:34AM

    That's pretty interesting insight and I agree with your observations - I just never really thought about it before!!

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LESLIE871948 10/15/2012 10:18AM

    Ok, when I first saw the title I was all Yeah, Tell Me, Where are they, and then it looked like the answer was going to be 6 feet under in the cemetery and I was like all RATS that is not what I wanted to hear, but then at the End, oKay, I guess I need to sign up for more public active stuff.

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BOILHAM 10/15/2012 8:43AM

    I know! It is so hard to get win an AG these days. So many damn geezer-guys out there!

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ONMYMEDS 10/15/2012 8:28AM

    So I guess my competition is going to be around for a long time. I'm going to need more speed work. Damn.


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DABLUECAT 10/15/2012 8:23AM

    How interesting!

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