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    SLENDERELLA61
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How I Found My Inner Jock

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Eleven mile run – done! Or more precisely an eleven mile run-walk-run. I loved it. I ended up feeling great and knowing that I could run more and run faster. And I soon will. Looking forward to it. How did I go from living a sedentary existence to where I am today?

As a kid I remember being chosen last every time. I was embarrassed to run for fear kids would see my fat jiggle. My 5th grade teacher recommended dancing lessons to help awkwardness, not knowing I’d already had three years. I remember my 7th grade coach calling me a “motor moron.” How did I ever find my inner jock?

In 1998 when I hit my top weight of 212 pounds, I had not exercised for more than a decade. Before that a couple times I had started an exercise program at a gym or on my own, but that was just it. I started. Inevitably I overdid it, was so sore I could hardly walk, and would give up. I thought it was just way too hard.

In 1998 I joined Curves. That was the first time I ever exercised fairly regularly. It wasn't too hard and I didn't get sore. I lost 60 pounds, but really did not see any muscle definition nor notice any improvement in my cardio. I did not enjoy the workouts, but endured them in order to lose weight. After I hit my weight goal, I quit. I tried Curves again in 2004-2006, and was really dedicated to getting my workouts in for the first time. It became easier and easier. I used a weighted hula hoop on the “recovery stations” and started really having fun during my workouts.

I changed jobs and Curves wasn’t convenient any more. I walked regularly three days a week for 30 minutes. Pretty soon it was four days a week and then five. Usually I was a little more consistent in the summer than in the winter when it was dark when I got home from work. Then I got a treadmill and consistently walked year round.

For Christmas I got a great present, a Walk Away the Pounds DVD. I loved the indoor walking program and mixing it up with my outdoor walks and my treadmill walks. I stuck to my 5 times a week cardio schedule for several years, but my weight was creeping back up. In 2008 I rejoined Weight Watchers, having regained 25 pounds. I lost the 25 with my 5 days a week exercise routine. I was at the top of the healthy BMI range, but I wanted to make sure I kept it off this time.

That was when I found SparkPeople. I read that exercise was crucial to maintenance. I increased my cardio to 6 days a week, one hour per day. I consistently did a SparkPeople-generated strength training program, too. I added the minimum maintenance food, and was surprised when I continued to lose weight slowly for more than a year.

After four months of SP strength training I was confident enough to join a gym. At our local YMCA I found people at all fitness levels and wish I’d joined earlier. I tried a lot of different exercises – weight machines, pilates, step aerobics, stationary bike, swimming, etc. Zumba became one of my favorites and I found I really enjoyed 70 minutes on the elliptical trainer. My new MP3 player also helped jazz up my workouts.

In January 2011 at the age of 61, a poster caught my eye, “5K Road Race for People Over 50.” I wondered if I could run 3.1 miles. I jumped on the treadmill and did it without much problem. I entered the race and placed third in my age group. It was only the 12th time I had ever run and the third time I had ever run that far. I thought maybe I should start training for real! In the following year I ran six 5Ks and one 10K. Now I’m training for my first half marathon on November 18th.

If you just read the previous paragraph you might think it was foolishly impetuous of me to start running so late in life, but taken in context, the opposite is true. I found my inner jock by taking slow consistent steps over years and gradually increasing the intensity and length of my workouts.

I’ve learned if I dread a workout, I need to slow down. It doesn’t need to hurt to be beneficial; in fact, you should end up feeling great. I do!!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNELDA22 10/14/2012 7:05PM

    If the rest of us had followed your example through the years, we would all be running 1/2 marathons with you. Well never to late to get into shape and start training. Thanks for the inspiration emoticon emoticon

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HIPPYCAT 10/10/2012 2:54PM

    Thanks for inspiring me today!

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DORY1949 10/1/2012 10:36AM

    You really inspired me and gave me hope! You tried so many things and never quit no matter what. You helped me feel that I could do an exercise routine even if it was walk away the puounds, curves, walking or jogging outside or going to zumba. Thanks. Keep up the goo d work.

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PCASEY7 9/30/2012 9:44PM

    I was 59 when I found SP and started exercising consistently. The lbs came off and my energy levels have been much better. Good luck with your half marathon - you rock!

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LARKSONGRUTH 9/29/2012 3:23PM

    Wonderful telling of your exercise story. This was very encouraging to me.


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CANDO20K 9/29/2012 5:35AM

    Thank you for such a positive, enthusiastic blog that makes me suddenly believe I could enjoy exercise!

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CANDOIT54 9/26/2012 11:16AM

    Good for you. I'm going to be 58 in November so if you can do it so can I.
Thanks for motivation

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SNUZSUZ 9/24/2012 1:24PM

    Thank you for this great blog! I will be 59 in 5 weeks, and have spent the past year fighting lung cancer. I walked for about a mile and a half this morning. First time in about a year. I signed up for a 5k in October and you have inspired me to go for it! I know I won't be able to run, but I hope I can at least walk it:)

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SUSANSERENE 9/24/2012 12:57PM

    Thank you for the inspiration and congratulations on your accomplishments! I'll be 64 in a few weeks and my goal is to eventually do a half-marathon. I see myself doing it and I know it will happen, with one baby step at a time.

Keep up the awesome work! emoticon

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FEFIFO 9/23/2012 4:56PM

    I am 68 years old and have been thinking about walking and running a 5K. I run and walk on the treadmill but so far only have been able to run for 3 minutes. I have reached my goal weight and have kept it off for 1 year with Jenny Craig and Spark People. I got $125 refund from Jenny Craig by keeping my weight off for 1 year. I have to exercise regularly or the weight would come back. I line dance, heavy yard work, swim laps occasionally. I find reasons to walk instead of ride.

Your story inspired me to do more, although, I know I can't do what you do. You are doing so well and I just wanted to let you know. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LKWQUILTER 9/22/2012 2:53PM

    WTG!!

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FIFTYFUN315 9/22/2012 12:19PM

    Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement - hiked 5.25 miles and 709 feet elevation with a friend over Labor day and surprised myself at actually being able to do it. I am only 50 but sometimes that voice on the wrong shoulder tries to tell me I am too old - your blog helped me to stick duct tape on his mouth LOL

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GOSPARK45 9/22/2012 1:25AM

    Way to go! Who knew you had an inner jock!

A half marathon? Amazing.



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GRANDMABABA 9/21/2012 10:35PM

    My first 5k is tomorrow. I cannot run that far, but I can walk it and jog a little along the way. I'll be 60 in two weeks and am excited to be back in a more active mode again. I have ms and limited to less challenging activity over the past many years. Your story is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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KITTYF54 9/21/2012 3:53PM

    I'm still trying to find the will to get up and do something. it's not as easy as it sounds, is it?

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ALLYSONRW 9/21/2012 11:16AM

    Oh, I can so relate to the school gym classes. Always last in everything. I thought I was going to die when those yearly physical fitness tests were introduced in the 60's! Hard to believe that I now do monthly 100 and 200k's on my bike. Thanks for the wonderful read and congrats on your Popular Blog award!

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PARKERB2 9/21/2012 9:25AM

    good for you. Keep on truckin' emoticon

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MICKEYMAX 9/21/2012 8:43AM

    emoticon

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DDOORN 9/21/2012 8:35AM

    I've always declared that running just isn't my "thing." Nonetheless I run a 5K every year to join with others, especially our local Sparkers!, once a year and get out training the month beforehand. I do it. It's not horrible. But I've never had much of that "runner's high" one hears so much about.

Your example offers me some hope that one day this could change! :-)

Don

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CAROTEX1 9/20/2012 11:31PM

    emoticon WAY TO GO! I'm 68 and just getting started with walking for Health's Sake, I dream of completing a 5K, did not know if I was to old to start but you have inspired me! Thank you so much! Best of Luck!

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YENGLISH100 9/20/2012 11:08PM

    Great encouragement. Thanks for sharing. Your life seems so similar to mine. emoticon

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CAMELSAMBA 9/20/2012 8:06PM

    Awesome! Enjoy your half marathon!!

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ARUSHING2 9/20/2012 3:21PM

 
Great job . . . congratulations for your attitude and accomplishments!

Thank you for sharing your story with us . . . appreciated ! !

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CHUBERASER 9/20/2012 2:08PM

    You are an inspiration for me to get back in gear and start moving!!! emoticon

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KCHRISTIE4 9/20/2012 10:53AM

    Great!

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IM_GETTIN_THIN 9/20/2012 10:39AM

    "take slow consistent steps". I needed to hear that today, thanks :) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GODDREAMDIVA1 9/20/2012 9:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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DEBALEX 9/20/2012 3:23AM

    So encouraging! Thanks for sharing your life!

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HANDYV 9/20/2012 12:27AM

    SUPER !!!

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JUSGETTENBY42 9/19/2012 11:34PM

    emoticon

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NESARIAN 9/19/2012 11:05PM

    Excellent!!!

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CAROL494 9/19/2012 9:18PM

  Congratulations! emoticon emoticon

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GRUBY22 9/19/2012 8:34PM

    Way to stay motivated and keep going!!

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MANILUS 9/19/2012 6:05PM

    A wonderful story of comebacks, mine is very similar! I lost 187 lbs and 75 inches from 2005-2007. I gained back 153 lbs by November 2009 and since that time, I have lost 109 lbs! Keep up the great work!!

Comment edited on: 9/19/2012 6:05:30 PM

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PRAIRIECROCUS 9/19/2012 5:04PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Congratulations, on your successful journey !
You are truly an inspiration to us all !

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CLAUDEM1 9/19/2012 4:21PM

    Wow, you are a wonder! I was amazed at how consistent your routine is. Keep the spark going!


Claude emoticon

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KELLYPAQ 9/19/2012 4:16PM

    What a great story. Thanks for sharing. I'm starting to feel the same way about myself. I was never really an athlete, but I'm finding things I enjoy and looking for new things to try.

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MASTERPIECE8 9/19/2012 3:59PM

    Great blog. So much enthusiasm and inspiration. Thank you for taking the time to share your story and your success. Now I know that I too CAN DO IT!

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JAXMOMMY 9/19/2012 3:29PM

    I was one of those kids too! Always picked last and just deemed the non-athlete! I'm not a jock like you, but I do love exercise and can exercise! Way to go!

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POLSKARENIA 9/19/2012 2:37PM

    Brilliant - I've learnt to like exercise, something I hated at school!!

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TERRIJ7 9/19/2012 1:38PM

    Congratulations!

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POETICJUSTUS 9/19/2012 1:28PM

    Thanx Slenderella!! Great job! I thought @ the beginning of the blog you might be someone who put on the Freshman through graduate 25 . I'm 55 & have always been embarrassed about my being so BIG! Oh well, this is exciting I want to @ least in the Alzheimer's & Diabetes walk this year & finish. Wish me luck. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LORRAINE10141 9/19/2012 1:01PM

    This is a motivator since I'm 61 and just starting out. Thanks. :)

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LAWANDMUSIC 9/19/2012 12:10PM

    Wonderful! I am 59 and you just gave me some HOPE!

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MSJAY160 9/19/2012 10:43AM

    Great Story Thanks For Sharing...very motivating

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MS_PERCEPTION 9/19/2012 10:15AM

    Great blog entry to encourage everyone, wherever they are on their path to new, healthier living!

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THOMS1 9/19/2012 9:58AM

    emoticon Great blog!

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KAREN_NY 9/19/2012 9:46AM

    Thanks for the great job on sharing your story.... and congrats on the great things you make happen for yourself!! Have a rockin' day!
K:)

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LINDAKAY228 9/19/2012 9:16AM

    Thanks for a great blog! I could so relate to your mention of being chosen last all the time as I kid. I was the one some team got "stuck" with. I didn't start running until 2 years ago at the age of 55. I'm not fast and I'm not great but I do it and like it, whch is something I never would have dreamed of before in my life!
Thanks for sharing your story!

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KADUFRESNE 9/19/2012 9:07AM

    That is awesome! I just turned 65 in August. You have inspired me. Thank you.

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