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    SLENDERELLA61   162,093
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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:
MSANITAL 9/19/2012 9:00AM

    Thank you for such sn inspiring story and no your never too old to get health my goal is I could still run at 60 I got 10 more years to train
thank you

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OPENESS 9/19/2012 8:49AM

  great work! emoticon

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IS1GAR 9/19/2012 8:39AM

    emoticon You are amazing!!!!!
I'm going to be 60 in October and I'm thinking to train and join a 5K.
You give me a push with your blog, very inspiring!!!!


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EFFRAYECHILDE 9/19/2012 8:30AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TPETRIE 9/19/2012 7:50AM

  Wow! Good for you. Keep up the great work.

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CINDYMARIEJ 9/19/2012 7:26AM

    I really found that comment at the end helpful. Your comment just made that click for me, at different times I have tried different exercise programs, but if I didn't like it I would quit. Thanks for the great story and blog

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CAM2438 9/19/2012 7:10AM

    WOW!!! Good for you! Keep up the good work! emoticon emoticon

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BARBIE66 9/19/2012 6:55AM

    That is Great you motivated me to keep going forward.. I thought that at 47 it was too late to lose or get in shape... thanks for the pep talk!!! emoticon

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THEIS58 9/19/2012 6:14AM

    Wonderful! Thank you

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JAZZI64 9/19/2012 6:03AM

  What a beautiful thing it doesn't matter what age you are....Nothing to it but to do it...attitude ,that's what i am talking about.. emoticon

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KIN59VARA 9/19/2012 5:55AM

    It is great to hear your journey as one over the 50 mark and realizing that I can do it!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/19/2012 5:08AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You are a jock! emoticon emoticon



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THEMEOF79 9/19/2012 4:39AM

    Congrats to You!!
Very inspirational!!
You are Amazing, Awesome, Giving Hope to others - and taking care of Yourself as well!! emoticon

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ANUSCHKA9 9/19/2012 1:50AM

    You go girl!

emoticon

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_LINDA 9/19/2012 1:09AM

    You can be very, very proud of your accomplishment Marsha! Done sensibly and slowly, you are showing age is just a number that doesn't mean much, its the PERSON that counts! You are one AWESOME person!! You ARE a runner and an athlete!
You go girl! (and could no doubt run circles around all those people that picked you last as a child today :)

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ISHIIGIRL 9/18/2012 11:05PM

    I have read so many stories of people starting a running program later on in life. It was very inspirational to me to see older people jumping in with both feet so here I am too, 48 and starting my 3rd year as a runner. I don't know if I will ever do a half or full marathon, but a 10k seems doable, so who knows. Never say never, right? Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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123ELAINE456 9/18/2012 10:55PM

  Awesome!!! Congratulations for Your Popular Blog Award for Your Inner Jock Blog. Very Amazing and Inspirational. Keep Going. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Be very Proud of Yourself. Take Care.

Comment edited on: 9/18/2012 11:04:35 PM

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TMCK-40 9/18/2012 10:54PM

  Inspirational....so there might still be hope for me at 45.

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AMANDEES76 9/18/2012 10:31PM

    YOU are AMAZING!!!!!

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MAMIEA 9/18/2012 10:11PM

    Wonderful!!! I'm just starting out...and am 57 years old. You give me hope! Thank you!

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DNRAE1 9/18/2012 10:05PM

    Great inspiration! emoticon

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JIBBIE49 9/18/2012 9:58PM

    emoticon Glad to see your blog get the award.

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REENIE131 9/18/2012 9:52PM

    Fantastic!

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BONNIEBELLE2 9/18/2012 9:21PM

    emoticon emoticon Congratulations on finding your inner jock! Very inspiring!

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DONNACFIT 9/18/2012 9:20PM

    You are a wonderful inspiration!!

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GLUECIPHER 9/18/2012 4:36PM

    awesome - stay positive

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RIVERNANNA 9/18/2012 3:10PM

    This blog hit home with me. I just turned 60 and wonder if I will ever be able to run. I am hoping it gets easier as you lose weight. Thanks for you insight!

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SERASARA 9/18/2012 1:58PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ME_B4_INSANITY 9/18/2012 1:30PM

    Congrats on finding your strength and happy pace. Keep up the amazing work.

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JLEMUS1 9/18/2012 1:23PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CUPCAKE_PIRATE 9/18/2012 10:50AM

    So motivational! Congrats! I do love Leslie, though - I lost a lot of weight just walking with her :)

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DOODIE59 9/18/2012 10:15AM

    Thank you for sharing this -- and for the terrific advice in your last line. That is really important to know.
Have a wonderful day and keep on running/moving:)
Deirdre

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DOTTY7267 9/18/2012 9:49AM

    Thanks for the motivation. It is never too late!

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BEACHBUM4LIFE 9/18/2012 9:39AM

    Congratulations on your 11 miles run!! This was a great blog!



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FUSCHIA6 9/18/2012 9:01AM

    emoticon I know mine's in there somewhere! I've heard her pounding on the walls trying to get out lately. Talk about breaking free of your own chains.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OFGREENGABLES 9/18/2012 8:55AM

    this resonates with me - about being bad at gym in school - and it carrying over to life.
you're an inspiration!

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CAROLZ1967 9/18/2012 7:20AM

    What an inspiration you are! I incorporate walking into my runs also. It helps me go farther and prevent knee injuries (that I am prone too). I loved reading your story. :-)

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 9/18/2012 12:36AM

    emoticon

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THETROUT 9/17/2012 10:45PM

    I'm 51 and have had a hard time losing weight. Too bad you weren't in my class because you would have been next to last chosen if we had been in the same class. You've encouraged me to step up the exercise pace to get results. Thanks! I needed it.

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GETFIT2LIVE 9/17/2012 4:18PM

    Love it, thank you for sharing! There is so much about your story that parallels mine--always last to be picked for teams, being embarrassed to run, and so on. Never dreamed I'd ever be able to or even WANT to run, especially when I started losing weight at my high point in 2010. Yet here it is, two years later, over a hundred pounds lighter, and I'm running regularly, with 14 half marathons and multiple shorter races under my belt. We are adult onset athletes--there was an athlete inside who was freed thanks to the resources and community here on SparkPeople. WOO HOO!

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CANDOK1260 9/17/2012 4:13PM

    great blog i can;t run but learing to love walk

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LISA_FRAME 9/17/2012 3:29PM

  emoticon

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DEFIANTVEGAN 9/17/2012 11:45AM

    emoticon

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LDRICHEL 9/17/2012 11:25AM

    Sounds like such a familiar story. I am constantly amazed at how SP is helping people change their lives!

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JMEPAYNE 9/17/2012 11:09AM

    what an amazing inspiration!

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REFFIE1 9/17/2012 10:47AM

    Having just turned 60, I found your blog very inspirational. Thank you for posting how you did it! emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 9/17/2012 10:42AM

    emoticon

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THAIBEAUKITTY 9/17/2012 7:34AM

    Woo Hoo! emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 9/17/2012 1:51AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 9/16/2012 10:43PM

    That all sounds fantastic! You've had an amazing journey so far...congratulations! :)

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