Late to the Party (and Dog Rescuer News)

In the last two months, since becoming an Ambassador for both FitFluential and Sweat Pink, I have been introduced to many to people (through their blogs), and become a fan of so many interesting, informative, and fun writers. I’ve been reading vegan recipe blogs, fitness blogs, and most especially, because I’m a runner, running blogs. One thing I’ve noticed about all these writers, is that with a few notable exceptions, they are young. Very young. Which all serves to make me realize that I was late to the party.

These young men and women, some of whom are still in their teens, are running, cycling, doing crossfit, creating recipes, many of them while raising a family, holding down a job, and then, writing about it. And writing well!

As an, ahem, older person (well I tried crossing that out to substitute another word, but basically, I am older. Damn it!), I find it exciting that these young people are so focused, not only on their families and careers, but on fitness as well. They are training, running marathons, competing in other sports, staying fit and active at an age when it is so easy to “get by” on youth.

I say it that way, because that is exactly what I did. When I was their age, I too was working and raising a family, but exercise? Eating right? I didn’t have a clue. I had my youth and good genes, I wasn’t overweight, so therefore I didn’t need to do those things, right? Seriously, and I’ll tell you this now, because things have changed so dramatically. When I was 21 and waiting tables, my meal at work every day was two pieces of fried chicken, french fries, a small salad (which was basically iceberg lettuce with a slice of tomato), with extra blue cheese dressing to dip the fries in. (If you’ve never lived in my world, that was a Bob’s Big Boy Chicken Snack.)

It wasn’t until 10 years later, my boys were both in school, I was still in the restaurant business (management by then, more stress, less movement, not a good combination), when two things happened that changed my life.

The first was that I was recruited by a customer to apply for a job as an activities director at a local membership campground. The second thing was that I finally quit smoking. You can read the details of how water aerobics changed my life, but basically, my new job required that I teach water exercise, something that I’d never even dreamed about. I also began to teach line dancing, then aerobics (also arts and crafts but you don’t want to hear about that here!).

When quitting smoking started me on the path to weight gain, I began to exercise more, on my own time. Soon, I started strength training, then running. I ran my first race, a 10k, when I was 37. I found that, not only did I love running and the competition, but also that I was pretty good at it.

Now, it is almost 18 years later (!), and I’m still running. Slower, to be sure, and not as frequently, but still running, racing, and loving all of it. I coach now, high school cross country and adult runners, and I’m a personal trainer. I’m one of the lucky ones who has made their love of fitness a career.

When I started writing this, I didn’t mean it to end up a history of my road to fitness.Β  I just want to pay tribute to so many young bloggers, who are doing so much and most importantly are already thinking about their health and fitness. They are getting out there and doing it.Β  I also want to assure those who haven’t arrived at the party yet, that it is never too late. Start now, at any age. You can accomplish so many things, but most of all, you will be changing your life forever. We, the party goers, to hang mercilessly onto this metaphor, welcome you.

Dog Rescuer News

Those of you who have been following my stories know that I call my husband the Dog Rescuer. If you’re new around here, you can catch up by reading “We Call Him the Dog Rescuer,” and “Because It’s What We Do,” and since Alan has been know to rescue other species, don’t miss “Today’s Ride.” And those are the animals that we didn’t keep.

So today, Alan was outside in our front yard when he spotted a little dog, no collar (of course), but very friendly. So friendly that he actually snuggled with a few of the cats that Alan cares for (I’d say feral cats, but most of them are so tame by now that the word hardly applies). I was at cross country practice, so I heard all this by phone and email.

Alan checked with the neighbors, but the dog didn’t belong to any of them. One woman said that she’d seen him the night before, just hanging around the neighborhood. So, Alan brought him in, introduced him to our pack, and spent the day making “found” posters. Before you ask, yes, we’ve given him a name.

The rest of the pack is a little perturbed, but they have been friendly (they just give me sidelong, sad looks).Β  We’ve posted a few signs in the neighborhood and at Starbucks, and Alan has made a few phone calls, but we’ve already decided that if we don’t find his home, we’ll be keeping him.

Welcome to the family, Buddy!

When did you “get into” fitness? Were you an early party goer or a late arrival like me?


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  1. says

    I started coaching cross country because my husband was. The other coach quit and they needed someone. At the time, I had 10 years of running experience and a personal training certification. I have since added a USA Track & Field certification, and one that the high school offered, which is mostly how to follow coaching rules.
    Debbie recently posted..Late to the Party (and Dog Rescuer News)My Profile

  2. says

    I think you are a true inspiration. I understand what you are saying.. but I think our ‘older’ friends need people like to to inspire them! Moms with young kids can inspire other moms with young kids just like you can inspire the moms that hvae grown kids. I am so proud to read this and how you have changed even in the later years. My own mom, who is 50 is training right now for a 5k.. ia m SO proud of her. I think it is awesome. Keep up the awesome work!
    cassey recently posted..Liebster AwardMy Profile

  3. says

    I think it doesn’t matter when you find fitness just as long as you find it! I have always loved being active which lead me to get a degree in exercise science and make it my career not just a hobby.

    You hubby is a sweetie for taking in Buddy! Hope his owner shows up (and gets a collar, ID, etc for Buddy) but if not I think he found a great home!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Picnic in the ParkMy Profile

  4. says

    Hey sister, even if you were late, at least you showed! :] It’s an inspiration to me when I see older people working out while having jobs to go to, families to care for and a bunch of other things because it shows me that I can still make fitness a part of my life as I get older if I really want it. And I do! Have a fab day xo
    Yoli @ Tough & Tiny recently posted..My Top 5 Favorite Workout SongsMy Profile

  5. says

    We are all continually shaping and forming our fitness journey. We are all unique and have wonderful stories to share. I love hearing stories like yours and am inspired by your own journey. So many people thing that once you past a certain time of your life, you can’t change. You’re proof that fitness can start at any time. Keep being you. Keep motivating us. Wishing you the best.
    Katie @wishandwhimsy recently posted..VOTE Peach Mango & WIAWMy Profile

  6. says

    Like Heidi said – better late than never!! I guess I was lucky and was always active as a kid (gymnastics then ballet which I stuck with for over 20 years). The running and weight lifting came later. And what a cute pupster! Looks so sweet.

  7. says

    I started running when I was 24, I don’t know if we’re considering that young or old, but I guess it doesn’t matter because I did it. I’ve noticed a huge trend of people younger than me in the blogging world doing things I would never dream of and I really think it’s because of the push in society to start being healthier, yes we’ve always said being fat isn’t cool but now with so many young people being affected by obesity I really think it is in the back of every young persons mind.
    Colleen recently posted..Welcome August!My Profile

  8. says

    I think it’s awesome that you have embraced fitness later in life, as well as going all out with the blog and getting involved. My mom start running several years ago and now, at the age of 50, has run three full marathons in the past three years. It’s pretty cool and keeps our family bonded too. Great job and you are inspiring!
    Ericka @ The Sweet Life recently posted..WOD-ing Solo?My Profile

  9. says

    It’s funny because I was thinking something similar after joining Fitfluential – that everyone is so young!! Which is awesome and great. I’ve been active my whole life but didn’t really get into fitness until college. But even then, I never considered myself “serious” about it so would never have had the gumption to start a blog or anything like that at that point. But I think that you’re setting a great example becauseI also find that people start discounting being active as they get older too. Yes, better late than never.

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