This isn’t a photography post, although I might find an angle to justify putting it on my photo blog. But it’s a personal update to continue my story. You may have read my previous post about losing weight, as that was the introduction to this chapter.

My goal a couple of years ago, as I approached 60, was to lose weight and get into some kind of shape. I’m not done yet, and still have a lot of work to do, but I’ve lost most of the excess weight and started running on a regular basis. Ok – maybe running* isn’t the best description, but I can certainly do a decent ‘old man jog’. 😀

I started running* in February of this year and it was tough! I used to run back in the late 80s and it was a LOT easier in my younger days. I even ran an unofficial marathon before I developed bad shin splints and had to stop.

I had tried to start running again over the years, but my shins would still flare up, and I’d stop. This year I planned to walk more at first, start stretching regularly and then try running. It worked, and my shins have been fine.

My first run* was February 22nd and I ran 1.11 miles. And when I say ‘run’, I mean I ran about 0.1 miles before I had to stop and walk for a bit, then carry on again with some running, then walk, etc. From there it was a matter of getting out every day for a while, then every other day and on March 24th, I ran my first 5k in Fairbury. I continued running for the rest of the year, with a virtual run for the Bee 5k in April, the virtual ‘Run for Water’ 5k in May and an unofficial 10k in June.

My Fitbit tracks the distance with GPS, steps, calories burned and all the data I never worried about ‘back in the day’. Then I log it in Excel to track my progress.

I’ve run 252.3 miles and taken 418,641 steps while doing that in 49.8 hours. My pace will not be listed in public. 😉

Now I’m at run number 100 and I have to say it’s not getting much easier! I had a setback in September with my annual lingering cold (which thankfully didn’t turn into bronchitis for a change) and only ran twice that month. Picking it up again in October has been tough and progress has been very slow. But, I’m playing the long game, so onward I go.

So – what’s the point of this post? You might be wondering why you’ve read this far. My point is that I’ve been inspired directly and indirectly by many people over the years who have taken the extra steps to get healthy in some way get into better shape. It’s a goal that many of us set from year to year, and if there is one HUGE lesson I’ve learned this year – it doesn’t get easier as we get older.

So if I can inspire just one person to start their journey, then my 30 minutes of typing will have been worth it. 😉 Start with short walks and stretching. You don’t have to set goals, or even plan to run. A brisk walk is excellent exercise. Eat a little healthier, drink more water and you’re set.

Oh – and in case you’re wondering how this ties into photography? I’m in better shape for hauling gear around; once I start traveling again I’ll be able to hike further and get more remote shots. I can run into place to get that sunset shot at the last minute or run back to car to get the lens I forgot!

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