Loss of perspective

I work out more than the vast majority of non-athletes, especially non-athletes my age. Anyone who has even glanced my blog can tell that. So, there is no greater advocate of exercise (and living a reasonably healthy lifestyle) than I am.

Nevertheless, I also admit that I have been very, very fortunate so far. I make enough money to eat well. I live close enough to my job so I can walk to work, and my employer offers an on-site health club. I live close to a park which has suitable running and walking areas.

And I’ve made some good choices too: I spent money on a treadmill rather than for an in home movie theater caliber TV; I spend money on races rather than on cigarettes and beer.

But I have the kind of body that allows me to exercise; part of that is genetics and part of that is that I had health care while growing up (broken ankle, staph infections, broken shin..and later, knee problems, shoulder problems, back problems; all received proper medical treatment with proper physical therapy afterwards).

And this is why such memes irritate me:

How someone ages has a lot to do with genetics, illnesses, accidents and, yes, lifestyle is ONE factor.

I have nothing against the “fit” lady; in fact, I admire her. But she didn’t start working out hard until she was in her 50’s and …yes, she started with her sister who… sick and died.

Another example:

This is me with..Craig Virgin. If you don’t know who he is: NCAA national champion (XC), 2 time world cross country champion, 2n’d place in the Boston Marathon in 1981, 3 time Olympian in the 10,000 meter run; 10k PR 27:29. But when I saw him, I wondered “I wonder if I could run with him” because life had given him some serious blows:

As ecstatic as Virgin is about his induction, he has more he wants to do on the road. He doesn’t want to win, or even race; he merely wants to run a 10K again. Right now his body won’t let him.

During the last 15 years, he’s been involved in a head-on auto collision while driving 70 mph, suffered a fall on black ice that tore his right quadriceps from his knee and underwent 15 surgeries on various parts of his body. This year, he experienced pulmonary embolisms that would have killed most people. All this is on top of three surgeries related to a congenital kidney condition.

These days, he said, if he can eke out 2 miles of jogging and walking, it’s a good day. He’s been forced to become a gym rat to stay in shape.

Am I somehow more athletically virtuous than he is? Of course not. I am luckier in my old age (so far); that’s really it.


June 7, 2017 - Posted by | running, social/political, walking | ,

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