Age is Just a Number

In our culture, it is ingrained in the society that aging is a negative thing. We tend to shame anything that is associated with natural body occurrences, such as weight gain, hormonal changes, breastfeeding, body hair and even aging.

Last year, a report was released by Globe Newswire that in 2019, the anti-aging market is expected to be worth $191.7 Billion driven by the aged Baby Boomers generation. People try to change or halt the human body’s natural degeneration that occurs both externally and internally. In fact, aging impacts a person’s beauty, health, and fitness – all of which have undesirable connotations within society. Nowadays, people are trying to slow or reverse the aging process, but my question is why?

When we are young, we use clothes and several products to make ourselves look older, however, when we are older, we do everything possible to make ourselves look younger. The problem is within us. Are we unable to find satisfaction and be happy at our current state, embrace the natural order of the world and enjoy what we have?

Our society associates older age with several undesirable traits, such as forgetfulness, dependence, disengagement, confusion and a lack of productivity. But we do not have to give in to societal norms accept and that this is just the way it is.

Let’s meet a few women who challenge this belief and refuse to give in to societal norms. These ladies are truly living life to the fullest and I hope they inspire you to take action as well.

Man Kaur


A 101-year-old woman from India, Man Kaur, won a gold medal this year at the World Masters Games by running the 100m in just 1 minute and 14 seconds.

According to the news, she says that she enjoys running and it makes her a very happy. She took up field and track at age 93 (eight years ago).

Kaur sprinted on the track alone at the Trusts Arena to audible cheers and applause from the crowd in Auckland. As reported by the New Zealand Herald, there were two other runners in competition, women ages 88 and 85, however, they both finished in under 30 seconds, thus giving away the stage to Kaur for most of her race. Later, Kaur danced in celebration carrying the medal around her neck.

 

Sister Madonna Buder – “The Iron Nun”

Another example is of Sister Madonna Buder. She was born in July 1930 in St. Louis, Missouri. She was never into running as a kid, but was clearly born with a strong-minded streak. She has run more than 340 triathlons at the age of 85. Sister Madonna has learned a few life lessons competing as a triathlete and now shares her wisdom as a motivational speaker and author. Here are just a few of her quotes to challenge the way society thinks about aging:

 

“The only failure is not to try”

“Determination is the mind willing something to happen by the grace of God.”

“It’s not what you say, it’s what you do; don’t pay attention to how old you are, only focus on how old you feel.”

 

Julia Hawkins

Julia Hawkins, at age of 81, became a competitive cyclist. Seeking a new challenge, for the first time, she decided to pick up competitive running at age of 100. At the Louisiana Senior Olympic Games, she registered for the 50-meter dash and completed the race with a PR of 19.07 seconds.

Now another distance will be added by Hawkins to her belt at the age of 101. She is training for both the 100 and 50-meter dash as well as the bike race (5K), which will be held this year at the National Senior Games, in Birmingham, Alabama. Julia loves running because she says “It’s just me and my body. I can just go out and do the best I can and not depend on anything else to help me.”

 

Sally Squier

A little closer to home is a dear friend and mentor. Sally Squier is a running dynamo from Raleigh, NC. who took up running in her late 40s with her husband, Bill. Sally started out with a one mile race and has gone on to complete dozens of ultra-marathons including three 100 mile runs and fourteen 50 mile races. Not one to take the easy road, Sally has also completed the notoriously difficult Pike’s Peak marathon and the half-marathon Ascent numerous times.

She and Bill are still running strong at 74 and are living proof that running keeps you young. They encourage everyone to test their boundaries and ignore the naysayers.

One of the great sayings of William Wallace is that “Every person dies, but not every person truly lives.”

So, if you think your best years are behind you or you are too old to start running, let the wise words of William Wallace sink in and consider what these amazing women are doing. Limitations truly only exist in your mind!

Happy running!

 

Linda

3 Ways To Inspire Yourself And Meet Your Running Goals

The New Year has come and past. It blazed a trail by many of us, and we’re head-over-heels trying to follow in its stead. We’ve devoted ourselves to new routines designed to help us reach higher goals than we have ever attempted to reach before.

 

The problem is that the drive required to reach those soon-to-be achievements tends to be as ephemeral as the void from whence they came; this means that failing to reach our new goals is often as simple as being unable to keep hold of what drives us to reach them.

When it comes to running, – no matter if you’re a casual enthusiast whom walks more than she sprints or a serious endurance runner, – everything is determined by our minds. Our dreams start there, and those dreams give us the ability to reach our goals when we pursue them.

The good news is that there are certain things you can do to help give your motivation some permanence.

The Little Things Matter

Little reminders of why you’re trying to achieve your running goals will help you propel yourself forward. The little things, from your daily routines to the socks you wear, can help you remember the reason behind your drive.

That’s why starting by tailoring your routine around those little reminders of what pushes you forward will help you reach your running goals. So long as you cling to those reminders, you’ll find the drive to push yourself forward with each day.

Wear something inspirational

Another way to inspire yourself during your runs is to decorate yourself with something inspirational while your run. Running jewelry represents one of the best ways to do this, as it’s beautiful, and it’s a visible representation of your love for running.

The best part is that running jewelry can vary in both form and function. Some has a purely aesthetic value while others have more tactile functions that you can feel and hear with each step.

Running jewelry can also represent “the little things” taken to a new level, which can be just what you need to keep moving forward!

Mark Your Milestones

Last, but certainly not least, on the list of things you can do to push yourself to run harder, faster and longer, is to mark every achievement you reach.

The only caveat to this is that you need to reconsider what is an achievement. Sometimes making your normal running routine despite feeling under the weather can be one of the biggest achievements, because it can represent a time where you could have given up but didn’t.

Reaching Your Goals

Remember that a big part of reaching your goals is knowing when to reward yourself. Every little battle won is something worth celebrating, which is why the most successful people tend to be both the hardest working and the most generous when it comes to celebrating.

Don’t forget to celebrate every accomplishment when it comes to your running career. You’ll reinforce good behaviors, which in turn will help you focus on the goals you can and will achieve.

 

How your passion for running can be inspirational to everyone.

Inspirational Running Jewelry

Running is one of the most popular forms of physical activities, yet not everyone experiences it in the same way. Some avid runners prefer to challenge themselves to achieve a better time in a race, while others simply enjoy the camaraderie at a weekend run group. No matter what the motivation, most runners would agree that there is nothing like the “runner’s high” after a run. It’s what keeps people coming back for more! Going for a run is a cheap, time-flexible form of exercise that will improve cardiovascular health, increase bone density, and send those endorphins flying. The best part about this form of exercise? Anyone can do it!

If a running is so great, why is it that some find it to be a chore while others find it to be a favorite part of their daily routine? Maybe the difference is how they experience it for the first time. Or, maybe how they are inspired to keep going will influence one’s attitude toward such a health enhancing activity. One thing is clear: it can have positive effects on health outcomes. Some say “diamonds are a girls best friend,” but I feel that encouraging loved ones to start and maintain a regular run routine is the best gift one can give. So, why not combine the ideas? Runner jewelry is a fantastic strategy to encourage your girlfriends, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, etc. to start (and keep moving)towards a healthier, happier life.

As an avid runner, I feel that it is the responsibility of runners everywhere to get the message out. That is, let your passion for the sport be inspirational to your friends and family. Run jewelry is a unique way to encourage a friend to join you for a run! For some, friends and family may already be avid runners. In this case, continue to be inspirational to your fellow run buddies! Running is a way to connect with those who share a passion. Use run jewelry to remind them of a race you did together that meant a lot to you, or to remind them of their first marathon. These gifts symbolize the sense of community one can experience as a runner, which is inspirational for both those experienced runners and those new to the sport.

What’s In Your Backpack? 10 Must-Have Items for Trail Runners

As seen in and

Linda Banks, EzineArticles Expert Author

 

Trail running is a great way to get a good workout and take in the beauty of all that nature has to offer — however, it doesn’t come without risks. One of the biggest differences between trail running and road running is that you need be prepared for the unexpected, as you could find yourself miles (or hours) away from help. While no one likes to think about getting injured or having an encounter with wildlife, it is also not advisable to go off into the woods unprepared and find yourself stuck in some kind of predicament.

To help other trail runners, I have compiled a list of a few must-have items that you should consider packing before you hit the trails:

1. “The Storm” Safety Whistle

This whistle is one of the loudest you can buy. It’s slightly larger than the average whistle but it emits a deafening sound which will startle and scare away stray dogs, bears, coyotes or other wildlife, as well as human predators.

It can also be used to alert rescue personnel to your location if you are injured and unable to hike your way out to safety. This is a small investment for peace of mind. http://www.stormwhistles.com/storm.html

2. Sharpie Mini Permanent Marker

Throw this in your pack and hope you never need it. However, if the unfortunate happens and you get bit by a snake or stung by an insect or spider, this will give medical professionals useful information to help determine the severity of the wound and proper course of treatment. Draw a circle around the bite or sting and then write the time it happened next to the circle. It can be lifesaving!

3. Disposable Rain Poncho

You can pick these up at the dollar store and they don’t take up much room in your pack. Getting caught in a downpour even in the summer can be a life threatening event as hypothermia can occur even in the warm months. A cheap plastic rain poncho is a great safeguard against this.

4. Life Straw

This handy filter allows you to drink straight from a stream, puddle or pond. Life Straw is a great product and is useful not only for trail running/hiking, but can also be used while traveling abroad or in extreme weather events. It’s lightweight and easy to use. You can buy Life Straw at most sporting goods, outdoor recreation stores, or Amazon.

5. Road ID

RoadID is inexpensive insurance. This simple ID band talks for you when you can’t, in order to alert medical personnel to allergies, medical conditions, and how to contact your family or significant other.

6. Neo To Go

Neosporin is an anti-septic/pain relieving spray. This handy to-go packaging allows you to clip it on your pack so it’s there when you need to clean up trail mishaps. Trust me, if the need for such a product arises, you will be grateful you decided to pack it.

7. Swiss Army Knife

This multi-purpose tool takes up almost no room in your pack and comes in handy for a number of uses. Tweezers remove ticks and splinters with ease; the saw knife can be used to blaze a trail by marking tree bark and scissors are good for cutting bandages. That’s just a few of the many tasks you can accomplish with this handy little tool.

8. Flashlight/Headlamp

Never go on a trail without a flashlight, even if you are planning to only be out in daylight hours. There are several brands/styles you can choose from — options include an LED handheld flashlight or a headlamp with so many lumens, it is visible from space. If you are planning to do a lot of night running, the headlamp with mega lumens is a good fit. If you have no intention of being on the trail after dark, a small LED handheld flashlight should suffice.

9. Insurance Card/Driver’s License

Again, you hope you never need it, but if you get hurt miles from your car, it’s not going to help having that information stored in the trunk. Keep it with you.

10. Hand sanitizer and tissue

I hate to break it to you, but you’re probably not going to find a clean restroom on the trail when you need it. When nature calls in the middle of nowhere tissues are a more pleasant alternative to leaves. Just remember to be respectful and bury what you leave behind.

So here are 10 extremely easy to find and affordable items that can make a huge difference if you find yourself in an emergency situation. These are items I have felt that are the most useful, but of course, there is no limitation to how many precautions you can take. There are many other items available for trail safety, but if you want to be prepared and don’t know where to start, this is a solid list to follow.

Happy trails!

Linda

A DNF (Did Not Finish) Is Greater Than DNS (Did Not Start)


A DNF (Did Not Finish) Is Greater Than DNS (Did Not Start)

Maybe you’ve seen the acronym DNF>DNS. Simply put, it means that it is better to attempt and fail than to not try at all. But let’s face it – the harsh reality of a DNF offers little comfort if it happens to you.

If you run enough races over a long enough period of time, a DNF (Did Not Finish) is bound to happen eventually. Something just doesn’t go your way on that day, and you get pulled from a race (which is especially common in longer races) or need to drop out. No finishers’ medal for you. No bragging rights. It can be embarrassing and leave you feeling pretty miserable about yourself and let down about the whole experience. Friends and family will ask about your race and instead of regaling them with tales of triumph, you are forced to publicly acknowledge that you came up short of your goal.

I had my first official DNF a few weeks ago. I wasn’t expecting it to happen – and certainly not when it did. The event was not even close to my longest distance race and it had a generous cutoff time. I definitely underestimated the difficulty of the course; my level of fitness and training was not where it needed to be for 31 miles of technical trails. I am typically a back-of-the-pack runner anyway – but I still didn’t just phone it in. I guess that’s what makes it all that much more shocking, annoying, disheartening – whatever – that I got pulled three miles from the finish of a 31 mile race and willingly accepted the DNF and ride back to the finish line.

Hours later, I started analyzing my actions and attitudes, and replaying the day’s events over and over. The endless stream of questions and self-doubt crept into my head. What went wrong? What could I have done differently? Why did this happen to me? And, dammit, it was only three more miles – I could have crawled to the finish!
Now that I’ve had time to process everything and make my peace with it, I’ve come away with a few lessons. I share these thoughts with the hope that it will save time and unnecessary fretting, as well as the opportunity to gain the proper perspective in order to move forward should you find yourself in a similar situation.

A DNF does not define you or place any limit on your abilities to reach new goals. (Even elite athletes DNF races!)

A DNF is an opportunity to learn something about yourself so you can continue to improve. As a general rule, we tend to learn more in our failings than successes.

There is no reason to be ashamed for trying and not achieving your goal. Applaud yourself for having the courage to toe the starting line. Remind yourself in running, you are lapping everyone on the couch. Use this as an analogy to every other challenge in life.

I encourage you to aim high, and if even you don’t achieve your goal, give yourself permission to hold your head up high anyway.

Happy trails, my friends!

Linda