Inspirational Fitness Journey Proves There’s No Age Restriction To A Healthier You
Patient Perspective It is never too early or too late to change bad habits and start good ones. No matter when you start, a healthy lifestyle can make a difference and it is important to feel your best at any age.
For 40-year-old Caron Adderley, age did not hold back her or her 69-year-old mother’s desire to change the reflection in the mirror. With Running Room’s Learn To Run program, she not only connected with other people motivated to work out but also founder own fitness goal.
Mediaplanet: What inspired your running renaissance and how did age factor in?
Caron Adderley: I started running just over 3 years ago. I was looking at my family photos from our Christmas celebrations and I simply did not like what I was seeing. I had let my fitness lapse and I was completely inactive and had gained significant weight. Believe it or not my return to running and fitness started with a New Year’s resolution, perhaps the only one that I ever kept and actually succeeded with following through. My mother’s birthday is in the beginning of January so for her 64th birthday I signed us both up for the Learn to Run program at our local Running Room store. It was the best gift I have ever given to both my mom and myself. I promised my mother that we do the program together and we took each step side by side for the whole clinic. I remember that first night struggling to run for 1 minute but by the end of the clinic we could both run for 10 minutes and even more importantly we had new friends and become a part of the running community. My mom had never run before but the Learn to Run program was perfectly suited for both of us with slow progressions and we had an amazing clinic instructor which made sure no one ever got left behind and everyone felt welcome and included no matter age or ability.
MP: How do you stayed motivated when training towards a distant fitness?
CA: The best way for me to stay motivated is simply by seeing that progress. The progress might be pounds lost or non-scale victories such as a longer distance or faster run. That desire to get better and stronger has always been a huge motivating factor for me. If I run a 30 minute 5k race then the next race I will be pushing for 29 minutes. Or if I place 12th in my age division then next race I may push for 11th place finish. This keeps me working hard and trying for continuous improvement. I didn’t have to be #1 or the best, I just had to be better than I was before.
Additional to internal drive is the motivation derived from the fitness community. The last thing you might want to do on a rainy Wednesday night after work is go for a run. But knowing that your running friends will be there with you is enough to motivate you to get off the couch and get it done. Eventually I became a clinic instructor myself which meant that I had no choice but to go. I made running my job. I had people counting on me to be there so I became accountable not just to myself but to my running community in general.
MP: What tactics work the best for encouraging friends and family to join in on work outs?
CA: I found the best way to encourage family and friends to join in is to start small. Instead of getting someone to join you on a half marathon start with a 5k. Work within their limits so they don’t get discouraged or injured by trying to do too much. Another thing I have done at my place of employment is to make things a competition. I started a health challenge, created teams and made a prize for the winners (even if the prize is just bragging rights!). Making small easy changes are more likely to stick rather than trying to change someone’s whole lifestyle. When they see the progress from the small changes it encourages them to continue with other small changes which all add up eventually to a healthier lifestyle.
MP: What impact did running have on your social lives?
CA: Running brought us a whole new group of friends. The group that we started the Learn to Run program with progressed through the distances alongside mom and I. If you want to get to know someone really well run together for 3 hours on a Sunday morning. After 3 years with the same people and some new folks that have joined in, we have become a close knit community. I have traveled with running friends – last year going to Iceland to run a half marathon together. We have spent Christmas together, gone to church together and celebrated each other victories together. My running friends have become a new family.
MP: What other improvements in your life were driven by your devotion to running?
CA: Other than general health and wellness, running has given me and my mom a new self-confidence. My mom for the first time went for and got a promotion at work and she told me at the time that it was because of running that she had the confidence to go for it. After all if you can run a half marathon I truly think you can do just about anything – and mom has now completed 3! For me losing weight, 55lbs has made me feel better about myself and how I look and more importantly how I feel. I sleep better, I eat better and have a general sense of wellbeing that I did not have before I started running.