Age Like a Fine Wine

Age like a fine wine instead of a grape turning into a raisin! Birthdays give cause for reflection. This first picture is me when I turned 40. So many people talk about 40 being “over the hill.” The second and third pictures are me (after the Flying Pig Race and at my son’s graduation) just before turning 46, which happens tomorrow. I got “accused” last week of being my 18-year-old son’s girlfriend by someone who hadn’t seen me for several years! Talk about making you feel great…that sure did!

In 2012 at age 40, I was significantly overweight and sedentary. My husband, Brent, was also a Type 2 diabetic and his doctor wanted to put him on insulin in July 2014. So in August 2014, we started riding bikes and eating healthier. I didn’t do any crazy fad diets, like giving up all sugar or carbs, or anything extreme. I’m talking smaller portions and healthier choices. I love my desserts and still have not given them up, and have no plan to do so! I rode my bike to burn calories, to lose weight and to get healthier. I lost 40 pounds, Brent lost 100 pounds and got his A1C level back to normal! By 2016 I was involved professionally with our local triathlon community and started competing that year with some sprint triathlons and some running races. A 5K race in May 2016 with a friend led to a 10K in July and half marathons in October and December. While 2017 wasn’t filled with many races, I got re-energized by the end of the year and started training again consistently.

This year in the past month, I’ve done a half-Ironman distance duathlon (run 5K-bike 56 miles-run 13.1 miles for 72.2 total miles), the Flying Pig 3-Way with Extra Cheese Challenge (1mile, 10K, 5K, and half marathon races over 36 hours in a weekend) and a few days ago tackled my longest run to date. Previously, my longest run had been 13.27 miles, but at the Run Under the Stars Ultra Race this weekend, I knocked out a 50K (31.4 miles)…3 days before my 46th birthday! While it wasn’t about speed, it was about pushing my limits to see what I could do mentally and physically.

Now, I haven’t explained all of this for a pat on the back or any kudos. The only reason I share this is because my professional passion is to help active adults get rid of pain, live an active lifestyle, and improve fitness and health so you can keep up with your family and friends without pain medications, injections or surgery. If you’re thinking that “I’m too old” to get in shape or you’re in pain because of some issue that hasn’t ever been treated or never resolved, I want to help you! No, I won’t expect you do a 50K or other crazy mileage events (unless you want to!), but I can help you get rid of that pain and coach you to a lifestyle that’s healthier, more physically fit and active, and one that helps you feel better about life in general. I want you to enjoy your life to the fullest!

One of my mottos is “progress, not perfection!” That’s one that I continually have to remind myself about. Parts of me have wanted to be discouraged this past month by slower speeds during my duathlon and 50K, but when I look back at all the changes in the past 5 years, plus my racing progression in the last 2 years, I have to tell that little voice to shut up because my life is way healthier than it used to be and I’ve accomplished things not many even dare to attempt! I’ve done this thanks to the support of my husband (and chief Sherpa!) and some awesome friends who do equally or greater crazy things and we push each other to be better than we used to be! For some people, that group may be in endurance sports. For others it may be CrossFit, your group classes at your gym, your yoga community, a local bootcamp, or even a friend or two with a common goal. Whoever is your “tribe,” I highly encourage you to find them, hang out with them, and make positive changes. We get stronger and better together! If you need a tribe or some help to guide you on that path, reach out. I’d love to walk with you on the journey, because I know first-hand how important that support is to reach your goals! Here’s to getting better with age!

Dr. Jeanne Williams, PT, DPT, OCS
We help endurance athletes (from beginners to pros) train and cross the finish line faster and injury-free!

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