“Run For Your Life”


In 1980 I joined the thousands of women in their thirties who decided to fight aging by jogging. There were no spandex running outfits, no special sports bras, no countless choices for shoes. While Nike had been invented by Phil Knight in Oregon, supposedly by using a waffle iron to figure out the sole of his new shoe, I bought a pair of Reeboks, as seen above.

Jogging was pretty self explanatory, so I didn’t need a trainer, a video or a gym. I just needed to put on my Reeboks and shorts(just cotton, not nylon) and leave the house. I simply ran slowly around the neighborhood. While the practice seemed pretty silly to me, I did it faithfully for some time.

After a while friend asked me to join her in a 5K run. I agreed without really thinking it through. That Saturday I joined hundreds of other women in a run around Portland. I was nearly the last woman to finish and met my friend who had arrived long before and had begun to worry about me. It proved to me that I was not a candidate for running events. That was my first and last.

Eventually jogging and my knees had a disagreement and I had to find another way to get some exercise. That’s when I took up swimming, a sport I had always enjoyed, which took me to the YWCA, home of the fat jiggling machine.

18 thoughts on ““Run For Your Life”

  1. I’m firmly convinced exercise is bad for me. I decided this in school sports and have only become more convinced through life as I’ve watched more athletic friends wear out their joints and break their limbs.
    I made it up Snowdon on my third attempt (with baby buggy and 3 dogs) but it had to be at my pace, not trying to match those who went striding ahead on previous attempts. Walking the dogs is my limit now (although I can still dance all night if the music’s right).
    I do stand, rather than sit, to work at the computer these days, but even that is resulting in something called plantar fasciitis (basically your heel dies) and for the first time in my life, my ankles are swelling, so will have to moderate that between bouts of sitting.
    The trouble is, once you get writing, you forget about moving, until interrupted by someone who wants feeding. And who needs more interruptions…


    1. Yes, I have to put my feet up on our bed’s headboard in warm weather to get the fluid back where it belongs. My husband had terrible plantar fasciitis which was cured by a weird blood plasma injection process. Sounded totally bogus, but it worked. I just read that many older women have injuries from walking their dogs. I guess we are just doomed! LOL


  2. That lady paragraph did me in again 😆 I was also warned about jogging and the knees, which is why I stopped. I was told the culprit is concrete. It’s much better to run on a trail.


  3. Why do we do that to ourselves? About 10 years ago, I challenged myself to do a 5K run too (I was not, nor had I ever been, a jogger). I trained over the summer and eventually reached my goal of running 5K but I hated every second of it. Like you, I prefer an activity that I enjoy even if it’s not a fitness fad.


  4. I was never a jogger, but did own what we called ‘Plimsolls’. They were used for all outdoor activities, until I was bought something called ‘Baseball Boots’. (Later known as high-top Converse) I didn’t own any ‘trainers’ until I was in my early 40s, eventually choosing a pair of white ‘Tennis’ Reeboks.
    I now swear by ‘Skechers’ black slip-ons, which are rarely off my feet! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.


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