Active Adult Living

Passion For Walking

Saturday, I did my race walking in the Lifepath 5K and ended up with this trophy that looks like an Academy Award plus a $25 gift certificate.

Sitting in the awards presentation room after the race, I didn’t expect to get an award because I was walking, not running, but it looks like I beat out two runners in my age bracket and maybe had the best age adjusted time for all age 60+ male participants. I am not really sure how they determined the Overall Senior Grand Master.

In any case the trophy did it’s magic. I posted the above photo on facebook and got a lot of likes and comments. It was nice bringing it home to show Mary Ann, especially telling her about the $25 gift certificate to Recess Gastro Pub. We just lunched there last week and loved it.

Robert and Bob

Developing A Passion For Walking

Don sent me a congratulations and it triggered memories of when I started walking.  It was with Don, Lamont and myself at Park Place Active Adult Center in Johns Creek. We would walk the little over a mile loop of Newtown Park three times, a feat we accomplished a couple or three times a week for two years.

We would start out as social walkers and we always look forward to seeing each other and catching up. We talked about everything under the sun from cars,sports, old jobs, moving, travel,  family, medical, current news, etc. Three guys sitting around a table would probably never talk about all the things we did, but there is something about walking and talking that makes it easier.

Walking as much as we did, we got pretty good shape.  We were all about equal speed walkers but after the talking started to die down at the end of lap two, then Don would push us a little faster about the pond and we were off to the races.

Senior Centers and Retirement Communities are excellent places to walk with people.

So when the North Fulton Golden Games came along I though we should be a shoe in to win the walking contests. When the guy who was 10 years older than I was beat me by 20 yards in the half mile walk, well I was stunned.  He was a little short guy that was 77!

Come to find out that he was race walking, which is a more efficient technique for walking fast.  I researched race walking.

I convinced race walking coach and judge Jim Norvill to come over to Ocee Park a few Sundays to teach me how to race walk. It seemed complicated. It took me a while to learn, in fact I am still learning!

Race walking demands your full attention. You are always checking your walking technique. Are you looking straight ahead, shoulders down, arms swinging naturally at almost 45 degree angle, toes up at the heel strike, not over striding, rolling to a toe push off. You develop a cadence. Your body remembers the routine but you have to constantly check yourself.

With time you get better. You know your personal best and try to do better next time.

Fitness Walking Competitions

A competition is when you find out how you are doing.  It’s something to look forward to and is motivation for your hours of practice.  Competitions can  be local, regional, national or international.  Fitness Walking Competitions are given by local track clubs, the USATF (USA Track & Field), Senior Games (National Senior Games) and several other organizations. Race walking is an Olympic sport.

You hear people say they don’t like to compete anymore. I say give it a try. You always look from the perspective of competing with yourself (remember personal best).  You are a winner for just getting out there and joining in.

But if you are lucky enough to feel the thrill of competing with others, you will experience something you thought you would never feel again, and it’s exhilarating. Some improve themselves to a level  that they though was impossible.

Competitions  also  give you an opportunity to travel to the event and spend a few days in the area while you are there.  Last year or two, I was  in walking competitions in  Minnesota,  Albuquerque,  Birmingham AL, Greensboro NC, Spokane WA as well as many around the state of Georgia. My friend Michael has been to walking completions in almost 50 states!

And finally when the competition is finished you will be happy that you gave it your best and motivated to do even better next time.

Remember, exercise is a habit.  Develop a workout routine to make it work.  There are many benefits of fitness walking and I would encourage you to give it a try.

Robert Fowler

My walking competition schedule for the first half of 2018 is:

Jan 6 – Sat Braselton  LifePath 5K – Done. 35:36

Jan 21 USATF SE Region Masters Indoor Race Walk Championship in Winston Salem NC.   Registered for both 1mile and 3K.

Jan 26? Riverside Military Academy in Gainesville – Indoor Race Walk – Dates not confirmed

Feb 11   Sunday Indoor Race Walk 1500M Indoor Race Walk at Lakepoint in Emerson GA.

March – need event

April 7  Track Lab Series Lawrenceville GA  1500M RW in AM
Discovery HS

April 14  Track Lab Series events in Lawrenceville GA  1500M RW in PM
Discovery HS

April 21, 2018 ***Either the 5K or 10K in our 41st annual TD Bank Reedy River Run on Saturday, April 21, 2018 in Greenville SC.

May 16-19 South Carolina Senior Sports Classic 5K and 1500M Race Walks in Florence SC.  Afterwards will head over to Myrtle Beach SC for vacation

May 27 12th Annual Mark Trail Memorial Day Meet – 3K RW
Discovery High School Lawrenceville GA

June 2-3, 2018 USATF SE Region Masters Outdoor Championships – 3K Race Walk in Birmingham, Al

July 26-29 National Outdoor USATF Masters Championship 5K and 10K Race Walks in Spokane WA. This is an outdoor event with all the track and field events.  Afterwards taking a river boat cruise down the Snake and Columbia Rivers to Portland.



Active Adult Living Del Webb Communities

Exercise is a Habit

During our 10-day motor coach trip and several days before and after, I did not exercise. Now back home, I am finding it hard to do my race-walking and other exercise that I looked forward to before.

Exercise Is A Habit

Once formed, an exercise habit is easy to follow.  It is also the greatly increases your chance you will get your exercise done for the day.

Establishing an Exercise Plan

Just start and keep it up. More precisely, established a plan of what days you will exercise. Then plan on the same time on your day of excerise. Many people find the best time to exercise is in the mornings, so that you get it done. If you do not plan what days and times you will exercise, then mostly likely you will have things come up to interfere and not get it done. Taking a scheduled exercise class or joining a exercise group is an excellent way to plan your exercise.

After a couple of weeks, your exercise plan becomes a habit and is much easier. It is something you start to enjoy and will miss, as I did, when you failed to do it.

Becoming an Active Adult

Exercise does not have to be a one and done event. Having several types of physical activities each day is ideal. It keeps things interesting and is actually good cross training on different muscles. So walking in the morning and playing pickleball in the afternoon is an example. I found two or three activities a day to be my limit. Some days you take it easier than others, but try to do something each day.

Becoming an Active Adult has become much easier for me since we moved to our Active Adult Community because there are so many opportunities here to take classes or join in group sports of all kinds. I have walked by myself and with a group.  I took pickleball lessons and very much love to play with “Larry’s Group”, as we call ourselves. I am Captain of our bocce leauge and do get some exercise there as well. I did Lisa’s Cardio class for almost two years now and really get a workout in an hour there.  Joining a softball team would be fun but I just don’t have time.

More Benefits of Being an Active Adult

There are other benefits of being an active adult in addition to getting some exercise. One is it gets you outside and out of the house. Fresh air and nature are therapeutic.  Another huge benefit is that it puts you in touch with people, which turns into socialization and new friends.

So Get Started

As the 1980’s Nike slogan said, just do it.  Start today.   Make your plan and stay with it. Join a team or group. Try not to miss too many days but when you do, get right back in it. If you want to make a huge difference, move to an 55+ active adult community and try out many activities to find out which ones you really like. This is an easy way to become an Active Adult.