The Simple Pleasures Of An Active Life


FitOldDog posing as Ironman in Asheville NC USA

Ironman Triathlete, FitOldDog, visits Asheville, North Carolina, USA. Photo by Jesse.

Hi folks,

North Carolina Fall morning

I took this photo one day in the fall in North Carolina, before an early morning run.

As an active aging triathlete I thank my lucky stars (odd expression) every day that I am able to train for Ironman races, simply because it brings endless riches into my life. For instance, those early morning runs are a great way to start the day, preferably as the sun is just coming up and the world looks even more beautiful than usual. The other day I was out running a local trail, and then I espied a falcon with a chick (someone else’s chick) in its talons, and the poor meal to be was still fluttering and struggling to get away. That’s life in the raw, or in ‘tooth and claw,’ so these runs always provide food for thought.

Simple pleasures are the best.

Simple pleasures, including simple foods, are the best: this post-run meal includes local tomatoes (with salt) and goat cheese, plus a nice hot cup of tea an Ironman mug.

After the run, a simple meal is what you want. The other day I completed a 15-miler, in preparation for an upcoming marathon, and we just happened to have some local home-grown tomatoes, goat cheese from a local farm (Small Potatoes), and with that I enjoyed a nice cup of tea. Exercise not only makes you hungry, it causes both food and drink to taste better. Just give it a try, and remember that the longer the workout the better everything tastes. And then there are Rick’s killer swim workouts. Rick, my new swim coach, is trying to turn me into a real swimmer, and his mantra for triathletes (“if your stroke isn’t all hacked up”) is as follows: Conditioning is more important than technique, so work on the conditioning and the stroke will come as your body discovers new water. Yesterday I completed one of Rick’s standard ~5,000 yard swim sets, and a few hours later I had a great PowerCrank workout.

Swim workout for FitOldDog by Rick Fee, great coach.

Swim workout for FitOldDog by Rick Fee, great coach, and ‘Yes!’ I made all of the intervals.

The latter comprised three by fifteen minutes at 125, 145 and 165 watts, respectively. During the last set my legs were really struggling, and I even considered stopping (you have to try PowerCranks to know how challenging they can be!). Then I remembered my old martial arts training, where I learned that you can do much more than you think you can, it is just a matter of believing that you can do it – if you do you will, almost always. So I buckled down to the task, and finished feeling great – I had made both the swim and the bike sets, so now it was time to go hang out at Johnny’s, our great little coffee shop, grocery store, and neighborhood hangout. We have an important rule at Johnny’s – children are more important than laptops (even my laptop). So I wandered over the road to visit my son Duncan, of Red Bubble Tee Shirt Fame, and just watched him close. As we say in England, “I love work, I can watch it for hours.

Relaxing in Johnny's after a PowerCrank ride

I took this photo whilst relaxing in Johnny’s, our great little coffee shop, grocery store, and neighborhood hangout, after a great PowerCrank ride. My son Duncan was running around closing at the time, and I enjoyed a nice ‘sit in peace and quiet.’

Two important women in FitOldDog's life

Staying in shape permits me to keep up with the women in my life. Here we are visiting Asheville University – kids grow up much too fast.

Finally, one of the most important aspects of staying in shape is the people with whom you are able associate. Think about it, if you can’t walk across the street or up a short flight of stairs without becoming out of breath as a result of neglecting your health, why would young people like to hang out with you. I’m very fortunate to be able to train with people of all ages (though some are too fast – and some too slow, come to think of it), and keep up with people half my age. This is why we should all pursue a program of safe exercise for better health. It helps to mix the generations, which reduces misunderstanding, keeps you young at heart, and you just feel more alive.

So just tackle a little exercise and one day you will find that you cannot imagine living without it.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.