Miles to go

Bella is one of the children who stand to gain from increased investment in children’s cancer research!

We’re a little more than halfway through June, and I’m a little less than halfway through my Great Cycle Challenge commitment of 500 miles! Yikes! But I think I can split my rides – morning and evening – in order to catch up fairly quickly (and not be late for work every day!). While I’m riding in memory of a family friend-of-a-friend, Killian Mansfield, I’m also riding in admiration and appreciation for the courage and spirit of kids like Bella (right), whose smile has – as I said elsewhere – invaded my brain.

I’m hoping the pedaling will translate into faster leg speed and greater endurance when I shift back to distance-walking next month, in preparation for a 50-mile event in October. In any case, I can tell my fitness is improving: last night was our first dragon boat team practice, and after one hour on the river, I still felt good and strong. Last year, the first few practices completely wiped me out.

Speaking of dragon boating, here’s a great podcast interview with breast cancer survivor and competitive paddler Wendy Barratt. Consider subscribing to that Bolder Woman podcast, which features women who remain (or become) competitive athletes after the age of 50. Lots of inspiration to be had, there!

Julia Hawkins (photo from ABC News)

I’ve written about Julia “Hurricane” Hawkins on this blog before, but this past week she won gold in both the 50 and 100 meter races at the National Senior Games, and she set another record… as the oldest woman (103) to compete on an American track!  Don’t forget – she just started running competitively at age 100. Recently, Ms. Hawkins shared “7 pearls of wisdom” with Women’s Running magazine.

Good news: walking as little as 4500 steps a day extends life (the article actually says “reduces mortality,” but to the best of my knowledge, no one gets out of here alive) and well-being. So if you can, do.

P.S. The picture at the top of this post is a .gif from the marvelous animated film, The Triplets of Belleville.

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