There are marathons and then there are MARATHONS. My husband, Mike Link, and I are in training for the second kind – the biggest marathon of our lives, and to be honest, the only one, since neither of us have ever run or even walked in a marathon race. This is not a race however, but a walk around the greatest of the Great Lakes. Our course (created as we go) will take us over 1500 miles of shoreline (an estimated four and a half months) as we attempt to circumnavigate Lake Superior.
We are not athletes in any formal sense, but rather two people in our 60’s who have been physically active all our lives, engaged in non-competitive outdoor sports; cross-country skiing, canoeing, biking, and hiking. Like most people moving through middle age, our bodies have gradually lost some of their strength and flexibility, and joints have begun to rust, but our desire for adventure and being outdoors has not waned in the least. And so, we are about to undertake an adventure of a lifetime.
The idea formed about three years ago as we looked ahead to Mike’s upcoming retirement as Director of the Audubon Center of the North Woods. I too have worked there for many years. We knew retirement would not be a passive life, but a redirected one, with new focus and direction. We happened upon the idea for our walk in a conversation one summer afternoon, while on the Superior Hiking Trail. It was a flippant remark that, once spoken, took on a life of its own. It began as an idea for a personal, late-in-life adventure, but has grown to include a focus on fresh water, research, and environmental education – we can’t seem to do anything simply.
It is also includes the desire to set an example for our children and grandchildren that, no matter what your age, you can still dream big and make those dreams come true. And then there is the aspect of physical health. We struggle with weight gain, as do most Americans, but we continue to make a concerted effort to improve our diet and exercise. We live in a rural area far from fitness centers like Anytime Fitness, but the local hospital has a small fitness room, and it is usually very busy. They have given us use of this facility as we prepare for our walk, but most of our training has come in the form of walking, everyday, for varying distances. Through Full Circle Superior (the official name of our adventure), we want to demonstrate that walking is in fact the easiest and most accessible form of exercise. Plus, there are all the added (and scientifically proven) health benefits of being out in nature.
We want to thank Anytime Fitness for the opportunity to share our adventure with the Anytime Health community, and for being a sponsor of our walk. We believe businesses such as Anytime Fitness are helping Americans to become healthier and better able to cope with all the challenges of our modern lives. We’re looking forward to sharing more in the weeks and months ahead.
4/14/2010 at 1:58 PM