"Old Lady Motivation" Days 3-5: Run for Africa

Public Domain

June 21-23

I’m still alive. Running for clean water in Africa and enjoying the process. Not because my body is pain free (quite sore, actually) but because of two things. 

First, early morning routine. I’m a father of young children so early mornings are a normal rhythm. But, in the last week I’ve gotten up an hour earlier to get to the gym right when it opens. 

The quiet and stillness before noise of family and city comes alive good for the soul. The cooler air and new sun make slogging my body on a treadmill worth the effort. 

And, a second new joy… is a new friend who is my inspiration. When you arrive at the gym when the doors open few people are in attendance. Except two older ladies. I’ll call them Betty and Norma. 

Betty is not in bad shape and can tell she’s been working at her fitness for a time. But, Norma, is a different story. 

Inspiration comes from strange places. After I rub my groggy eyes and put on an old t-shirt and basketball shorts. Say a prayer for no chaffing, seriously, it’s a real thing people. I’m reminded of why I run. Clean water for people in need is a worthy cause. But these last couple of days I’ve been inspired by Norma. 

She is at the YMCA every morning without fail. She’s probably in her seventies and grips the treadmill with all her strength. A slight lean to the left she hangs on for dear life. Occasionally I look over to make sure she hasn’t fallen down.

Mornings when I don’t have it (Day 5 felt like work). I see this woman clinging to the treadmill and pushing through like she was walking for money.

Motivation comes from strange places. Old women on treadmills are mine for today. She’s in that gym every morning without fail and walking her heart out. I don’t know what motivates her, maybe clean water in Africa, good health, community of friends to run with, not sure. But we’re here. We’re alive and doing our best to get our weak and flabby legs moving one after the other. 

You accomplish nothing in life without baby steps. One foot after another. One choice after another. Any chance of me completing this 18 week training and finishing a half-marathon, and raising thousands of dollars for a great cause, will involve one foot after the other.

If the old lady can show up… why can’t I? Probably the sinful part of me doesn’t want her to outrun me. Regardless, she’s my motivation for the first week. Can’t wait to see her in the morning.

Training Summary

Day 3- I ran for twenty minutes, 2 minutes of running, 1 minute of walking. The running on day three caused pain in my left calf. No problem.

Day 4- I walked for thirty minutes. Bumped up the pace on the walking from previous days. Find the walking to cause more pain to my legs than running. Not sure what that mean,

Strength training: back and abs. 

Day 5- ran for twenty minutes, same as above. 

Strength training: chest and legs. 

Thanks for the love and support. If you want to donate to provide families with clean water click on the link.