Last night, I had a conversation with a runners in the Fleet Feet No Boundaries running program I help coach. She is in her late 50's and she asked me at what age she should stop running....It was the oddest question...she said she was worried that at a certain point running might become more difficult in her age or even harmful to her body. She said she has noticed that she is running slower lately and thought it must be a sign of her body aging. I had to think about it for a while.
I have been at many starting lines shoulder to shoulder with men and women well into their 70's, 80's, and even 90's! My thoughts have always been "that is going to be me someday." I have never given thought to the fact that it is inevitable that I will eventually "slow" down. There will come a day when my body will fight speed. That does not mean that I can no longer run, it means that I will have to redefine what running is to me.
I told her that if she wanted to run than she needed to continue running. She is healthy and able bodied. If she has a heart to run than age should not dictate to her whether or not she is a runner.
I found these essays by a man named Dr. George Sheehan they are worth reading. He wrote for Runner's World and his essays are very inspirational to all runners.
"The race, however slow my times, remains an ever-changing learning experience. Whenever I race, I learn something new about myself and those who race with me. I will never be 32 years-old again, but it no longer matters, because I've learned that winning doesn't matter, it's running that counts. And when I push to the limit, I am a boy again-an untried youth listening to the wisdom of my body."
I am thankful for my body that God created. I am thankful for the ability I have; God's ability in me.
Grace and peace,