May 23, 2013

A Late Start


This awesome guest post is by one of our favorite Cranketeers, Death Ride Grandma! 

Crabby and The Lobster are undertaking their season migration from one coast to the other, this time via airplane rather than in Fran the Van.  Crabby is most likely, at this very moment, cursing sleepless redeye flights and crappy 6 a.m.airport food choices and barfy ferry rides and the necessity of unpacking random boxes of crap in order to find coffee-making supplies and clean underwear. So how awesome is it to have an inspirational post from an articulate kick-ass blog comment contributor instead of bleary blog blatherings from a semi-comatose crustacean?

And now please welcome... Death Ride Grandma!

Advantages of taking up serious exercise when you’re…when you’re…well, not exactly young any more:

1)    You have a lot less wear and tear on those joints. Runner’s knee? Much less of a worry if you have been swaddling that knee in cotton and wool for 45 years or so.
2)    Really, how many 55-year-olds are regularly setting personal bests?
3)    Regular access to free, legal, safe drugs.*
4)    You can seriously impress your doctor.
5)    And your friends and relatives.
6)    And yourself.

This is my story. Before you go looking for inspiration on your own fitness journey, fair warning: you will not be wanting to find your inspiration the way I found mine.


But I hope you will want to duplicate some of what it produced. I am 61. I have 5 grandchildren. I work full time, commute, volunteer a fair amount. If I can do it, you can do it too.

It?

I run a bit, maybe 5-6 miles a week; I take yoga classes; I tap dance; I spend a couple hours a week weight training; I am known in the abs class as the one who casually picks up 25 pound dumbbells for the core row (I am a little old lady – 5’1” and happily leave my hair gray); but mostly, I ride. Over the last few years I have averaged 6000 bicycle miles a year. This year, as my alias here suggests, I am training for the Death Ride – 129 miles, total climbing of over 15,000’. And I love it.

For a long time, for most of the time my kids were growing up, I did what so many of us do: I gained weight, a pound here, a pound there, a bigger size, then one more.


When I was a kid, I was always outside playing, and I had lots of fun on the playgrounds, but I was never chosen for teams, I am not naturally athletic at all. As an adult, I still loved to walk – fast – and I took tap dance classes wherever I could, but it was not enough. The pounds kept coming, the aches that I assumed were just a normal part of aging multiplied. I signed up for one exercise series after another, and somehow never quite finished them. Ok, I often didn’t even do more than the first class. I forgot the clothes that day; I was self-conscious about the shower set-up; I was tired; something big was happening at work; I had a sick kid; I stubbed my toe. Excuses come easy. Rationalizations? No problem. The hard thing to find was the inspiration that got me past all of that stuff.

Here’s where my story will be of no use to you. When I reached the event that ended up inspiring me, I didn’t appreciate it at all. You see, my inspiration came from a place no one would want to go, and no one could choose to go. When I was 46 I learned I had brain cancer. I had surgery. I found I was sleeping with my jaw clenched from the anxiety. But I didn’t die from it.


[Note: DRG couldn't find any brain surgery photos,
 but I'm sure this is a close approximation. --Crabby]

After a couple of years, when I was off all the anti-convulsant medication, when I had gotten more used to the bizarre reality I had dealt with, and I had taken care of the really big things I’d have kicked myself for not having done had I been one of the, sadly, far more common brain tumor victims who don’t get a second chance (planning for our retirements; some serious succession planning for my business; some traveling I had always dreamed of), I was ready. Really ready to get in shape. I found those old excuses and rationalizations sounded sort of hollow. Next time, tomorrow, later – but what if tomorrow doesn’t come? So I went out and bought a stationary bike and gave myself homework. I was to sit and pedal for 30 minutes a day, every day unless I was too sick to get up; I was to write it all down; I was not to eat any more than I was already eating.

It hurt at first. And frankly, a stationary bike is not all that much fun. But the pounds started to drop off. And after a while, my husband talked me off the stationary bike and onto a clunky bike that went – yikes! – out on the street. The miles started to accumulate, and the views were beautiful, and it started to be something I really looked forward to.


Let me tell you how great, how easy it feels. In the beginning, I was nervous that if I skipped a day, I would, once again, let the plan slide into the growing trash heap of abandoned plans. Now, I am afraid of missing an active day ‘cause I know I won’t feel as happy without my legal, free, guaranteed pure and uncontaminated drugs.* Now I climb hills I dreaded only a few years ago – and call it a recovery ride. Now, I’m one of the ones saying, “Keep it up! You’re almost there!” I went a year and  a half with no car.  My husband and I rode our bikes from Seattle to Boston at a touring pace – leisurely - looking at every town, every wildflower, every bird, talking to lots and lots of great people.


And before you say, yeah, but that’s so not me, let me remind you: I got on a road bike for the first time in my life when I was 51.

I sleep well. I rarely get sick, and when I do get a cold, it seems much milder. I move the way I did when I was a teenager – no hesitation to sit on the floor, to clamber into an awkward spot to hide when my grandchildren propose hide and seek, to rush up or down stairs. Less aches than when I was 30. Really. No feeling out of breath if I run for a bus. As of this morning, my weight is 3 pounds more than it was when I was 15, 20, 27 (then I had that baby and things went in the wrong direction for about 20 years). I have had my weight pretty much where I want it for 12 years now. 

And here’s the part I like best. I admit it. I can eat all the ice cream I want.

So what does it take? I do not claim any expertise, and have no plans to write a book. The thing is, I think most of it is too simple for that. And Crabby’s book has all the important stuff covered already. I’d just say, find something that appeals to you and put it on your calendar; find friends who like it, too, and make appointments you have to keep to make them happy. Or join a group with the interest and make friends there. Maybe you love plants – find a group that identifies all the wildflowers on local hikes. Maybe you love water – think about swimming, or hey, maybe windsurfing. Dance. Do those urban clue-following races with a team. Learn how to stand on your head.

And on the food front? Just stop eating when you’re full. That alone allowed me to stop gaining. Find some little thing you can change for the better every now and again (I went over to brown rice from white; I gradually weaned myself from soda to lemonade, then to water with lemon squeezed into it.) But don’t go all crazy and decide it will only work if you give up your favorite treats, if you will always have to show up at the Christmas party with a baggie full of celery. Eliminating fun doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Then add a little exercise without adding food. My bike expert/trainer points out that, once you’ve found a stable weight,  if you can get rid of 100 calories a day (that’s like one small cookie, maybe? Or a half hour walk?) you will lose almost a pound a month. It won’t get you into the dress for the wedding next week. So? That never lasts anyway. What I have done is find a few little tweaks that have really changed my life. I don’t want to finish my quest to lose weight so I can go back to “normal” – I found a place that can be normal forever. That’s what works.

Inspiration to make it happen? Well, how hard would you push yourself to get something you really, really like? How far would you walk to visit your best friend? How fast would you finish chores to make sure to see your favorite show? How carefully would you save to buy the camera you dream of? I bet all of your answers involve more effort than a little exercise time would. I promise you, once you have gotten to know this feeling, you will look forward to pushing at least that hard to keep experiencing it.




*Endorphins. I never took drugs that weren’t prescribed, and I resist prescriptions pretty vigorously. I took one Vicodin after my craniotomy, and that was just because the nurse seemed to think I should want it. But this endorphin stuff – wow! I will never willingly give it up.

Thanks so much, Death Ride Grandma, it's great to hear your story!  Anyone else besides me feel inspired?  And what got you guys going?

66 comments:

  1. I have GOT to get round to getting some photos holding my bike over my head... Am I the only cyclist alive who's never done that? #8-D

    I'm really jealous of the opportunity to get out for those long rides, I rarely get to do more than my commute these days (seven miles each way, not quite in the same league as what you're doing!). With a one-year-old in the house everything else gets a lot more difficult to organise! And I'm totally with you on choosing small tweaks over massive, unsustainable changes - the older I get the more I realise that patience and perseverance will get you places that mad bursts of enthusiasm won't.

    So, when does the Death Ride happen? And more to the point for us spectators, are you going to treat us to another guest post about it?

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      Shadowduck, I am impressed than anyone with a one year old does anything besides chase that toddler, and collapse when the kid finally goes to sleep!

      That bike-over-the-head thing is sort of cheesy, but when I did my first California AIDS ride, everyone did it half way from San Francisco to LA, and it was fun. Then the top of Haleakala seemed to demand it. I don't actually think I have done it since then.

      The Death Ride is mid-July. I will be happy to talk about it. After a hard ride yesterday (three times up the local training mountain - 68 miles, 10,300' of total climbing) I am really wondering if I can do even more! We will see.

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  2. I just LOVE your story!

    I just love how you blow all possible excuses and look ahead instead!

    Now if I can get my mother (slightly older than you) to read this...

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      Thanks,HappinessSavouredHot. I hope your mom takes you up on it. I just can't begin to articulate how much fun I have had since I got active. It's an amazing place to find, as you well know!

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  3. Death Ride Grandma, you are freaking awesome!!!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      Well, thank you, Shelley! But the thing is, I'm not, really. I'm lucky, but I am mostly just another little old lady who has discovered cycling.

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  4. DRG - You are amazing! I am so glad to hear the story of another "late bloomer" (or should I say "late pruner") ?...As in - shaving off the less useful, fun or satisfying elements and replacing with light, bright, fun, amazing stuff?

    Kudos for using bad news to embrace making your life over - the way YOU want it!!! Your story in and of itself is inspiration for anyone who might want it!

    You have my admiration and respect, for sure!

    And - Crabby... you have same because of all you do to give us faithful readers and clients miles of smiles along the way :) Oh yeah - and you pack it all in with some pretty useful information!!

    Other readers and responders - you, too, have my admiration and gratitude for all that you unabashedly share and from which I also draw inspiration!
    Anon

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      Actaully, Anonymous, I need to get a lot better at the pruner part. Squeezing everything I can think of to do into every day is satisfying, but exhausting, and there's always that little thig that slips through the cracks. But it's all part of how many amazing opportunities we all have. It's hard to choose among them!

      I probably shouldn't be heard (seen?)saying this but I so agree with you about Crabby and her community. I think it's pretty funny that one of the most civil, kind and articulate groups of commenters I have seen are the Cranketeers inspired by Crabby!

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    2. Oh my goodness, I am the most fortunate blogger on the planet to have such wonderful, funny, thoughtful and totally delightful commenters contributing here; the comments are always so much better than the stuff I write.

      I've been offline for a bit with the crosscountry schlepp, and apologize not to have gotten here earlier, but I can't tell you how fun it is to read your post again DRG and enjoy the great response from this awesome community.

      You guys rock!

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  5. Fantastic story! I've always thought to myself that I'd like to do a century one day. (I've done the distance on the running side, and through my active ways have met folks who are avid endurance cyclists.) I don't currently own a bike, so you can see how quickly I'm going to accomplish THAT one. Anyway, I guess what I'm saying is that I'll probably be 51 by the time I get on my bike too, so it's good to know the path has been paved!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Oh, yes, it has been paved, Outsmart the Fat! Century rides are really awesome. I did one within a year of getting my first road bike and have now down about 30. As long as you pace yourself, you're fine. I can't imagine the distance running, though. I've done a big local 12k, and that felt quite long enough, thank you! So when you get on the bike, you will find it easy - you get to coast from time to time.

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  6. I'm so happy to read your story!! You are absolutely inspiring to me. I'm 48 and have a 6 year old. I want and need to be healthy and vital for a very long time. Especially since she's an only child.
    I adore you, the way you talk about this stuff and I'm completely in love with the idea of riding across country. How long did you take? Wow, just wow. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Thanks, Tree Peters! I suppose having kids early made me too complacent - when you are in your 20s, you know everything will be fine forever, right? But it also gave me more time now for all these crazy activities. The cross country trip was 92 days. It included a week out in the middle when we flew from North Dakota to Vermont for a family wedding. We rode about 2/3 of the days and rested & explored on the other days. I plan to do some more extended tours when we retire in a few years.

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  7. So this entire time I assumed your Death Ride Grandma name was a Harley motorcycle thing. :) Motorcycles, death ride - made sense at the time.

    I loved your personal story, inspiration, and love of life. What a scare brain cancer must have been...and the surgery involved!

    I lost a very active, ridiculously strong friend of mine when she was 60. This has been a couple years now, basically she took a major fall on a climb, survived in the hospital for about a month but never woke up. She was a wife, a mother, and a grandmother.

    At 40 I am much younger than her, but her loss reminds me every single day that this body and this life is a gift and you truly never know when it can abruptly end. This doesn't make me perfect with my physical life every single day, but it is a reminder I always carry with me.

    Lovely story. Thank you so much.

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Oh, Quilting Doberman, what a terrible loss! Yes, it does remind us that there aren't many guarantees out there, and we need to keep that in mind when we make our choices. It shouldn't make us perfect - how dull would that be??? But it helps us appreciate and accept and find contentment that we might otherwise overlook in the crazy-busy shuffle of today's world.

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    2. Oops - hit publish too soon. I laughed at the motorcycle idea. I am too scared to go near those things (says the rider who takes her bike down hills at 40mph). But I have to say that (bi)cycling has totally changed my perspective on those other bikers. They are the best road company out there. There is room for both of us, and they are almost always considerate road-sharers, and they love the same views and open spaces.

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  8. So inspiring! My own mom started to finally focus on herself a little over a year ago. At that time I had to walk at a snail's pace so she could not only keep up, but breath at the same time! Now she can do more squats than a lot of people half her age and she is Queen of the Planks! She completely rocks! It's so wonderful of you to share your story, though, because I know she's felt, at times, like she's the only one in her age range making such drastic changes. And now, like you, she'll never go back. So proud of her!!!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Hurray, (not so)LazyGirl! Tell your mom I am delighted to know she's out there with me!

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  9. I loved this!! For starters - it is nice to know how the moniker came about for Death Ride Grandma!! Such a great story!!! You are a true inspiration for all of us!!!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      Thanks, Kim. Of course, now I have to figure out who I will be ( I mean what my moniker should be - I'm preety clear on who I am otherwise) after the Death Ride. Training has gobbled up so much of my time that I do NOT plan to try it again! Still, it has been exciting to work towards it and think it is even possible for someone like me to finish, and I do hope some others will get to find so much pleasure in an active life.

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  10. One of the things I love about this amazing community is the incredable timing of so many of these posts. What a wonderful inspiration you are DRG. I was also active when I was younger, although never considered myself an "athlete".Then I grew up, had kids and spent the last 20 years focused on raising healthy, happy girls (very time consuming job)Now that I am an empty nester I get to focus on me again. "Friends/Family" IRL have been less then supportive of my latest interest in racing. They have the nerve to tell me I'm not really a runner because I'm just starting at 44 and "real runners" have been running all their lives, I may not have a "runners" body, but I am getting happier every day with the body I do have. Thanks for the reminder that it is NEVER too late to start doing things you enjoy.

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 5:11 PM

      Hey, mrsmars, a "real runner" is someone who runs. We've got some of that in the cycling community, too. I was out climbing yesterday, and plenty of riders went by me breathing hard and sweating away. They may not think I'm a "real cyclist" but I can't imagine why I should care what they think! Sounds to me like a somewhat defensive attitude. They will come around when they see how happy and well it makes you. You go for it!!!

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  11. DRG, I don't see any need to change your moniker after you've done the ride. Wear it like a badge.
    This was timely; I need reminding that when the spring pollen finally goes away, leaving merely the year-round allergens, exercise will feel good again. (This has been an unusually lengthy pollen season for me this year.)
    Brain tumors are attitude-changing even when you haven't got them. I had plenty of time to think during the days it took to get all the test results back when I was twenty. I have always been a ridiculously upbeat person, but that made me consciously choose to enjoy every moment.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 10:18 PM

      Wow, Mary Anne - at twenty? What a tough time to go through that much anxiety. It was bad enough when I was 46 with (almost) grown daughters. I hope the pollen lets you out to enjoy the sunshine very soon.

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  12. What a great story! Thanks so much for sharing. I just bought a road bike and am very excited...and a little nervous. I'm very impressed that you like to climb. Wow. I like my world flat. :) But you're a pretty impressive person all around - - way to kick cancer's ass! And one Vicodin after my craniotomy? You are my hero! Congrats on everything!
    Gaye
    - Oh, and, like Shadowduck, you have inspired me to take the official bike over the head shot. Very cool! :)

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 23, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      Thanks, Gaye. When my cyclist cousin told me she really liked climbing I pretty much thought people would say anythingthat sounded cool. But that is not at all her personal;ity, and sure enough after a few more years, I got it. If you're in a hilly area like mine, you will, too.

      I don't really deserve much credit for the one Vicodin - for some reason I was lucky and had very little pain, no headache at all. And I had a lifetime habit of being stubborn which included refusing to take aspirin when my mother thought it was a good idea.

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  13. Such an inspirational story. And stop eating when your full - best advice ever. I hope you enjoy many more hills on your travels!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      Thanks, Nicole. Yes, I am happy to know that there are a few easy solutions out there - it made change possible for me!

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  14. DRG, what a fantastic post, I am so grateful!

    I love the way you capture the amazing way fitness can transform a life; and how even the very beginning baby steps are just as important to the whole journey as the more heroic looking triumphs that may come later. What an important message to give to so many who feel discouraged or fearful: you CAN change your life and it's never too late to start!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      Crabby, I am honored to be here! Thank you for making all this stuff fun!

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  15. Wow, Death Ride Grandma, you rock!
    Your story is very inspiring. I love the way that you just took it one step at a time, and never looked back. It is a great reminder of how little things build up to something big. I hope that you have a great "death ride" and are able to do it for years to come! I am going to get on my bike today, and think of you.
    Might be time to slow down the running and hockey playing and be a little nicer on the knees.
    Thanks again!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 24, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Thanks, Pokeydog. Glad to hear you are getting out for a ride, too. Nice to knees is a good idea. But please, don't wish another Death Ride on me!!! I am glad I can even consider it, but the training and the ride are very much at the outer edge of my abilities, and I do not plan to commit to this level of training again. I look forward to riding, running, hiking however I feel for a while!

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  16. best read of the week..very inspiring, thank you for sharing!!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 24, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Thank you, David. It is a pleasure to share what has brought so many happy times to me!

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  17. Hang in there Death Ride Grandma. You're a great inspiration to all "silver crests" who are either working out regularly or need a boost to get with the program.

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 24, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      Thank you, Brian, I will definitely hang in there!

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  18. DRG!! Thank you for sharing your story! You are amazing and inspiring and just WOW!!

    I love this so much:

    "Let me tell you how great, how easy it feels. In the beginning, I was nervous that if I skipped a day, I would, once again, let the plan slide into the growing trash heap of abandoned plans. Now, I am afraid of missing an active day ‘cause I know I won’t feel as happy without my legal, free, guaranteed pure and uncontaminated drugs".

    I am going to shift my thinking this way. It's much better to focus on the fun exercise rush than on the fear of slip-sliding into bad habits.

    You ROCK!!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 24, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Thank you, Theresa, and have fun with your exercise. One other little trick I used at the start: I scheduled a time, and no matter how I felt (short of truly sick), I had to change, get out there, and put in at least ten minutes. That's how I discovered that I pretty much always felt better after ten minutes. I never once chose to quit at that point even though I'd given myself that option.

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  19. DRG, i have to tell you: you rock!!! i kinda knew before from reading your comments and im glad i got to read the whole story!
    already i use your story in conversations when people tell me they cant..... because of.....
    hope to hear more about you! another guest post would be very much apreciated!!! :)
    keep on having fun and knocking down those goals!!
    puja

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 25, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      Thank you, Puja. I only wish I could read your site, but my linguistic skills are pretty much limited to the romance languages (and not so many of those). But I get the idea from the pictures and the titles - looks great!

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  20. Wow! Thanks for sharing kick-ass grandma's post. If that's not inspirational, I don't know what is. I haven't had cancer, but I am old enough to realize that this is the only life we have. I better have fun and do the things I want to do now. What am I waiting on? Now is the best time!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 25, 2013 at 10:16 PM

      Thanks, Kaki. You know, it's not just cancer. We never know what's around the next bend. Now is always more valuable than the future!

      Since it's the weekend, I am finally getting a chance to spend a few happy moments on other commenters' blogs - I hope you have a great time in Hawaii! I will be there with my family in July & can't wait to get out there with the fish. And I am a (weak but enthusiastic) birdwatcher. I help with the local Christmas counts often, and regularly ride my bike with binoculars around my neck.

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  21. This I like. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 25, 2013 at 10:17 PM

      Thanks, Kimberly. It's a pleasure!

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  22. I am late to the party but I am friggin in awe - I AM NOT WORTHY as the saying goes - ;)

    Honest - you are amazing & give us all something to think about says this 55 year old that DOES color her hair!

    I agree - best read of the week!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 26, 2013 at 11:04 PM

      Wow, Jody, you - not worthy? You do such amazing stuff, and manage to keep up your posts so well! Thank you! By the way, I certainly don't object to hair coloring - I think I was influenced by looking about 12 until I was in my 30s. Then I went right up to looking like I was in my 30s. Since then, I have always rather liked not being taken for a child. Then, of course, I am very, very lazy and very limited in my ability to do any grooming beyond staying reasonably clean. Leaves more time for the bike...

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  23. This is amazing! You are an inspiration. I wish my mom who is 61 would get out there and have the confidence to be able to do so much! You inspire me to do more as I get older. I am turning 35 this week and that scares me but I do more now at 35 then I did at 18 years old so I hope to be inspiring others well into my 60s! All the best to you! If you ever want to guest blog I would love for you to do a post for me!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 26, 2013 at 11:12 PM

      Oh, nycfitfoodfashion (and what an ambitious and fascinating combination!), don't be afraid of 35! You will be inspiring people for a long time. And 35 sounds pretty young to me. My daughters are 34 and 36. I certainly have not found that passing time is a negative. On the contrary, as time goes by, I feel less need to worry about the little stuff. So enjoy your birthday!

      I hope your mom finds things to do that are as exciting to her as cycling has been to me.

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  24. This article reminds me so much of my grandfather. He is 90 and still works out twice a week. Getting old is a thing of the past! If you give life as much energy you did when you were young, you will continue reaping the benefits of youth well into "old" age. I hope everyone finds some inspiration from reading this, I know I did!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 26, 2013 at 11:16 PM

      90! Gee, by the time I reach that age, my kids will be approaching retirement age! I guess in today's world we all have a lot we can look forward to. Thanks, Andreas.

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  25. What a fantastic story. Reading it has made my day. Thank You!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 27, 2013 at 11:26 AM

      Thank you, Kathryn!

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  26. Yep, my dad still cycles 80miles with his friends a lot and he's 67. There's guys in there 70s who are even more hardcore. Cycling seems to be good well into the later years. Will need to try.

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 27, 2013 at 11:31 AM

      Yes, it's a great choice - Lance Armstrong commented after his first marathon that at least in cycling you get to coast occasionally. It's easy on joints, but it also offers unlimited opportunity for effort. One of my first riding companions was 10 years older than I was & seeing her out there all the time really gave me a good perspective.

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  27. Thanks for the amazing story, Death Ride Grandma (I knew I was in for a treat from just reading your name!). You've given us middle-agers living proof that it's never too late. Ride on!

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 27, 2013 at 11:39 AM

      Thanks, Gigi. Right! It is never too late. Even better than that, to me, is that working out is the one thing you're allowed to get attached to that no one is likely to tell you is wrong or unhealthy!

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  28. I love this post! So many things in here resonate with me and what I've slowly found to work for me over the years...it really never is too late to get moving :)

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 27, 2013 at 11:45 AM

      Thank you, Geosomin. Yes, taking it slowly over the years is the way to go.

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  29. Great post :-) And thanks, Crabby, for sharing DRG with us. I so identify with the "not naturally athletic." It took me to the age of 47 and three-quarters to find the one athletic thing that I'm kinda sorta good at and it has given me so much satisfaction and pleasure.

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    1. Death Ride GrandmaMay 27, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      Thanks, malevolent andrea! I guess I was about 49 when the exercise bug really got me. So why do we all worry so much about the 40s and beyond? It's a great age, right? And for me, keeps right on getting better. I'm glad you found the same thing!

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  30. Being old is not an excuse to start your exercise. Exercising doesn't look at what age you are right now. We should now start to change our ways for a better life. Start exercising and taking healthy foods. That way, a better lifestyle and a healthy body awaits us and we can also share this with our family.

    Los Angeles Fitness

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  31. This is actually a good realization to a lot of old men and women out there. I believe that there's no specific age for you to start having a healthy lifestyle. You just need to be health conscious and be more active with your body for you to be able to have a healthy life. Better start while you're young instead of rejecting the time lost that you've had.

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  32. Wow - great inspirational story.
    It's better late than never.
    Love that Startrek Image.

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  33. My God this was just what I needed.

    The world sure needs more people like you.

    You are my hero

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  34. Well you put me to shame. I am proud of going to the gym a couple of times a week and watching what I eat. Reading your story makes me feel very timid. A friend of mine wants me to go on a 6 day cycling tour, I have been making excuses as I have not been on a road bike in years. Now I am feeling that I should get the bike out of the garage and stop making excuses. We need inspirational stories like yours, thanks.

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  35. yep, Endorphins and Natural Highs all the way! Having had a few vices over the years I can say nothing beats the rush you get from the challenge of the wilderness and battling the elements..

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