Part three in my series featuring women who are 40+ Fit and fabulous. Today’s featured woman is seriously kick a** check her out!
Debbie from Live from La Quinta
To find out more about Debbie click on the following links:
Live from La Quinta
on Facebook at Live from La Quinta
Yes that would be PARIS!!
RFYHP What got you into “fitness”? (running/biking/crossfit etc.)
Debbie: I got into fitness almost accidentally. I was hired as an activity director at a membership campground. One of my duties was teaching the water exercise class. I not only had never taught anything like that, I had never really exercised consistently. I had just quit smoking and had put on a few pounds so the timing was perfect. From there I stayed pretty consistent with classes and strength training. After a few years, though, I found aerobics classes kind of boring. I had just moved to a nice area and I decided to try running. It was 1992 and I was 35 years old. After my first run, my calves were so sore I couldn’t walk for 3 days, but I was hooked. I ran my first 10k race in 1994 and finished 4th in my division (I’d never run 6 miles before that!). I found I was pretty good at running and I was very competitive.
RFYHP How old were you when you started?
Debbie: I was about 30 years old when I started teaching the aqua classes, 35 when I started running, 39 when I ran my first marathon, 49 when I rode my first century.
RFYHP What are you most proud of (achievement and/or moment)?
Debbie: I have three proud moments that come to mind, all related to running. One is my personal best time in the marathon. It is 3:16:37. (RFYHP: Awesome!) I had to train so hard to achieve that. I was 41 years old at the time. Another is more general, but I suffer from exercise induced asthma, which has not stopped me from running 35 marathons (RFYHP: yes she said 35!!) in spite of the fact that I have never finished a marathon without at least some symptoms, frequently serious ones, of asthma. Sometimes I’d get so light-headed and dizzy I’d have to grab onto something as my airway constricted. With only two exceptions, I was able to use my inhaler, pull myself together and finish the race. Finally, in 2000, my girlfriend and I ran the LA marathon in freezing rain (it was about 40 degrees and pouring, so cold we kept our plastic bags on, plus my throwaway sweatshirt). Our shoes were soaking wet before we even started. My husband and another girlfriend dropped out (wimps!). My asthma became so bad that I just kept my inhaler in my hand for easy access. Still, we managed to finish in 3:33, which to me was more of an accomplishment that my PR race.
RFYHP Name a good thing about being an “older” active woman?
Debbie: Now that I’m a little older I don’t have to be fast anymore! And I have lots of stories to tell (obviously). Seriously, what better way to keep weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, and all the other “getting older” issues under control?
RFYHP Give a great piece of advice that you have learned that younger women can benefit from?
Debbie: I would like to tell younger women that it really is all about your health. Not your weight, looks, etc., though those can be side benefits of a healthy lifestyle. If you regard fitness as something that will make you feel better, you will take better over-all care for yourself. Eat right (not just low-cal, low-fat, or the newest fad diet) because you are fueling your body for life. (RFYHP Amen!)