Beyond the Library

A Fit and Healthy Lifestyle

by Linda Tingley

I have always been active in sports growing up, playing recreational softball in high school, and post high school. I had put on weight at one point when I became less active and, at that point, took up running, participating in races as a motivation to keep up with day to day training resulting in losing about 40#! Then I got married, started a family, which brings me to where I am today.

My fitness journey to ultimately becoming a triathlete began in 2006 when one morning I was pulling holds for patrons and saw a book in the exercise/fitness section titled “Walk the Weight Away” by RoseMarie Alfieri & Andrew Flach. Reading through the walking/weight loss program outlined in the book, I thought “I can do this”. Thus began a lifestyle change including a 23# weight loss, becoming initially a runner and ultimately a triathlete!

As outlined in the book, I began a daily walking program, which was easy. I purchased a good pair of running shoes and every morning, tied them on, and went out my door to walk in the neighborhood, increasing my distance slowly over the course of a number of months and then began slowly adding a bit of running until I was running all the time. This book is a well-balanced program that includes journaling your food, walking, strength training, and inspirational quotes to keep one motivated.

My daughter began participating in triathlons in 2010. My husband and I were her crew and cheering section. I had toyed with the idea of doing a triathlon after watching her and casually mentioned that to my daughter. Her answer: “Mom, you could do it if you trained for it!” So that’s what I did. My first leap into the triathlon world began at the age of 58 by signing up for an abbreviated indoor triathlon at the OPC of Rochester. That was my first taste of swimming, biking, and running consecutively at one time. 

At the time, it was hard. I was sweating and also thinking, “Why did I sign up for this”; however, after all was said and done, I was hooked.

My first sprint triathlon which consists of a .5 mile (750 m) swim, 12.4 mile (20K) cycling, and 3.1 mile (5K) run, was in July 2013 – a women’s only in Sylvania, OH. My daughter graciously agreed to go at my pace, which was such an encouragement. My husband and brother were on hand to help with the logistics of getting us to the race venue, take pictures, and cheer us on. I loved it! My goal was to finish the race, not be last, and have fun. So far, I have continued to meet those three goals, not to mention having fun doing this with my daughter!

I found these great books at the library to help me achieve my goals and learn more about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle: 

  • “Strength Training for Women” by Joan Pagano
  • “Full-Body Flexibility” by Jay Blahnik
  • “Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Half-Marathon Training – Get Ready to Run or Walk a 5K, 10K or Half-Marathon” by Heather Hedrick
  • “The Yogafit Athlete” by Beth Shaw
  • “Ashtanga Yoga” by Kino MacGregor 

Not to mention the countless books the library has on nutrition, recipe books as well as exercise DVDs to help you become more healthy and fit. If I could do this starting later in life, then I would encourage everyone to find an activity they like, whether it’s running, walking, swimming, biking, yoga, or something that gets you moving and begin your journey to becoming fit and healthy!

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