- 2021 Posts
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information
- Just Start Walking
- Executive Director: Gala Postponed until Spring 2022
- Putting Your Right Shoe Forward
- Caregiver Specialists: Your Personal Guide Along Care Journey Path
- Executive Director: Face Coverings Required Starting August 2
- Why it's Important to Have a Will
- How to Get Started Refreshing Your Home
- "Senior Scams" featured in Caregiving magazine
- Executive Director: What you can expect at NSSC starting Jun 14
- The Shop at the Center: The North Shore's Best Kept Secret
- Bridge Phase Update: A Message from the Executive Director
- Do’s and Don’ts as You Re-Enter Stores
- Easing Their Way Back: How NSSC members are slowly returning to pre-pandemic normalcy
- Easing Your Way Back to Normal
- Ways Caregivers Can Strengthen Connections & Reduce Loneliness
- Medicare and COVID-19
- A Change in Seasons Can Bring a Change in Moods
- New Act Provides Relief for Pandemic Weary Individuals
- Something to Think About
- Do I Hear an Echo? Smart Home Devices Can Make Life Safer and Easier
- "Senior Financial Abuse" as featured in Caregiving Magazine
- Annual Report - FY20
- 2021 New Year Message from Executive Director
- "The U-Shaped Happiness Curve"
- "Everyone Has a Story to Tell. Are You Ready to Share Your Life Story?"
+ 2020 Posts
- "Maximize Your Personal Connections and Minimize the Holiday Blues"
- "Resilience & Aging"
- Self-Care Tips for the Family Caregiver
- Sharing Gratitude During Thanksgiving from Our Executive Director
- NSSC Awarded Chicago Top Workplace
- 'Exercise’ Your Commitment to Stay Fit During Pandemic
- How the End of Daylight Saving Time Affects People with Dementia
- Lifelong Learning Virtual Experience: The Next Best Thing to Being at the Center
- Join us for Gala 2020: Unmasked
- Permission Granted: Time to Host the Perfectly Imperfect Wedding
- North Shore Senior Center Featured in Caregiving Magazine!
- What Does 'Medicare for All' Mean?
- Opening Day Slated for July 6!
- North Shore Senior Center Keeps Older Adults And Their Families Connected
- June 15 Update on Center Reopening
- An Open Letter from the Executive Director
- Initial Plans to Re-Open Center
- HSS & Sewa International Donate Masks to NSSC
- May 14 Update from the Executive Director
- The CARES Act Brings Many Changes for Individuals and Businesses
- May 7 Update from the Executive Director
- April 30 Message from the Executive Director
- Celebrating our Volunteers and Senior & Family Services: A Message from the Executive Director
- Celebrating Our Successes: A Message from the Executive Director
- Message from the Executive Director on HOW Programs
- Winnetka Talk: North Shore senior centers turn to technology to connect and entertain
- Message from the Executive Director
- An Update from our Executive Director & Free Online Classes
- A Note to the North Shore Senior Center Community
Just Start WalkingSeptember 29, 2021
by Amy Krause
"The best way to start is to just start."
Recently, while visiting my mother in the foothills of Colorado, I took a walk with her friend, Patty. What I thought was going to be just some fresh air and a walk through the rugged winding roads of Blue Mountain (14 miles south of Boulder), turned into an inspirational moment for me.
Patty and I set off on a 3-mile course and as we walked, she told me her story—a story of inspiration that I realized should be shared.
A native of London, Patty moved to the U.S. in 1970. Not an athlete growing up, Patty found fun and exercise through tap dancing. As an adult, she tried jazz classes and then in the 1980s she discovered Jane Fonda videos. It wasn’t until her dad died that Patty, 42 at the time, started running. “I started running as a way to work through my grief. After a while I felt like running was my dad’s gift to me.”
Patty ran her first marathon at age 46. She was addicted. By age 49, she had run four marathons. One day while reading the newspaper, Patty saw an article on a triathlon training program. The article said, “If you can run if someone’s chasing you, swim the width of the pool or bike to the end of the block, I can train you to complete a triathlon.” Putting aside her nervousness, Patty showed up for the training class and found herself surrounded by women ranging in age from 18 to 80—every one of them proud of their accomplishments. The group welcomed her. Patty remembered the first time she swam to the other end of the pool without stopping: “I grabbed the side of the pool completely out of breath. It felt so good, and from there it all started coming together; I knew then that as long as I set my mind to my goals, I could do anything.” Patty completed her first triathlon at age 49. By age 56, she graduated to Olympic distance (1-mile swim, 28-mile bike ride, 10k run), participating in the Boulder Peak Triathlon for 10 years.
At age 60, Patty began participating in half ironman triathlons. This race consists of swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles and running 13.1 miles, or a half marathon. “My proudest moment was when I won the race series for my age group at 61.”
Unfortunately, a bout with endometrial cancer in 2013 and then a 2018 hip replacement detoured Patty a bit, but she didn’t use it as an excuse to stop. “At first I wondered if it was all over. But after a month of rehabbing my hip, I was walking. And then I thought if I want to complete another race, I don’t have to run; I can walk the 5k.” She ended up incorporating little run segments into her walking rehab routine and has since completed three races.
Patty’s advice on how to start exercising? “The best way to start is to just start. Start walking and add a little bit each week. Join a class and if you don’t like it, try another class. Once you get going you feel so good you don’t want to stop. Suddenly, you are there!”
“During the height of the pandemic I didn’t bike outside because I was scared I would fall and have to go to the hospital so I improvised and set up my bike on a stationary stand in my family room. I attended online Pilates classes and walked every day.”
Patty’s positive attitude influenced others, including my mom. My mom was experiencing some anxiety and depression and was told by her doctor to start walking outside every day. The benefits of exercise, coupled with fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for the mind, body and soul, the doctor said. Doing it with a walking buddy is even better. So Patty started walking with my mom. First one mile; then they worked up to two miles. Now confident, my mom walks with Patty—or alone—2 miles a day. She feels better and looks forward to catching up with her friend.
Not sure how to get started? NSSC offers a variety of exercise classes—participate alone or with a group, online or in-person—as well as personal training with experienced professional trainers. Regular class offerings include Walking Club, Stay Fit at Home: Balance, Strength and Stretch, Yoga for the Rest of Us, Yoga for Those with Parkinson's, Better Balance, Sit and Get Fit, Ballet, Tai Chi and Nia.
You don’t have to make running a marathon your goal. You can simply try a class or go outside and take a walk—a guaranteed way to start feeling better.