Tag Archives: fitness

Eric Biedermann, age 77, talks about what sports mean to him

This video is from an interview with Eric Biedermann of Fort Collins, Colorado. This is my first experiment with video interviews and I hope you like it. Eric is a retired Lutheran minister and has lived in Fort Collins since he retired. His main sport is badminton, although his main form of conditioning is swimming. Meet Eric.

I hope to do more interviews like this, so I would love your comments and feedback.


R.S. and Melody Mitchell – Changing hearts, changing minds, changing lives.

The following is a brief profile of people I interviewed for my upcoming book about athletes over 50. Enjoy!

R.S. Relaxing in Hawaii


Melody at the Studio


R.S. and Melody Mitchell, 61 and 54 respectively, live in Salisbury, Maryland and own and operate one of the largest martial arts schools in the country. R.S. learned martial arts from his father when he was very young, and Melody got her start when she was 34 and took a women’s self-defense course from R.S. They have, together, incorporated martial arts into their lifestyle, and are devoted to bringing others the self-esteem, self-control, self-discipline, self-defense; perseverance, respect for others, concentration, and physical fitness that results from studying martial arts. They have taught people from three years old and up, offering classes that help the very young develop coordination and strength, as well as classes that help older student defend themselves with a cane. They shared with me some of the astounding changes they have seen in students with ADHD and students with physical handicaps. They love how martial arts keeps them physically and mentally fit, and that they get to do it together.

I just did an accounting and I only have a few more athletes that I interviewed to post on this blog. I’ll be looking in the New Year to continue to bring content to this blog, even after my book comes out in March. I’d love it if you would leave comments about what you would like to see on this blog in 2010. It is a new decade, and I’m sure we are all excited about it. So, please leave a comment and I’ll get busy!

Murray Honick – Previous 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge Contest Winner

Murray Honeck Running

In September, 2009 I held a drawing for people who joined the 50-k Active Challenge, which is an outgrowth from my work on my book on athletes over 50, and had prizes of a copy of my book, a 50-k “Active Life” T-shirt, and an interview with me. Murray Honick was the lucky winner of the drawing, and the following is what I learned about Murray from our interview.

Murray, who is 55, is a psychiatrist and lives in Murrelles Inlet, South Carolina, and often recommends exercise or physical activities to his patients to help them deal with depression or other disorders. Murray is a strong believer in the transformative power of an active life.

When Murray was younger and in medical school, he participated in volleyball and tennis, but it was a self-described mid-life crisis that kicked Murray’s active life into full gear. He decided that he didn’t want a corvette and couldn’t afford an affair, so he decided to start running! Murray started by running a 10K, and six years later, now has the fantastic goal of running 50 marathons in 50 states.

His goal: 50 marathons in 50 states

His plan: One marathon a month as his schedule allows; has a 17 week training plan and follows it.

How he remains accountable: he has regular partners and runs local races with them

Murray discovered the 50-k Active Challenge through a facebeook running group and told me that he will promote it with his local running club, because he is such a strong believer in the transformative power of an active life.

You can be the next contest winner, where you can win $300 or an iPod, by submitting a photo to the “Active Life” photo contest. The contest closes on December 17th, 2009, so don’t delay. Find out more details at: http://50-k.net/contests

Check out the interesting story about the link between exercise and longevity at http://www.immortalhumans.com/physical-exercise-restrains-aging-and-protects-your-cells/

“Skating was such a blast when I was a kid, running around on skates with my sisters and my dad… then to come back to it later in life, was like discovering it all over again, but in new ways.”

The following is a brief profile of one of the athletes I interviewed for my upcoming book, “Lessons for a Strong, Healthy Life from 50 Athletes Over 50.” To get an email update for future posts, subscribe on this site.

Suzy Devers In-line Skating

Suzy Devers is a 57 year old ice and in-line speed skater, who lives in Louisville, Colorado, but grew up on the East coast where she ice skated from age 5 with her sisters and father. Suzy played other sports through the years, and in her 30’s began in-line skating for fun and exercise. Suzy’s love for ice skating re-emerged at age 52, and had her looking for a pair of speed skates for ice. It was hard to find equipment for ice skating in Colorado, and her quest put her in touch with a skating coach in Boulder, Colorado. The rest is history, and she went onto race in-line skates on the road, indoors, and on a banked track; as well as ice, at a multitude of distances.

Suzy loves the variety of the various forms of skating she does. She also loves how it connects her with the fond memories of skating when she was a child.

This past week I reconnected with my runner-self. My current active passion is rock climbing, but I was a competitive runner for many years. This past week, I was visiting my family in New York, where climbing was not accessible, but running was. I ran several times to help get my blood flowing and get in a some sort of workout. My first day in New York, I ran a four mile loop around Collin’s Park; a run that I had probably done 1000 times. When I started, my lungs and legs rejoiced in the oxygen rich air of sea level. I felt as if I was ticking off six minute miles, just like I used to, but I knew I was probably running much slower. Regardless, I felt great. I charged up the hill at the back of the lake, floated over the turtle backed roads and uneven slate sidewalks, with visions of the runner I used to be flashing through my mind’s eye.

As I ran through the neighborhoods of my youth, I reflected on the denim and flannel town that taught me so much. It is where my family, friends, teammates, teachers, and coaches lived. It’s also where I grew to know so many people.

As fatigue began to grow, starting in my feet and traveling up my legs, to eventually engulf most of my body, I began to consider stopping to see some people I used to know. While it would be nice and give my body a chance to recover, I realized that I am now an outsider, looking in. Knocking on their door would be like intruding on their life, to just end up running away again. So, I kept on running, passing cats in windows, new buildings, and houses that differed in my memory only in the color of their paint.

As I rounded a corner and headed down Sacandaga road, the road I used to walk every day as I went to high school, fatigue began to retreat, and my legs regained their spring. I felt again the runner I was. I passed the house I grew up in, which is in much better shape than when I moved out. I thought it ironic that my old house was in better shape, while I was in worse shape. The run completed, I relished the sweaty afterglow.

A few days later, I ran again up in Northville, New York. When I finished that run, I thought about how running was my first active love. I thought how the past couple runs reconnected me with my first love. It reminded me of that photograph we all might have in the basement, packed away in a box, of our first girlfriend or boyfriend. One that probably looks nothing like them today; one that might be crumpled and faded, but that when we see it, reminds us of the cool feeling of a first love. While I can’t be the runner I was, I can still connect with what it was like to experience that first active love.