Garry Welsh realized his mistake too late. And there was no way he could let on to the woman he had just started dating.
They had spent the afternoon together, and Christine was returning home. Garry wanted to go for a jog and asked her if she would drop him off somewhere along the way so he could run back.
They started talking, and before Garry knew it they had driven 9 miles. Garry was a novice runner at the time, nothing longer than 2 miles.
“So I put a straight face on it and said, ‘Just drop me off here, this will be fine. She was impressed that I could run 9 miles,’ ” he said. “I made it back somehow! I was just a young guy then. Exercise was less of a priority in those days.”
That was more than 20 years ago, but Garry and Christine, now his wife of 24 years, have continued to exercise and do their best to stay fit.
Garry, 49, is training for an Ironman triathlon – 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running. Christine, 53, is an avid golfer and is preparing for her third half-marathon this fall.
“Keeping active every day is important,” said Garry, who is using his triathlon to raise $140,600 for lung cancer research at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute. “People could do a 5K. They could play tennis or golf. They could walk. It’s about reaching your own personal high. Not everybody has to do the same thing, but whatever you do, rest assured you are always lapping the person on the couch!”
Staying fit not only serves your body but can help you emotionally, as well. In addition to being a great way to take care of your heart and control your weight, exercise can let the air out of your stress bubble. Staying active is one of the fundamental principles of Florida Hospital’s Healthy 100.
Christine, a nonsmoker who has recovered from lung-cancer surgery last year, said running is a great way to free her mind.
“When I go for long runs, like two or three hours, I’ll come back and tell Garry, ‘I’ve done a lot of thinking while I was out. I’m going to do this and I’m going to do that,’ ” said the Windermere mother of four. “When you’re out there running, you’ve just got your own thoughts and nothing else interfering with that time. ”
Garry, who specializes in helping companies get financially fitter, said exercise helped him through the stressful six-day period when Christine was hospitalized and undergoing tests to confirm her cancer.
“The exercise helped to keep me positive,” he said. “When she was in the hospital I would sneak out for a couple of hours to do a run, a swim or a bike ride, and then I would come back feeling energized and ready to help Christine with her recovery. ”
How do you feel after exercise?