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Book: Aging Beyond Belief by Don Ardell

If you plan to age, prepare yourself — it's later than you think. The challenge of aging well should be taken seriously, but not grimly! Whatever your age, it's never too soon, or too late, to learn and apply the fine art of aging well, really well. Discover what aspects of aging can't be changed and improve the rest that can. Mold your own realities with REAL wellness, Ardell-style.

The 69 tips — one for each year of the author's life — are thought-provoking, challenging, eye-opening, manageable and fun to read. And all provide practical guidance for intelligently designing your own life-style evolution.
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by Donald B. Ardell, Ph. D.
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Wellness in the Headlines
(Don's Report to the World)

My First Triathlon

Friday April 17, 2015

I’m not sure if there is a wellness lesson, principle or even a moral to the story of my first triathlon, but just the same I thought I would share the tale with you, dear visitor to my favorite website, Seek Wellness.

Don at a triathlon in 2013The U.S. Triathlon Association of which I and nearly anyone who does triathlons is a member has decided to produce a first-ever yearbook—one that will profile members of the organization. (There were 174,787 members at the start of 2014, so the yearbook is likely to be a hefty opus, even if only half the members go to the trouble of filling out the requested bio data.)  

I don’t plan to buy it ($80) but inclusion is free. So, why not? I sent in all the requested data.

The survey contained a request for a comment about “your favorite race memory.” This is what I contributed—and every word is true, to the best of my ability to recall, which some consider suspect.

In 1982, I traveled from my home in the SF Bay area to Kansas City to give speeches on the benefits of wellness lifestyles to staff and the community as part of a K.C. hospital's promotion of their new wellness center. My third book (at that time), entitled Planning for Wellness, had just been published, and the organization arranged many book signings. It so happened that a popular triathlon was set for that weekend, and they asked if I could participate to help promote my talks. Being a serious runner at the time, I said, "sure. What's a triathlon?"

The idea of a mile swim and 25 mile bike seemed a bit much, though I loved the idea of doing a 10K (I was running a 33 minute 10K at the time). Furthermore, I had been a lifeguard in high school and I owned a bike growing up—so how hard could it be?

REAL hard, as it turned out. The borrowed equipment was awful (the bike was ancient and weighed as much as a motorcycle) and I soon discovered that nearly 25 years was too long between swim training sessions. I started in the first wave (to embarrassing fanfare that raised expectations that the wellness expert might be a serious tri stud) but, after hapless flailing, dog paddling, backstroking and holding on to boats, I exited the water with the last wave. The bike was an ordeal. Finally, hours later, it was time to run.

Despite the previous exertions, I did 34 minutes—and decided I was going to become a triathlete. I would learn to swim and bike, if it took years. Well, 30-some years later, I'm starting to get the hang of it.

That's my best memory, if not my best race.

Be well and, whether doing a triathlon or just hanging out, look on the bright side of life.

Signed Don Ardell

(Ed. Note: Views expressed in this and other columns are those of the author and not necessarily those of the SeekWellness Editorial Board.)

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