There is a time when you have to thank God and great people like Dr. Sweeney and my wife Linda for keeping me active and healthy.
It all started with a few wake-up calls in 2004 and we never looked back.
Mountaineering came first, getting that first feat on a 46er was – at that time – the pinnacle of my life. My son Joe, my wife Linda and my daughters Jennifer and Michelle were my biggest supporters and they were joined by many friends and cousins. What this realization has done is cement family ties and thank God for our health, which He can control.
(A 46er is a hiker who has summited the 46 High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains.)
The 600 mile round trip to the mountains – and many overnight stays – also allowed each of us to learn more about our own state of New York and especially all of our camping and hostel experiences in Lake Placid. , Keene, Keene Valley and Newcomb. It was quite a learning curve.
Then Dr Arluck came on the scene suggesting that now that the first summer of 46 was over, why not give winter climbing a try. After extensive research and equipment purchases, this adventure began and became – and still is – the greatest achievement of my life. Tackling 46 Adirondack peaks, between December 21 and March 20, took three years, through whiteouts, blizzards, frozen rivers, deep snow, ice-covered cliffs, rock traps snow and sub-zero temperatures. The great thing about this trip was that in addition to my own family, we had a winter climbing family of 30 similar dedicated lunatics from all over New York and Canada who kept in touch with each other via an Adirondack 46er forum so we can plan dates, trips and availability. It was a fantastic time in our lives.
After this adventure, and the second run of 46 was over, it was time to be a mentor. I was asked to be a climbing correspondent to help and mentor aspiring 46ers across the country. Linda and I became camping hosts at ADK Lake Placid Loj Campground and the fun continued. The next two rounds of 46ers helped family, friends, cousins, a nephew and a niece become 46ers. We ended up with nine 46ers in our family and included the completion of the 46er and the engagement of our daughter Jennifer, to Shane, atop Whiteface Mountain.
The last mountain ascent, the end of my fourth round, was the summit of Basin Mountain – which was also the last mountain to climb for the second and third rounds – on August 19, 2019, at the age of 72 with my hiking partner and friend, my son Joe.
Since mountaineering activity was slowly declining, Joe wanted his father’s physical activity to continue. On December 8, 2012, Joe and my wife Linda convinced me to run the Wonderful Run in Seneca Falls for my first 5k run. I was not impressed. thus, I was not engaged. From 2012 to 2015 I experienced more 5K races and even a few half marathons. I met a lot of great people and had a lot of fun, but I wasn’t too excited about this running exercise. We ran with family and friends and even had my grandson Thomas run his first race at 4 and my granddaughter run her first race at 4.
While Linda made sure I stayed healthy with daily doses of multivitamins, vitamin C, saw palmetto, fish oil, cinnamon, and my cholesterol capsules, Dr. Sweeney watched me with my annual physicals and he felt good about my progress. year after year.
Finally on December 12, 2015 I ran another Seneca Falls Wonderful Run 5k and haven’t stopped since.
I was so lucky to have my family for support and the physical ability to continue this obsession. Maintaining a consecutive streak allowed me to focus on this adventure with a serious degree of commitment and understanding of how to keep knees, ankles, feet and hips in good working order.
Finding 5Ks in the winter, or the ones I needed to make sure I ran one in any given month, made me travel all over New York. I even did a K on a cruise, in Florida and Myrtle Beach.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when in-person races were canceled, I had to go online and register for 16 virtual races in order to keep the monthly consecutive streak intact. Many of those we have run as a family together.
It was a great race and on February 13, 2022, race number 75 was completed. Additional races were completed in March, April, May and June as we moved closer to the new goal set by my doctor and I. This goal of 80 5 km races should be reached on July 4 in Greece.
The courses seem to be getting longer, and my times are noticeably slower, and when I run, I don’t smile anymore, I just grit my teeth.
I just turned 75 and my advice to everyone, regardless of age, is to stay physically active no matter what.
Enjoy life, stay active and move.