From The Editor: Total Commitment

We’ve been doing Ocala Style Health for four years now and I believe we’ve fulfilled our editorial mission. We didn’t want a health publication that read like a prescription drug disclaimer. No, we wanted a more useful product that would help people achieve their goals for better health, no matter what their fitness level.


The pages to follow should help you do just that.


As editor-in-chief, I have the luxury of seeing every story before it hits these pages. One story really got my attention.


JoAnn Guidry’s roundup of a group of triathletes from The Villages was particularly inspiring (see page 66). JoAnn, the perfect writer for this story because of her own lifelong devotion to running, healthy living, and proper fitness, captured the emotions of these women’s preparations for doing what their friends thought was the impossible.


You see, these “triathletes” were just normal women, teachers and administrators from The Villages Charter Schools. They were women just like our wives, mothers, and friends—middle-aged, busy professionals who set a collective lofty goal and decided to push each other to the limits of what they could achieve. Their stories—and the expert manner in which JoAnn shares them—should inspire us all.


I know those words gave me pause.


For the last few years, my brother and I have dedicated ourselves to road cycling. And somehow, we’ve gotten pretty good at it. Long-distance routes we struggled against that first year now feel like average rides. The distances have gotten longer, too. We’ve traveled to Flagler for a 52-miler, driven Hwy. 301 in darkness to make a 64-miler at the state line, and joined thousands on the Withlacoochee Trail for a family ride that was an awful lot of fun.


My brother, Jim, owns a baseball card store nearby and a lot of his regular patrons—mostly kids—think he’s crazy. Most of them, even though they’re a third of our age, could probably never pedal just a few miles. Worse yet is that they don’t want to do anything that pushes themselves physically. I’m not sure many of them could even handle a long session on the Wii.


I think that’s sad.


Our biggest fitness enemy isn’t other people—it hits much closer to home than that. One look in the mirror reveals your true adversary.


Sure, many mornings I find that the pull of my comforter or the lure of that second mug of coffee are too strong for me to lift my bike out of the garage for my normal morning route. But that mood never lasts for long. Often, I find myself out the next day, pushing the morning commuters for my space on the road. And that feeling—even despite the sweat and exhaustion—lingers far longer than the warmest bed or the best morning blend.


The truth is that you can do anything you want to do. That includes fitness.


Jim and I started with 5-mile loops. We can now do 10 times that—easily. I have no doubt that one day soon we will attempt some really crazy trip. I’m thinking a Florida Keys caravan or a cross-Florida trek from coast to coast. I know we can do it. And that’s everything Ocala Style Health embodies—lofty goals, useful tips, and inspirational stories.


Just like those teachers who one day decided that a triathlon was suddenly on the to-do list.


All my best,


Posted in Healthy Living Features

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