On a beautiful October morning, the twice weekly Humana walking group was joined by a new participant, marathoner Kathrine Switzer. They peppered her with questions. What shoes does she wear? (She is an Adidas athlete.) What does she eat the night before a big run? (She loads up on carbs, but has also been trying to eat more protein, such as nut butters.) How does she handle aches, pains and injuries? (REST.)
Kathrine acknowledged that at age 70 she was the young one in the group, which includes a walker who will turn 90 in November and a couple of participants recovering from surgeries. After they all walked together, Kathrine stood in front of an even larger crowd and talked about how the body continues to improve as long as it is challenged.
“Look at those of you I walked with this morning,” she said. “When you started walking together, maybe you couldn’t go very far, but now you’re up to a mile or two or three.”
Kathrine regularly runs long distances, but during her presentation she said the SilverSneakers® Stretch class at the Louisville neighborhood location “killed” her, in the best way. “At any age, the body can get better… the more you do, the more you can do.””
Her message was well-received. One 84-year-old in the audience told Kathrine she had recently started running again. Kathrine applauded her and every other person in attendance who was getting up and getting moving.
“Every time you take a class here or every time you walk with your friends, you come back and you feel much more optimistic,” Kathrine said. “Suddenly everything becomes more positive and optimistic. That’s the way to go into your life.”
One of Kathrine’s next challenges is the New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5. And she will have a new group of fans rooting for her from Louisville, Kentucky.