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4855The Painfully Inspiring Truth about Ruth

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  • cohensmilk1
    Dec 15, 2013

      "Your present circumstances don't determine where
      you can go; they merely determine where you start."
      - Nido Qubein

      *     *     *     *

      Do you have a friend or acquaintance like Ruth?
      I doubt it.

      When I first met Ruth in the mid 90's, she was the
      same age I am now (62). I recall how often she
      gave this advice in each of her lectures and demos:

      "The keys to preventing bone loss for a woman are
      eating a plant-based diet and stress-bearing

      That was the first time I ever heard that term.
      Stress Bearing Exercise.

      Ruth is one-in-a-billion, and her story has been
      memorialized in a new book which you can order
      today and receive before Christmas:

      "Lifelong Running"


      Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/m32jptg

      Ruth has suffered.
      I have known and loved her for 17 years.

      Ruth inspires me. On a few occasions, she has looked
      death in the face.

      When she was a young woman, Ruth was diagnosed with
      breast cancer, and experienced a double mastectomy.

      Then her bones began to weaken, as most post-menopausal
      women's bones are genetically programmed to do.

      One day after becoming a breast cancer survivor, Ruth
      was struck by an out-of control truck carrying kitchen
      cabinets. After landing in the road, she looked down
      and had this experience. In her words:

      "I looked down at my left leg and saw a bunch of bumps
      that turned out to be parts of my tibia, the lower leg
      bone, which had been shattered where the truck's bumper
      had hit me."

      Ruth attempted to raise her head while laying in the
      middle of a highway. She could not. The extreme pain
      in her shattered right hip prevented her from doing so.

      Three months later, wearing multiple casts on her body,
      Ruth hobbled to her ultimate destination and cried when
      a loudspeaker voice announced in Hawaii:

      "Ruth Heidrich, congratulations. You are an Ironman."

      Ruth has since completed one hundred triathlons.
      She has run sixty-seven 26.2 mile marathons.
      Her resting heart-rate is 44 beats per minute.
      Doctors are astonished that her bone mass is
      comparable to that of a 33-year-old woman.
      Next year, Ruth will celebrate her seventy-ninth
      birthday. She continues to run. We should all be
      so fit.

      In "Lifelong Running", Heidrich shatters myths.

      Should a woman run?
      Can a woman do a 140.5 mile Ironman triathlon?

      One thing that makes Ruth's book more special than
      others of the same athletic genre is that she so
      eloquently revels secrets known only to competitors.
      Having volunteered in the transition tent during
      the Lake Placid, NY Ironman completion, I have
      personally witnessed athletes do routine
      maintenance which no reporters write about. On
      page 53, Ruth instructs:

      "Before attempting a long run, men should rub some Vaseline
      on their nipples and in their genital area; women should
      rub it beneath their armpits (around the bra area) and
      around their groin as well. Sweat accumulating in these
      areas will cause soreness and chafing. Believe me, you
      don't want to experience the pain and discomfort when
      hot water hits those areas later."

      Dr. Heidrich reduces one of the secrets to maintaining
      health with a bit of easy-to-relate to mathematics:

      "There are 1,440 minutes in every day. Schedule 30 of
      them for physical activity! Regular exercise is a critical
      part of staying healthy. People who are active live longer
      and feel better."

      This past weekend, we had a chilly pre-Christmas snow
      in the New York area. I thought about Ruth's page 108
      advice when crunching the icy crust of a new-fallen
      snow before dawn on Sunday, December 14, 2013:

      "I found running in snow to be some of the most magical
      experiences I'd had. When it was deep enough and there
      were no tracks, I could feel and hear the crunching under
      my feet. If it was early morning, the shadows of the
      streetlights cast eerie, almost surreal shadows. Dawn
      was the best time to be out in the snow, alone,
      appreciating how beautiful a fresh coating can be."

      Every workout for Ruth Heidrich is fun. I can relate to
      that, as every workout of mine becomes a game. On page 142,
      she describes some of her memorable fun runs:

      "Running up and down the 5,000-foot runway at Kunsan Air
      Base in South Korea, joined by a smiling, uniformed, complete-
      with-combat-boots Korean soldier.

      "Running on the Great Wall of China in 1983, shortly after my
      breast-cancer diagnosis, and having the time of my life.

      "Running the original Olympics marathon course in Athens,
      Greece, in the footsteps of Pheidippides, the first marathoner.

      "Running up the intricately carved Buddhist temples in
      Borobudur, Indonesia, to a magnificent view of the rain
      forest from the top.

      "Running around Stonehenge, that enigmatic, prehistoric structure
      of monoliths, before being stopped halfway by guards.

      "Running along the coast of the Arabian Sea near Muscat,
      Oman, in the middle of an extremely rare thunderstorm.

      "Running up the longest and highest sand dune in Namibia.

      "Running on board a ship as it passed through the locks of the
      Panama Canal, then swimming in the ship's pool so that I
      could say that I swam in the Panama Canal!

      "Running in Casablanca and stumbling onto "Rick's Café" (of
      the movie, Casablanca, fame).

      Ruth Heidrich's concluding thoughts on page 164:

      "Someone once asked me how many miles I've run so far
      in my many years of running. The idea intrigued me, so
      I came up with this estimate. If I averaged six miles
      a day for forty-five years, the total comes to 98,550
      miles. That’s the equivalent to almost four times around
      planet Earth. That fact alone gives me a feeling of
      accomplishment and satisfaction along with the tremendous
      level of fitness that I still enjoy. Who can ask more than
      that of any one exercise? Not me! Running is the closest
      I've come to discovering "The Fountain of Youth."

      *     *     *     * 
      "Lifelong Running"


      Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/m32jptg

      *     *     *     *

      Robert Cohen