4855The Painfully Inspiring Truth about Ruth
- Dec 15, 2013
"Your present circumstances don't determine where
you can go; they merely determine where you start."
- Nido Qubein
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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:
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
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."
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Tiny URL: http://tinyurl.com/m32jptg
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