By Pam Doebbeling, Registered Nurse
As I sit here writing this, I’m trying to brainstorm the reasons why I exercise and keep active, so let me first fill you in a little bit about myself. I have worked at TCHC for 25 years. I started when my kids, Alison and Brett, were 5 and 10 years old. My husband worked out of town, so I was essentially a single mom most of the time. I worked full time.
I used to consistently exercise, walk and run in the early days, but with two kids, it became a little harder. Walking was OK with the kids but kind of slow. So I went back to running. I could get done quicker. Ha!
I took classes like Jazzercise and loved the group classes. They kept me accountable. When we moved and there were no classes, I got certified and started teaching. No, I did not have leg warmers, but we did all wear leotards!
I taught for 20 years. So many things have changed and yet remained the same. When I go to classes now, I think, “We use to do that.”
Over the past 15 years, I have gone back to running as my main source of exercise. I know a lot of people think that they can’t run. I felt that way myself, having been a walker for many years.
I started out slowly, which is the key if you want to condition your body for running. I would walk a while, then would find a street sign and run to it. Eventually, I worked my way up to just running.
Running for me has been more than exercise. For instance, if I have a really bad day at work, I will go for a short run, and it is amazing how much just three miles lowers my stress. My kids always teased me that I would leave ready to kick the dog, but when I got home, I was in a much better mood.
I have also joined a running group. I love the people and the different levels of running represented. Our love of running keeps us a tight-knit group, and that makes the time go by so fast.
However, I also prefer to run alone. No music. Just me and the pavement.
Last summer, I experienced a setback with a torn meniscus. Not being able to exercise was devastating to me. I did do more biking after surgery, but it just wasn’t the same.
After my injury, I learned a lot. I now stretch before and after each run and have changed my running form. I choose specially fitted shoes and take it slower. I use a foam roller after long runs.
Now, I am totally back to running and am doing Grandmas Half Marathon this year.
Another reason why I prioritize exercising is that my dad died at age 61 of cardiac arrest. Three of his sisters had strokes. I didn’t want to have health issues later in life.
But the main reason I exercise is so that I can be there and be active with my grandkids. I took my granddaughter hiking the other day, and she called her mom and said, “Grandma has me hiking another mountain!” I want to be that kind of grandma, to enjoy life and share my love of fitness.
You can run (or walk) too!
Next Saturday, June 23, you have an opportunity to try some walking or running with the Sunnybrook Stomp hosted by Tri-County Health Care. It’s a 5K walk/run that starts out at Sunnybrook Park in Wadena. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m., and the race starts at 8:30 a.m. I ran my first Sunnybrook Stomp in 1988!
It’s a great opportunity to get outside, spend time with friends (and meet some new ones), and see the sights of Wadena.
For more information or to register, click here.
About the Author: Pam Doebbeling is a registered nurse at Tri-County Health Care. She has six grandchildren: Mya, Jack, Abby, Emily, Laynee and James. Besides running, she loves kayaking, paddle boarding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing with her grandchildren. She also enjoys reading and took up knitting last winter.