Full steam ahead

Rudy Norman
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Cherri White of Springdale is what many may call a fitness fanatic. She's been running and working out most of her life, and has always tried to stay healthy.
About 15 years ago, she decided to really take running seriously, and five or six years ago she tried her hand at running marathons. Today, she's out jogging at least three times a week. There's no doubt about it - this senior citizen is putting most people to shame.

marathon

White said she's not sure what made her get so deep into running so many years ago.

"Maybe it was because my kids were getting older," she said with a chuckle. Most days, she can be found pounding the streets of Springdale - sometimes with friends, other times by herself.

In December, she turned 60 years old, which she said was a sign that it was a perfect time to run her fourth half-marathon.

"When I turned 60, I wasn't about to miss that one," she said. White ran the 22-kilometre Hypothermic Half Marathon in Mount Pearl, and was the first 60-year-old woman to cross the finish line.

"My daughter asked me if I checked the results in the runners tent, and I told her I didn't bother with it," she said. "So she told me I was the first 60-year-old to cross the finish line, which was nice, I must say."

But White doesn't run for the competition. She does it because it's something she loves to do.

"When I'm out there I feel like I get a special sense of satisfaction - it comes from a challenge, like when you get tired and dig deep," she said. "I feel strong mentally, physically and spiritually."

She said she also does some of her best thinking while she's running.

"I do most of my planning and thinking when I'm jogging," she explained. "I do jog with friends, but I don't get disappointed when I don't have anyone to go with."

White said running is something she's proud of, and something she's even thankful that she has the ability to do.

"It's time to give gratitude that you're here. I have friends younger than me, and I put flowers on their graves."

Her dream, she said, is to run the Boston Marathon, which clocks in at a distance of 30 km. If she ever did achieve her dream, she would add to her four half-marathons and three 10-km races.

White said, the feeling she gets at the end of a run is worth it all.

"When you're out there on the road, running, it's not just the running that you're enjoying, it's the feeling you get when you get back - you feel accomplished. It's a magical feeling for me."

As she gets older, she said, staying healthy is becoming increasingly more important for her as she goes about her day, dealing with people.

"Staying healthy awakens the kid in a person. It gives you that total sense of satisfaction - you're not thinking about other things, you're thinking about yourself and getting yourself ready, and then you're so much better for other people."

Finally, she said, it's important for others - whether older, the same age, or younger - to consider making fitness a priority for themselves as well.

"Most people ask where I get the time to workout, or to run, but there's really not much time left not to do it," she said. "I usually do it first, and then I'm finished with it. It's absolutely a priority for me."

 

Organizations: Boston Marathon

Geographic location: Springdale, Mount Pearl

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  • Robert
    February 21, 2014 - 11:35

    Way to go, mommy!!! Excellent job!