Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ed Weadock, One of the Most Inspirational People I've Ever Met

I've been in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years and Ed Weadock is one of the most inspirational people I've ever met.  I first met Ed at the North Ridge Country Club Fitness Center a little over 12 years ago.  The first thing I noticed about Ed was how healthy and fit he looked and when I found out he was in his 70s I was blown away.

Ed is now in his 80s and he seems to defy age.  He is a model for what the benefits of regular exercise, and eating a balanced diet looks like.  I'm honored to have interviewed Ed for this blog post.  Read it and be inspired.

Me: Ed where were you born and where did you grow-up?
Ed:  Born in New York City (Manhattan) and grew up in the combination of New York and Connecticut.  At the time the city was not as confining as it is now.  The kids could roller skate and play stickball in the streets without being smushed by a bus, so we were pretty active.  Connecticut in the summer was full of outdoor adventure and things to be discovered.

Me: What's your age?
Ed: 84

Me: How do you stay in such great physical condition?
Ed:  Not sure if its cause and effect, but have been in the habit of exercising for a couple of hours every day since I was in my early thirties.  It just becomes a routine that you miss if you do not do it.  Also have several other interests that have both a physical and a mental component.  As a change of pace I find a lot of enjoyment in reading .  These things along with a glass of wine make a for a special day every day, as long as family and friends are there too.

Me: What advice would you give someone who's starting an exercise program in their 50s, 60s, and 70s plus?
Ed: There are several things I try to remember about exercise.  You are better off if you do it because you want to do it rather than if someone is telling you that you must.  You should believe that your exercise will get easier as you get more practice, and that your body, over time, can do much more than you think possible.  There is no shame in starting slow and looking like a doofus compared to others—they likely did too in the beginning.  Have progression goals and change things up from time to time to keep it interesting.

Me: What's your diet like?
Ed:  My wife is the diet watchdog.  Left to my own devices I would deviate towards donuts, chips etc. but Louise insists on something called vegetables.  We eat much more fish and chicken than red meat, but have the occasional hamburger.  We do not ascribe to the various food fads that always seem to pop up, rather try to stay reasonable in what and how much we eat.

Me: I believe you use to run some distance races, how many have you done?
Ed: We used to think of “distance” races as those that were longer that half marathons, and they were mostly marathons of which I did about twenty-five and “ultra” marathons which come in different sizes up to one hundred miles, and we finished about twenty of those.

Me: What was your training regime when you were competing in distance runs?
Ed: The training for distance running is pretty straight forward in that it requires a lot of running.  For special races like the Western States 100 miler which runs ninety-five percent in the Sierra Nevada Mountains we would go out to Lake Tahoe two weeks before the race and train by running segments of the trail.  When steep grades are involved it is important to get used to them before the race.  There is this axiom that you always must eat pasta before a long race.  I was never sure whether there was any validity in this rule, but since I enjoy spaghetti a lot I never tested this conventional wisdom and still don’t know if it makes a difference.  I really think, though, that you should just eat what appeals to you in training or in a race.

Me: What race do you remember the most and why?
Ed:  I most remember the 1982 Western States 100 race.  It was the first race of that length for me and the first in those (it seemed to me) enormous mountains, and it was intimidating.  Only about half the field typically finishes so I did not think too much of my chances.  My family was there to crew for me led by Louise and daughter Lora, so it was special for the support I had as well as the race itself.  The time limit is 30 hours and my time was 29:41—and I was not the last finisher.  The course of the Western States Trail goes through a spectacular wilderness with several deep canyons cut by the American River, an adventure in itself—and that year the first twenty five miles were in snow!  We did the Western States five more times, but the first one has a special place for us.

Me: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in life?
Ed:   So many people do wonderful things in their lives that it is better to admire what they have done than to compare them, one to the other.  If we are able to set our values in a way that is good for other people as well as ourselves, and then have the gumption to stick to them, it will be a pretty good trip.

Me: Who has had the greatest influence in your life and why?
Ed:  My wife Louise has had the greatest influence on my life, and it has very little to do with vegetables.