You have owned Regina Fleming Photography as a business, but when you turned 51, you started to run as a form of fitness and well-being. What prompted you to start running ?
I started running by “accident”. I am an “accidental runner”. While talking with a friend, I saw an ad for a race at Central Park for women in a fitness magazine. I asked my friend if she wanted to run it with me and she said yes. I had absolutely no idea what the “race” was or what it entailed to run a race. Ten days before the race, I went to my email to find out more information and saw that the race was for a half marathon.
I didn’t even know what a half marathon was, I didn’t have current sneakers and I had not ran in over 15 years! I called my nephew a long distance track star and he told me to get sneakers, which I did and then I saw that a half marathon was “only” 13 miles”.
I thought 13 was a small number so I was not intimidated by it (later, I found out what 13 .1 miles really was)and I also found out that I had to train for the race. I gathered a training schedule off the internet and then I proceeded to run on a treadmill for nine days and on the 10th day, I ran and completed the Shape Women’s Half Marathon at Central Park in New York City.
And as they say, the rest was HERstory!
You are not just a casual runner, but an accomplished marathoner and you just completed the “Six Majors” of Marathons, the most recent being Tokyo. What have you learned on your marathoning journey about yourself?
Oh what a journey and it is still ongoing. Just think, I never knew that I could run. I tell everyone, imagine that there are many seeds in us and this was one inside of me. One day, the seed bloomed and I became a runner. Who knows what other seeds that are in me and what else I can do that I don’t even know ! And that goes for everyone, we are more than we think we are and we can do more than we think that we can do.
I have learned that I can do anything that I put my mind to and how I do one thing is how I do everything. Every area of my life has grown and improved as I began running. I have learned that there is always a way. Mindset is so important, as I ran the New York Marathon with an injury, I told myself that I only had 25.2 miles to go when my injury flared up after mile one. I have also learned that it is great to make new friends of all ages, to push yourself, to enjoy the process, to stay in your own lane and to celebrate yourself and your wins!!
What advice would you give to people who are realizing that they want and need to start some type of new fitness effort when they turn 50? What is the Regina wisdom?
To begin a wellness and or fitness program for oneself is necessary for vitality and longevity as we age.There are many forms of wellness and fitness; walking, meditation, hiking, yoga etc., but the secret is to select something that you actually love doing. Exercise is also great for good brain health as we age. See your doctor first, select your exercise and then have fun.
Regina the Queens’s Wisdom
- It’s not over until it’s over
- Find an accountability buddy or friend
- No excuses
- Feel the fear and do it anyway and then do it again
- Have fun and enjoy this gift called LIFE
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