NEVER TOO OLD FOR FUN!

This bionic grandma finally has her new legs under her.  It’s been two years and four months since bilateral knee replacement, one year and four months since the three “Rs” —  hip Replacement,  Rupture and Revision. (If you’re one of the several hundred-thousand  60-something’s facing hip replacement this year don’t freak out. The operation is safe. It’s painless and it’s life-enhancing. My rupture was a bizarre occurrence never seen before. But that’s another story and a chapter in my upcoming book “Do Not Discard.”) Now I’ve got my eyes on six weeks.

It is six weeks until the 27th Sprint for Monroe, CT, on Sunday, Jun. 2, at Wolfe Park. The 5K run and walk is a town tradition drawing nearly 1000 participants including children from miles around. They come in support of spring, family-time, running and charity. The entry fees benefit town programs. Last year’s race benefited the Monroe Food Pantry, Project Warmth Monroe, Monroe Volunteer EMS, Stepney Volunteer Fire Department, and other worthy causes.

For the past eight years I’ve wanted to participate. But I was busy taking photos and the knees were bad. Now I have replacement parts and they are stronger that the rest of me. Can they carry me 3.1 miles around the course at a brisk pace?  I can’t run yet, but how far behind would I be? 

Last year there were 581 finishers who ran the course. Behind them were nearly 100 walkers who aren’t timed. That’s my category.

There were 15 women and 22 men running in the 60-69-years old category proving we still have some get-up-and go.  The top three men  — George Buchanan, 60, Shelton; chiropractor Paul Moyse, 64, Monroe; and Bernie Hylinski, 64, Trumbull  — came in some 10-minutes faster than the top three women: Jill Stilson, 61, Sandy Hook; and Maria Villa, 64, and Michele Donofrio, 62, Monroe, who all finished the course in close to a half-hour.

And then there were the seven supermen and three superwomen running in their 70s. The most senior was 1st place winner Monica Roche, 79, Fairfield  with a time of  35:44; followed by        

Monroe’s Ann Louise Onton, 74, at 1:05:55 and  Janet Pernek, 72, at 1:06:59.      

The  top men included Peter Cowie, 70, Schenectady NY at  27:45; Jonathan Yuen, 74,  Katonah NY at 31:13;  and John Norko,70, Bridgeport at 31:14. Monroe’s Charles Moore, 73, and Franklion Renz, 77, followed soon after.

The event is a whole morning of family fun. There’s a children’s race. It’s followed by the 5K runner’s race. And on the heels of that come the non-competitive participants — joggers, skippers and walkers of all ages.

Right now Prancer (my retired mobility dog) and I walk a mile and-a-half in about 50 minutes with a lot of potty stops (his not mine). He’s old too — some 77 in dog years. We have six weeks to double our distance to three miles and cut our time by a lot. Otherwise everyone will be gone and all the donuts devoured before we even cross the finish line.  And there’s the challenge.  Can these legs do it?

I’m inviting, asking, beseeching and challenging all grandmas and grandpas with replacement parts to join me and walk the Sprint for Monroe 5K on Jun. 2. Let’s show the world that we ain’t dead yet, we are of value and the onset of wrinkles doesn’t mean loss of brain cells and other abilities. Replacement parts are the beginning of our next 20 years of living boldly —  but only if we choose to do so. Sign up with me at http://sprintformonroe.com  and begin training today.

On June 2 proudly walk a block with your walker. Make it several with your cane. Get the grandkids to push your wheelchair. Achieve your personal best. That’s your goal and mine.  

And let me know to look for you by leaving a comment below. Keep me appraised of your progress. I’ll be training every day too and keeping you informed. We have six weeks and we’re in this new life together.