FIT AND FAB
"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice and to make an end is to make a beginning." T S Eliot
There is something about the start of a new year. It is a turning point, a symbolic mark on life's journey that allows us to gather our thoughts, to plan for what we hope to achieve as a new year unfolds. The past with all its joys and sorrows, mistakes and disappointments, relationships lost and hurdles surmounted is gone. While each day of the year marks a new beginning, there is something about turning that leaf into a new year that brings a note of freshness and optimism. Anything seems possible!
What can we do better? How can we re-emerge and redirect our focus to be the best that we can be? What have we still to do? What dreams and aspirations remain unfulfilled? But the close of an old year can also be a time of self-judgment and recrimination. Beneath the champagne bubbles and the laughter, there is often a shadow side, a hidden voice that nags at us. Did I live up to my ideals this year? Why did I fail? Did I take care of my body?
We need to still that self-critical voice and be grateful for all that we experienced in the year gone by. We are here. We are alive. So let us give thanks for the old year with all its challenges and setbacks, its tears and laughter. Let us learn from our mistakes and step boldly into a new year. May these words from Pope Francis guide us: "To be happy is to stop feeling like a victim and become your destiny's author. It is to cross deserts yet to be able to build an oasis in the depths of our soul. It is to thank God every morning for the miracle of life."
My guest today, Christine Regis started running at age 40. Many years later she remains a formidable force as a runner, a testament to the fact that age is literally just a number. Her commitment and drive show us that nothing is impossible. It's never too late for new beginnings. "Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born."—DrDale Turner
I started exercising in the gym after I had my last child. I needed to lose weight as I had gained too much. I found that I really enjoyed training, especially the aerobics classes. That was over 30 years ago. I continued working out, even entering the aerobic burnout competition at Jean Pierre Stadium where I placed third. Before class, I would go on the treadmill and run for almost one hour with ease. A friend encouraged me to join a running club and it didn't take too long for me to make the transition.
I joined Athletic Central in Couva and started training with coach Allan Baboolal and Ramsingh Boodoosingh popularly known as Rambo. When I first started I didn’t have a car so getting to and from training was a challenge. Having to get a ride to train and then having
to travel at night was really difficult but I was determined not to give up.
I began a running programme which helped with my speed and I was encouraged to enter a few 5K races. I remember during my first race I got tired and started to walk and Granny Luces
passed me. That's when I got really serious and decided I needed to place more emphasis on
my speed. I trained really hard putting in long hours and my effort paid off.
When I started entering 5K races I found myself in the top three females and that motivated me to continue training even harder. I transitioned to 10K, half marathon and finally to a marathon.
In 2007 I had the opportunity to represent my country abroad in Udine, Italy, at the world half marathon. It was an awesome experience.
It is important to mention that I started running in my 40s so it was definitely a
challenge keeping up with the younger runners. That was what really drove me to improve and
I placed second in 2016 and 3rd in 2017 in the T&T Marathon. What an ecstatic feeling that was! Running has helped me in everyday life in so many ways. Most of all, it has helped me not to focus on my problems. Being divorced can be extremely depressing at times. On those down days I would go and run for hours by myself and that helped a lot with my stress relief. Running is definitely a great form of healing for me and it has kept me healthy. I would encourage anyone to start, even if it’s just to walk. I have a fantastic trainer named Tony Maxwell Hatt who pushes me to be the best that I can be. I believe the key to staying injury free is proper stretching, warming up and cooling down after workouts, and of course, rest when necessary.
2018 was really hard for me. I was injured and this kept me out of running for almost an entire
year but I don’t intend to give up. I will continue running as long as I have health and strength,
maybe not as fast as before but I won’t be stopping any time soon. I would encourage any person who would like to take up any kind of sport to know that you are never too old to start. Once you put your mind to anything it can be achieved through determination and hard work. Remember, age is just a number. Crossing 55 plus is more fun now than ever.