WORKOUT WEDNESDAY: RUNNING WITH YOLETTE

Meet Yolette Rios. She is enjoying her first year in retirement after a very happy career in elementary school teaching. So, yes ladies, she is 60+ years old and still healthy and trim running four times a week.

“It’s a humbling experience to run. It keeps me enthused and inspired.  I am encouraged to see seniors who are still able to run for pleasure.”

Yolette started running in 1979-80 while working in the Peace Corps as a special education teacher. The girls in the tiny Costa Rican village where she served did not participate in sports; that was for the boys. She wanted to get the young girls there involved in a healthy pass time so she began to run through the rain forest until the girls became curious and asked to come with her.

When she returned from Costa Rica, she got hired in Victor Elementary Schools as the first certificated Bilingual teacher in the district. While there, someone told her that there was a 5K in Apple Valley and she decided to sign up. Yolette ran in three more 5k and 10k races, but was not seriously training for any of them. Yet, she got first place in a race in Boron.

Motherhood took a bite out of her free time for several years. In 1995, she was encouraged to run in the L.A Marathon and decided Hey! Why not? She would train at night and weekends from September to March. She finished, but that was the year it rained the entire race and she blew out her knee at mile twenty. Shivering and knee-wrapped, she and her husband finished the last six miles walking it out holding hands.  He wanted to stay with her to make sure she would be all right.

She swore off running at this point. It was too hard to do with work, kids, and supporting her husband’s running it was too much of a time commitment. She started again about 2005 once the kids were up and out of the house.

Since then, she has run 15 5k or 10k locally here in the High Desert, Orange County and L. A. County. She also runs in other countries when she is on vacation and made sure she had her running shoes with her this summer while vacationing locally in Laguna and Palm Springs.

Some foot surgeries slowed her up temporarily, but she took some time off and persevered. She did gain weight while not running and estimates that it keeps off about 15 lbs. when she on her regular running routine. Yolette has been at her goal weight for the last year. She says she eats everything and enjoys her adult beverages.  Staying slim is also a matter of portion size and eating healthy at home. She and her husband split meals when they go out.  They even split their In-n-Out burger.

Her motto: “No pain, no champagne!”.

She is convinced that she is in good health because of her running, but also attributes her use of essential oils by Do Terra to keep her healthy and sane.  Running gives her time to clear her mind to meditate and pray.

Her equipment is key; she insists on good shoes, a good hat, and sports bra. She gets new shoes every 240 miles, but switches off between five pairs so it takes a while before she is out shopping again. She loves her Hokas brand. The app called Nike + Run Club tracks her mileage, races, times, and friends who are also on the app. She has logged 1524 miles since using the app with a total of 386 runs.

Yolette is an inspiration for those of us who already have an exercise regimen and for those who want to get started or get started once again.

By: Simone Graham – Editor HDG

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