By Lee Stiffler-Meyer, HEALthy Edgewater Committee
Each month, HEALthy Edgewater is bringing you tips, stories and more about healthy eating and active living in Edgewater.
This month we caught up with longtime Edgewater resident and former City Councilwoman, Sara Thompson Cassidy, on how she maintains a healthy lifestyle while balancing a full time job and raising two kids. Sara, a recreational runner, has completed numerous running events in the last decade from 5k and 10k events to half and full marathons.
How did you get into running?
I was never much of a runner and didn’t enjoy it that much. But when I was 29 I decided I wanted to give myself a unique 30th birthday present. I was going to try to run a marathon. I didn’t really know what I was getting into I just started training for a marathon. I stuck with it and sure enough in March of 2005 I did my first one.
What makes you lace up your shoes and get out the door? I never want to start, but I always feel better afterward. What really gets me motivated is having an appointment to run with a friend to catch up on life. And if it’s beautiful weather, I feel like it’s a crime to not be outside getting movement.
Where’s your favorite place to run? I have lots of favorites: Trading Post Loop at Red Rocks, Sloan’s Lake, Crown Hill and the Matthew Winters Trail.
Favorite running event you’ve done and why?
I’ve done a lot of fun events, and it’s the people that I do it with that makes it fun. The second full marathon I ran was when I was 39 as a 40th birthday present to myself. I wanted to see if I could outdo my 29-year old self.
What advice do you have for someone trying to get more physical activity into their lifestyle?
It’s not easy and don’t beat yourself up. I’m not perfect, but I know that when I fit it into my day, I feel better. Life gets busy – don’t worry about it. Every day is a fresh start – just start again.
Other thoughts on living a healthy lifestyle?
I subscribe to the 80/20 rule. When my habits are good 80 percent of the time, I know that there is wiggle room the other 20 percent of the time.
I think a healthy lifestyle should consist of many elements. I like to think of it as like the “specials” my kids have in elementary school – music, art and gym. I like to fit in my “specials” like reading before I go to bed, or doing a craft to express my artistic self. So it’s not just all work, we should all have some “specials” in our lives.
The Edgewater 5k is coming Saturday, May 13! Learn more here: edgewater5k.com