Not too long after I moved to Key West I required surgery on my right knee. My ACL tendon had finally become completely detached, resembling a “spaghetti monster” with many tentacles. Tearing the meniscus in my right knee made it completely unstable and I could hardly walk. After surgery it took months to fully get my strength and mobility back. Now, almost three years later, I’ve started running for exercise.

Also, I recently turned 49 years of age. A few folks have suggested running may not be what I should be doing. They could be right. However, I enjoy running and I’m giving it a try in spite of their kind advice. I’m attempting to be logical about my approach to it (choosing a good but not expensive running show, working my way up from intervals, etc.) to minimize injuries. Now that I’ve been running for a couple of months I’m working on doing three mile runs, three times a week, in addition other types of exercise. Lately I’m slowing down a little to make sure I can finish the mileage without as much fatigue. I’m feeling pretty good and my legs are getting muscular.

Unfortunately after my surgery and subsequent disability I packed on some pounds. I’ve lost about ten so far and feel healthier but still struggle. Now, with regular exercise, getting the diet/eating plan down is an important part of the plan. There is way too much temptation living in this food and drinking mecca. Being healthy is becoming more of a priority and focus and I’m trying to be more mindful.

I love running, walking, biking on this beautiful island of Key West. Many others seem to feel the same. There are various gyms, yoga centers, opportunities to kayak and paddleboard. A couple of “fitness parks” can be found here, one next to the tennis courts and by the dog park on the corner of White and Atlantic by Higg’s Beach.

I stopped at the park one day and was stretching when I was approached by three older folks who appeared to be on their way to Salute, a Mediterranean restaurant. I said, “Hello,” and they were friendly in return, but one says to me, “Exercise? Really?” I responded, “Well, it feels so good when I stop.” It really does. The improvements in my health, posture and energy have all been worth it so far.

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