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‘Exercise crazy’

Local community steps into shape with month-long triathlon

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September 20th, 2011

Wind Crest has its eye on fitness. The Highlands Ranch community s philosophy centers on its community members living more active and fulfilling lives. As a prime illustration, Wind Crest hosted its fourth annual month-long triathlon for residents and staff in June.

How it works

Individuals and teams participate in a half or full triathlon over a month-long period. Participants in the full triathlon swim 10 miles, bike 40 miles, and run or walk 26 miles. Half-triathlon participants swim 5 miles, bike 20 miles, and run or walk 13 miles. Participants may substitute similar activities, such as two water aerobics classes for one mile of swimming, and 2,000 steps on the NuStep machine in the on-site fitness center for one mile of biking. The substitutions show that one can do many different activities and still achieve similar results.

Self-challenge

Nan Woods has participated in two triathlons since moving to Wind Crest in 2009, this being her second. She majored in physical education and taught swimming to children for more than 25 years. Now at Wind Crest, she teaches her five-year-old great-granddaughter the strokes in the Erickson Living community s glass-enclosed indoor swimming pool, which has an awe-inspiring view of the Rocky Mountains. I m one of the exercise crazy people, Nan laughs. She does a physical activity every day and says, It s important to keep moving! If we aren t moving, we re gaining weight and losing muscle strength, and that impacts everything. Fellow residents Jim and Ginny Murphy completed the majority of their triathlon while on vacation in Hawaii. The second and third persons to move to Wind Crest, these pioneers have participated in the triathlon every year. They both agree that it s good exercise and a great self-challenge. The tropical setting made this triathlon special for them. Walking on the beach just has something over walking on the treadmills, Jim says. The pools and ocean inspired them, and they were also able to use the stationary bikes in the hotel s fitness center.

Community connections

Another pioneer, Elise Murphy Rowe, completed her fourth half-triathlon this year. A fitness enthusiast, Elise loves the walking part the best and has hiked in Ireland and England. Like the Murphys, last year Elise traveled during the event, visiting her daughter in Amsterdam. She completed the walking and biking overseas while a partner swam for her at Wind Crest. Since a lot of us here travel, I love the fact that we can work it out so we can do these things wherever we are and still be connected to the community, Elise says. She sees the triathlon as a common ground. We re each other s cheerleaders, she says. It brings us all together.

Inspiration and motivation

This is the first year that staff participated, and those who did, did so with fervor. Meghan Saylor, Wind Crest s energetic sales associate, took part in the event. I was excited to participate because the residents inspire me to keep up with them. I got to know my new sales colleague, Kristen King, and seeing her determination motivated me! Saylor exercises regularly and seeing the residents encourage each other motivated her to invest the time to finish. King participated because she wanted to get to know her new Wind Crest family better. She chooses to live an active lifestyle because it enhances life. Not only is it good for your physical well-being, it is also important mentally, she says. Regulars at the fitness center know Melanie Land s face, and it s no surprise that she not only helped plan and promote the event but participated in it as well. Working as a personal trainer, she chooses to lead by example. Participating helped strengthen herself in swimming, her least favorite event. With the highest turnout to date, this year s triathlon was a huge success. Land hopes it will encourage people to stay active throughout the entire year.

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