Growing Older: Reader Essay by Dick Westerlund

From Minnesota Alumni Magazine Winter 2017

W2017_GrowingOlderDickWesterlund_Inline300 I became concerned about aging at age 35 after nearly collapsing from shortness of breath during a pickup basketball game. That was a wakeup call. I started a running program to lose weight and regain my stamina. I gradually increased my daily running distance and time, and settled into a routine of running four miles five times a week. I lost weight, improved my stamina, and required less sleep. My blood pressure and cholesterol levels improved. Running also allowed quiet time to think and problem-solve. Running became a way of life for me.

At 46 I began running races, first 5K and 10K. In 1993, at age 56, I ran my first marathon. After crossing the finish line I was completely exhausted and could hardly walk. I told my wife I’d never run another marathon. But, one forgets the pain, and in 1995 ran my second marathon. Since then I have run about two to three per year. Now in my 80th year, I’ve run 47 marathons. I believe I have a few more left in me.

- Dick Westerlund (B.E.E. ’60), Rochester

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MINNESOTA ALUMNI MAGAZINE, Winter2017

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