My name is Barbara Blackford and I’m a “recovering” lawyer who found a passion for fitness after age 50. In this blog, I’ll share some of my fitness adventures with you and introduce you to people who inspire me, plus I’ll share tips and advice on getting fitter after 50.
The Coach Potato Years
Growing up as an overweight kid, I learned to capitalize on my biggest strength – my smarts. I learned how to get the grades I needed to get into college, then law school and finally to land a job at a major law firm. To succeed at a law firm, you have to always be learning. I spent my days at the office in a world flooded with paper and words, solving complex, fascinating, legal riddles. I loved taking on new challenges and learning about new areas. My boss called me “intellectually fearless.”
I exercised my mind a lot, but neglected my body.
When I was 48 and weighed 100 plus pounds more than I should, I was sick of being overweight and out of shape. I decided a change was crucial, and my journey to a fitter body began.
Journey to Being Fitter After 50
Step by step, I did a little, then a little more, slowly improving over the next 10 years. Now, I’ve gone from barely being able to walk to the end of the street and back, to running marathons (26.2 miles) and biking centuries (100 miles). I developed my own challenge list. I chose challenges to push me to do things I believed would be impossible accomplishments for me. First I set my mind to running and finishing a 10k race (6.2 miles), then a half marathon (13.1 miles) to celebrate my 50th birthday. I’m currently on a quest to run a marathon in all 50 states and I’m up to number 28 now. I’ve also checked off my list running a 50k ultramarathon (31 miles), completing a triathlon, completing a Half Ironman and completing a full Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26.2 mile run). I accomplished all of this while beyond the age of 50!
What I’ve Learned
- You don’t have to be athletic to be fit.
- There is no pre-50 experience required to get fit.
- There is no standard size, body fat percentage, age, gender or race required to accomplish things you never thought possible.
- You can set a goal, develop a plan and do the impossible.
Join Me on the Journey
Whatever your fitness goals, the benefits of achieving them are far beyond being more fit. You’ll make new friends, gain confidence and just plain feel better. Being fit will help you overcome adversity, push through self-imposed limits and expand your boundaries. You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process. Who can’t use that?
So, whether you are 50 or 100, or someone who wants to arrive at 50 fitter than ever, join me on my journey!
What’s up next for me? A 2,500-mile epic bike ride the length of the Atlantic Coast, starting April 22! Stay tuned to learn more about my trip and my mission to Ride for Good!
Good Luck on your cycling journey!
Such an inspiration! I might have to do an Ironman with you in 2017!
Yes you do, Barry! You are the inspiration!
Awesome, just awesome!!! I can’t wait to follow your epic bike adventure!!
Thanks Teri! Wish you guys were with me!
Truly inspirational, Barbara your journey to getting fit is amazing, what you have accomplished is huge. Looking forward to following your epic bike ride,wow
Thanks, Monique! I’m slow but steady, at least steady most of the time! So you know your ironman dreams are very realistic!!! Can’t wait to follow your journey!
So looking forward to tracking this bike journey and beyond! I did my first triathlon at 50 so can completely relate to your mantra!
I love that we have the power to make it so! I wouldn’t have thought it possible when a coach told me to sign up for a 10k – I was scared beyond belief! But everything we do expands what we think is possible. Good luck in your continued journey!
Barbara, you have been such a wonderful mentor, friend and inspiration to my brother Speedy and I thank you for that. I hold you in high esteem and am grateful you are a part of his life. Best of luck on your epic bike adventure and all of your future challenges.
Adele – thank you so much! Speedy and Teri are very special people that I’ve been privileged to come to know. Hope I get to see you again soon – maybe Speedy and team is looking for a Destin re-do!
WOW Barbara!!! I love your blog and I can’t wait to follow you on your “epic bike ride” up the Atlantic Coast. You are such an inspiration to so many. 🙂
Thanks, Cherie! I think it safe to say we all inspire one another and that’s the way it should be! Can’t wait to publish your profile! So cool!
GREAT blog Barbara! I hope the beginning stages of your ride are going as planned. I can’t wait to hear more. Be safe and may you get plenty of bugs in your teeth. Speedy
Thanks, Speedy! I’ll bring you guys up to date once I get my posting done tomorrow and Monday about charities I’m riding for! Don’t want to distract! A great group of women!
[…] Barbara is riding for Julie and a colony cancer research foundation. Barbara is maintaining this blog – and here’s a description of the ride. Most important is this explanation of […]
[…] She recently stopped in DC, about 1500 miles through her ride up the East Coast. Check out her blog – and Facebook page, as well as this explanation of “Cycling for Good” and how you can […]