Written by Marte' Hepburn
Those are three words I would never have chosen to describe myself and yet this past year I realized that all three do indeed apply. So let's break it down.
Senior...at age 66 I absolutely find myself in that category. I believe my issue with owning up to it is that there's an image of seniors that I don't relate to. You know the retiring one that seems to move a bit slower and stops doing the things they used to do. I am thrilled to find that now that I have arrived, that image is bogus! I have met an amazing group of seriously seniors that are out there rocking their retirement...running, biking, sailing, hiking, climbing...you name it and they are doing it. I'm now a card carrying AARP member and proud of it.
Cannabis...from the 60s to today, there's a stereotype out there of your classic stoner. One that smokes weed, gets the munchies, and does little else. Ha! Another image shattered as I became acquainted with people of all ages who are cannabis consumers and entrepreneurs. They smoke, ingest, and apply cannabis products for a plethora of reasons both recreational and medical and they are thoroughly engaged in life. Mjfitnut and The 420 Games are just two of the groups that are helping change the image of cannabis consumers.
Athlete...This one is on me. I've always felt that an athlete was a person that from a very early age was involved in sports. They were proficient and exhibited the skill by competing...pitting themselves against others with the goal of winning. Now I see that an athlete is one who sets a goal, trains hard, and participates in events. This past year I have been fortunate to meet so many great people at the events I ran in. They were all generous, supportive, and good natured. Skill and expertise were secondary to the importance of inclusion and community.
So why do I now feel that I can describe myself as a Senior Cannabis Athlete?
This past year at 66, I set a High Five Challenge consisting of a 5K, 4.20 miles, 10K, Half Marathon, and Marathon. Considering the fact that I'd run my first mile at age 62, this was a serious undertaking. I trained for over 6 months; I ran 525 miles. And yes there was blood, sweat, and tears but there was also a deep satisfaction with my accomplishment. Throughout my training, I had the expertise of Lia Oriel of You Canna Be Well. She provided information regarding cannabis topicals and edibles and helped me choose what and when to use them. My routine included cannabis topicals (apothecanna) and edibles ( BlueKudu and Wanabrand CBD gummies are among my favorites). Every workout was followed with apothecanna lotion, spray, or oil. Unlike other training I'd done, this time there were no ankle issues, shin splints, or knee problems. As the training runs grew longer, I used apothecanna extra strength as a preventative measure before a run in conjunction with a Mary's Medicinals transdermal patch. CBD edibles were incorporated into the start of my training runs and on the longer runs, a CBD/THC edible was a welcome treat somewhere in the last 5 miles. This helped me get through the distance and took the edge off any aches or pains. An added bonus to my marathon event was a sponsor (only real athletes get sponsors right... :). Mjfitnut, (Marijuana Fitness Nutrition) whose mission is to encourage living a healthy and active lifestyle while promoting marijuana’s many benefits, was generous in their support of this Senior (not old), Cannabis (not stoned), Athlete.
So next time you run up against a stereotype, question it and Break the Stigma!