Did you know that physical activity is the one thing that has been proven to reverse the effects of aging? That is not an idea but a fact (Fries). Did you know that many people run and do marathons well into their 70's and 80's? Did you know that many people start running in their 50's and 60's?
Several months ago I had the good fortune (in the person of Barbara Murphy) to connect with actor Liz Vassey and husband/videographer David Emmerichs. You would most likely know Liz from a recurring role over the last five years on the TV show CSI.
Liz, a runner herself, had been doing some research into the effects of running on people as they age. In particular, she was impressed by a study by Dr. James F. Fries, professor emeritus at Stanford University.
Fries and his team studied 500 runners over age 50 over a twenty year period. The results are fascinating; so, be sure to read this article. Perhaps most striking is that 19 years into the study, 34% of the control group had died compared to 15% of the runners.
The day I first chatted with Liz, she mentioned that study. Coincidentally, at the time I was finishing up my book After Your First 5k, and I had just referred to that study in the book that very day.
Several weeks later Liz and David spent three days in Tampa, interviewing runners over 50; below is the link to the trailer for the documentary. You will surely recognize some of these faces: Dr. James F. Fries, Torami Williams, Carol Pressman, Velma Radloff, Joe Burgasser, Frank Helfrich, Bob Meissner, Emery Jewell, myself, Frank Spicer, June Leland, John Pyle and Sally Smith.
I look forward to one day planning a viewing party for the premiere of the completed documentary. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this trailer. I've watched it many times, already, and I am struck each time by the staggering potential of this film to educate both young and 'older' about the unmistakable effects of physical activity.
Thanks to all who agreed to be interviewed and to Liz and David. If this brief 5 minute trailer is any indication, the full length film will be incredibly powerful.