in their words
Being from New York, I believe that baked goods can contribute to wellness – even if high in butter and sugar – and I go in search of delicacies from bagels to crullers to croissants. Hey, man does not live by kale alone. My choices within walking distance from Hermitage Court are impressive: Guglhupf, Bruegger’s, Biscuitville, Monuts, Rise, Ninth Street Bakery, Foster’s Market, Rose’s Noodles, Dumplings & Sweets, Dunkin’ and Loaf. Scratch Bakery is back at the farmers market, and Harris Teeter now sells rugelach – both chocolate and raspberry – from Zaro’s. Zaro’s is a famous New York bakery that began in the Bronx, my hometown. DPAC is another source of well-being. Musical comedy is a wonderful art form that imaginatively combines humor with superb singing and dancing. It is always a treat. I just saw Betty Buckley in “Hello, Dolly,” who is still a captivating presence on stage at 71 years old. On the weekend, in my own version of mindfulness, I take a long walk untethered from any electronic device. No discussion of wellness would be complete without a consideration of exercise. Exercise has enormous health benefits and can build strength, improve sleep, reduce pain and help maintain a healthy weight. The American College of Sports Medicine has a program called Exercise is Medicine®, which is offered at the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. As readers of this column may know, I am a fan of exercise, and I am happy to report that I once again qualified for the State Senior Championships. This year, the competition was intense as there were four runners in the 70- to 74-year-old age group, and only the top three finishers could qualify for the state finals. Although I tried valiantly, I was last in the 50-meter and 100-meter sprints. The 200-meter was my only chance for a medal. Fortunately, there were only three competitors, meaning I had a spot in the state finals as long as I finished. Finishing is not guaranteed, as falls and pulled muscles are a hazard for people in my age group. Feeling giddy, I set my sights on a second place finish. I ran hard. I pushed myself. Chugging down the final straightaway, legs burning, stabbing pains in my side, my heart pounded at top speed, but I could not catch the eventual silver medal winner. Amidst this avalanche of physical misery, I crossed the finish line, 20 meters behind. Still breathing hard, I fist bumped the other runners, and we laughed and smiled,
the competition over and all of us intact. At that moment I felt wonderful, remarkably well spiritually and emotionally, better than I had in years. The road to wellness takes many directions. Making the people of your community feel good is no small feat, and Durham now has its own brand of medicine to show how it can make its citizens feel their best. Trust me, that’s no bull.
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