MIAMI (CBSMiami) – You are never too young, or old, to keep moving and stay healthy. Just ask Miami residents Lois Leon and her husband Al. Both are 74-years-old and the secret to their success is motivating each other to train for triathlons.
“I think it’s made it a lot easier for us to do because the two of us do it together,” explained Lois to CBS4’s Eugene Ramirez.
The Leons have been together since their summer camp teen romance. After marrying and raising a family, supporting each other’s physical fitness feats is just another way they show their love for each other.
Al swam competitively in high school and college, and Lois says she’s always led an active lifestyle. However, they didn’t start training for triathlons until they were in their 50s. Al explains he was suddenly compelled to give one a try. Two years later, competitive Lois couldn’t resist the temptation and joined him.
“I had an old cross-over bike with a basket in the front and that’s the way I did my first triathlon,” said Lois, adding that she won the race in what her grandkids dubbed her granny bike.
Lois was hooked. It was a way to keep moving while spending time outdoors with Al in their later years.
“I love to see the trees and the birds. Going over the bridge you can watch the boats,” she said.
The Leons, who moved from New York to South Florida, say it’s much more comfortable to train here than up north. While the backdrop is picture perfect, the regiment is rigorous. Al explains their six-day training routine starts with a 50 to 60-mile bike ride from Miami to Homestead on Sundays. Mondays it’s a morning run followed by a swim. It’s back to the water Tuesday for another swim. Wednesdays they rest, but pick things back up on Thursday with a speed run, followed by what they call a “short” bike ride Fridays (35 miles), and a long run Saturday. The hard work pays off with good health and pride. Last year, Lois won first place in her age range in the national triathlon championship.
“I have to admit I love winning,” she said. “That’s the bottom line!”
Lois wouldn’t mind some more friendly competition but says she’s surprised to find few older South Floridians are as active as they are.
“I don’t know why that is. I think as people get older they tend to think of themselves as old and don’t participate. People say to me ‘How long are you going to do this?’, and I say, ‘As long as my body holds out’.”
To celebrate her 75th birthday, Lois will be running the Miami Man Half Iron in November.
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