It’s never too late to start being healthy

Have you ever been discouraged about being overweight or not doing enough exercise? You are not alone, and it is never too late to get back on your feet and start again. Just take my dad, Bill Goodson, for instance.


He is 62, (that’s right, 40 years older than I am), and he has beaten me in more 5k’s than I’m proud to admit. He began his healthy lifestyle at a young age. In high school he ran track for 4 years, played 3 years of football, and ran cross country his senior year. When he went to college, he did several other physical activities, which included canoeing, cross country skiing, rock climbing, rappelling, and backpacking through national parks. Unfortunately, he did not always stay this active.

Dad and I rock climbing last year

“I was the most unhealthy between the age of 47 – 50,” Bill said. He eventually came to the point where he didn’t want to be (quite bluntly) old, fat, and lazy. “I observed a lot of obesity in America and having a high cholesterol, I wanted to combat that in a healthy way.”

My dad had been a lifeguard for over 12 years. He got it renewed when he was 52. Being a lifeguard myself, I know how hard the lifeguard test is, so getting it at age 52 is pretty impressive!

He started running long distance in 2013. “I was a sprinter in high school. My senior year I ran cross country, but I didn’t excel in it, I just survived it.” Bill explained that after running long distance for a few years, “It is really mind over matter, you have to be disciplined, have goals, and be determined.”

He has completed about 20 5k’s in the last few years, and he hopes to continue. “I like to be a competitor, it is fun to win in your age category, and just because you’re getting old, doesn’t mean you have to stop,” Bill says.

Being the director of 4-H Camp Palmer, he participates in Your Plan For Health, which is an employee health incentive program by OSU. “If you can encourage your employees to be healthy in exercise and diet, it can be good for you, the company, and the community.” He was even featured as the Healthy Buckeye of the Month last year!

It is important for him to set SMART goals and reach them. Some of his goals include:

  • Through improved nutrition and regular exercise, I will take a A1C test in April with the goal of dropping below 5.7%.
  • Plan to compete and finish two 5k’s by April 29, 2017.
  • In the next two months my goal is to lose 10 pounds.
  • During the next 3 weeks, I will not eat any evening snacks after 7 pm for at least 5 days per week.
  • I will do a cardio workout for 30 minutes a day at least 5 days per week for at least the next 3 weeks.
  • Plan to get 1 million steps on my Fitbit between mid February and June 11.

He also has some long term goals of running across the Mackinac Bridge, maybe consider running a half marathon, and getting involved with Run for God.

Canoeing is something we both enjoy

He has a pretty good support group with a fitness coach through OSU and a Facebook Group consisting of people who run and workout around the area.

Dad and I have a dream to be on The Amazing Race some day. We even auditioned for it last year by sending in a video. Check it out.

Although we were not picked to compete, we had a great time filming the audition, and we have hopes to try again in the future.

Although there was a time in his life where he was not actively trying to improve his health, he is the perfect example of someone who did not give up. He says, “Learning should be a life long process. It is important to be in good physical and mental state.” Just because you haven’t been health conscious in several years, doesn’t mean you can’t start now. I think everyone can learn from my dad.

One of his favorite Bible verses comes from 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Dad reminds us to, “finish your physical race well and do the best you can.” And I believe he will do just that.


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