A running Deheer is loose in Keaau
Growing up with asthma could be an impediment when playing sports. It could also be an excuse not to participate in school related activities, such as Physical Education.
“I hated sports in high school and did everything I could to avoid participating,” Keaau resident Linda Deehr said.
Deehr was one of those youngsters who grew up with asthma and used those early years to find her way out of sports related activities.
“Asthma was my way of getting out of playing in school,” Deehr said. “Now, as an adult, I have exercise induced asthma but my inhaler is my new best friend.”
Deehr, a semi-retired nurse, began running, in 1985 at age 35, every day before work to avoid the many stresses of the job.
“I always went for a run before work because it helped relax me prior to the rigors that are required of a nurse,” she said.
Deehr and her husband moved to the Big Island from California in 1999 and settled in Hawaiian Paradise Park.
“I was lucky enough to meet Susan Cordell who lived across the street, so I had a great running partner,” Deehr said. “I also joined the Keaukaha Canoe Club and paddled with them for 5 years before switching over to the UH Canoe Club where I currently paddle twice a week with various crews.”
As a result of a pulled hamstring two years ago Deehr trained for the Hilo Half Marathon and she started cross training on a bike.
“My injury lasted quite some time, almost 9 months, so I got very comfortable doing long distance bike rides with my husband,” Deehr said. “My husband and I completed a century (100 miles) bide ride and a 7 day ride through the state of Wisconsin last year.
Last month Deehr finished the Hilo Half Marathon and is now training for a 386 mile bike ride that she will do in August from New York to Boston.
“I will meet my husband who started from Seattle with Cycle America and join him on the last leg from NY to Boston,” Deehr said.
At age 61 Deehr is making up for time lost when she was a non participant in sports during her teenage years.
“A typical week of exercise would be paddling twice a week, running 3 to 4 times a week for a total of 20 to 25 miles and biking 2 or 3 times per week between 50 and 100 miles,” she said.
Deehr ranks the Honolulu Marathon as her favorite race with the Hood to Coast Relay and the Hilo half marathon with being close runner-ups.
“Obviously I love the feeling of getting in a good workout,” Deehr said. “I have so much more energy and it’s just a great way to start the day.”
Deehr has also found her way into water sports and has a new found appreciation for team sports.
“I love being out on the water with a crew, working together as one,” she said. “The water is always different so you have to be ready for sudden changes in the weather.”
Deehr admits to being an occasional consumer of red meat as a means of maintaining muscle mass.
“I do watch what I eat and I try to stay away from fried food,” Deehr said. “”I probably eat red meat once a week and the rest of the time will eat fish, chicken, and turkey along with lots of fruit, but I have been known to be a fussy eater.”
Deehr went from non sports participation as a youngster to one of the better age group competitors on the Big Island.
“My only dislike about exercise today is being injured,” she said. “All my injuries have come from running which is why biking has been a great injury free sport for me. Paddling gives me a good upper body workout.”
With a good inhaler Deehr has made the most of her exercise induced asthma while conquering a regular fitness routine.
Just for the record a world champion distance runner by the name of Paula Radcliffe from Great Britain was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma at age 14.
Asthma can be used as an excuse to get out of PE class like Linda Deehr or it can be overcome like world champion Paula Radcliffe.
Obstacles in life are put there for us to measure our character and provide us with life lessons.
Linda Deehr waited until age 35 to overcome her obstacles and now is proficient in running, biking and paddling as she made her inhaler her best friend.
Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time said, “Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
Linda Deehr has figured out how to work around her obstacles and provides us with a good role model on conquering life’s challenges.
And someday should you happen to see a happy jogger working on conquering his own obstacles remember to smile, say “woof” and never shy away from “Running with the Big Dog.”
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