Leonard Lubin crossing the finish line in the Annual 5K Walk/Run
Leonard Lubin crossing the finish line in the Annual 5K Walk/Run
Leonard Lubin crossing the finish line in the Annual 5K Walk/Run

By Phyllis J. Lubin

The weather lately has been strange. Over Pesach we had extreme cold (we even woke up one morning to snow on the ground), and extreme warmth (we were able to dispense with our winter coats for a bit).

Sunday morning was a mystery, weather-wise. We were scheduled to run/walk in the annual Five Towns 5K and I was unsure what to wear–sweatshirt or just T-shirt? I went with leggings topped by a skirt, a long-sleeve shirt with last year’s 5K shirt over it, covered by my 2013 Avnet Sweatshirt, followed by this year’s 5K shirt, and of course my gloves. No matter what the time of year, I always make sure that I have “gloves on hand”–as long as my hands are warm, I’m usually on safe ground.

The Annual 5K that supports the Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans, which begins in North Woodmere Park, has become a tradition in our family. The fact that Maidenbaum Property Tax Reduction Group is the major sponsor was the impetus that originally piqued our interest, and now it has become a yearly outing for my husband and me.

The Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans helps raise funds for Beit Halochem in the United States. Beit Halochem was established in 1949 to provide rehabilitation and assistance to the 6,000 veterans who were injured in Israel’s War of Independence. Unfortunately, the membership in this organization has grown to over 50,000 disabled heroes wounded during their active or reserve services or through acts of terror. Beit Halochem continues to provide assistance to its members for their lifetime. Beit Halochem rehab centers provide a vast range of sports and cultural activities suited to the members’ individual disabilities. Each center also offers a wide choice of social and creative activities for members and their families. The athletes produced by Beit Halochem are serious competitors in the world arena, often winning medals at the Paralympics. For more information about the Friends of Israel Disabled Veterans, visit their website at www.fidv.org.

The weather report for April 27 predicted a high only in the 50s, and the winds at North Woodmere Park typically make the weather feel even colder. And so when we arrived on the scene at the park, you could almost immediately distinguish the regular runners from the once-a-yearers like me. The regular runners were jogging in place while wearing what seemed to be minimal clothing (tank tops, shorts, and ear buds were the usual uniforms), while the rest of us were shivering in our layers of clothes topped with the official 5K blue T-shirt.

After the first few blocks, we all realized that those layers were not necessary–surely the gloves were overkill. And so, after mile number one, I strategically pulled off my official shirt, unzipped the sweatshirt, and was able to pull the shirt back on over my head without disturbing my pinned-on number 123.

I had told my husband that I would like to try to keep up with him, but that he shouldn’t slow down to accommodate me. No sooner than the first minutes of the run/walk, I could no longer keep up with him, and he finished the race 4 minutes and 45 seconds ahead of me–what a difference a couple of minutes make!

But I feel accomplished nonetheless. I improved my time by about one minute, and I passed many runners younger than myself. And the fact that I finished gives me such a sense of accomplishment. Every year, my husband and I decide not to come into the run so out of shape, and every year the date creeps up on us. And since it always takes place at the end of April, it usually puts us into walking mode for the spring/summer season.

I am much better at exercising, in general, when the weather is better. Somehow a shining sun inspires me to move more. I always intend to walk through the winter months–after all, I can bundle up to brave the weather–but somehow the cold, snowy weather makes me quite lazy when it comes to outdoor exercise.

But I am lazy no more. Being back at Weight Watchers for the past couple of months has reminded me to instill a bit more exercise into my life without actually putting on my jogging shoes: I try to pick parking spots further away from the supermarket when I shop, I make sure to make extra trips upstairs in my house in the morning to get some extra exercise in, and I try to take at least a five- to ten-minute walk during the workday to keep my metabolism going.

And so today almost every muscle in my body aches because of the 5K–but I am not complaining. It simply means that my body is getting used to the exercise that it needs to become accustomed to! Enjoy your day, and get going! v

Phyllis Joy Lubin is an attorney with Maidenbaum & Sternberg, LLP, who resides in Cedarhurst with her husband, Leonard. They have six children–Naftali, Shoshana, Rivka, Rochel, Yosef, and Lea–and a daughter-in-law, Nina. The author welcomes your questions and comments at MothersMusings@gmail.com.

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