News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters man defies ‘numerical age’ taking second in bike race

Jack Addison thinks that the Sisters Stampede is a perfect venue for folks in Sisters to defy the limitations of “numerical age.”

Usually held on Memorial Day Weekend, the Stampede, organized by Mudslinger Events, was moved this year to Labor Day Weekend due to COVID-19. The event was held under modified protocols to address COVID-19 safety. The course was one length for all for a staggered start. The course was 18 miles, plus an additional two miles biking to the starting line.

“My time was one hour, 46 minute, no stops, no aid stations — due again to COVID,” Addison, age 78, reported.

That was good for a second-place finish in his age group of Over 70.

Addison advocates more local participation in all categories, but especially the Over 60 and Over 70 (new this year) categories.

“Just as the Sisters school athletic programs spend most of the energies getting ready for actual contest events, for us ‘post-high-schoolers,’ preparation for even one mountain biking annual event causes a year-round preparation and participation in truly healthy living,” Addison said.

He describes that way of living as “full of self-generated optimism and energy much more rewarding than a blue and white handicap parking decal which isn’t hard to talk one’s doctor out of.”

Since the Sisters Stampede is normally held every Memorial Day, Addison conspicuously wears a small American flag taped to his helmet to remind people of the “why” of the event.

Addison, a fighter pilot in Vietnam in 1966 says he specifically dedicated his racing effort to honoring the veterans that died in military action and those who almost died torturous deaths as POWs.

“Certainly, it would be great if more veterans or veteran supporters wore flags on their helmets on next Memorial Day in the next Sisters Stampede 2021,” he said.

Addison notes that, “this type of vigorous activity is encouraged by cardiologists supporting cardiac rehab for many of their patients. Of course, persons who have had cardiac events should query their surgeons directly regarding the level of activity recommended for the individual patient. The staff at St. Charles has programs for cardiac patients that support exercise at levels that might surprise many patients, as well as support better nutrition that is very complementary to a vigorous lifestyle.”

The Sisters athlete says that, “it’s never too late to adopt the double application of real exercise and a diet that one can adopt as a lifestyle rather than a temporary diet ‘to lose weight’ that simply returns for the vast majority. We can individually stop the life-shortening obesity epidemic that marches on. Sisters is fortunate to have multiple sources of gyms and individual trainers that have core development and sound core workouts.”

There’s no getting around aging — but Addison defies “getting old.”

“Aging is numerically automatic, but getting old involves lots of insidious choices and media-sponsored cultural habits that do not serve us well. In short, get even by unplugging the TV, eat well and move, move, move,” he said. “There is no need to fall victim to any particular numerical age.”


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