Did you know that regular exercise can keep you financially fit? “My health insurance and life insurance premiums are down, my medical bills are down, and I have fewer doctor visits to pay for,” Vernon Dyer of Roswell said.
Dyer is a racewalker and runner and will be competing in the New Mexico State Senior Olympics in the Las Cruces May 30 to June 2. He said since he has begun racewalking and running, his heart and lung health has increased measurably and he is completely off medication to lower his cholesterol.
But physical and financial health aren’t the only benefits. “When my health got better, it took a lot of stress off my mind,” Dyer explained. “The social aspect is just as important because of the people you are around all the time. You are around positive people. All of a sudden no problem is too big. We can solve it, just give us a chance.”
Dyer, a member of the board of directors of New Mexico Senior Olympics, Inc., continued, “Senior Olympics has grown into a beg extended family. A person can go into any other community and you have friends there. If you get in trouble you can call someone from Senior Olympics that you know.”
At age 59, Dyer said he realizes he isn’t going to outrun a 27-year-old and enjoys competing with people in his own age group. The attitude between athletes is one of encouragement and good sportsmanship at the games, he said. “It’s not uncommon to help one of your fellow athletes instead of winning,” he said. “What has happened in a race where someone has fallen, two or three will always stop and check to make sure someone is all right.”
Dyer is active professionally and in his community as well. He will receive an excellence award this summer from the American Association of Professional Land Managers. He coaches Goddard High School’s girls cross country team and is a member of various service and community organizations. He sits on the board of directors of Tobosa Development Services which serves mentally handicapped citizens with workforce training and residential living programs.
“I stay very active and that’s why I say I’ll never retire,” he said. “When people ask me, ‘Why do you do all that running,’ I tell them the obvious reason, then I tell them running is the only sport I know where I can run in my underwear and people clap for you and give you water and when you get to the finish line they give you a medal.”