FAIRMONT - Margot Madsen of Fairmont didn't really get into fitness until she was 50 years old, but to talk you her you'd think she has been a marathoner all her life.
So when she asks you to go for a walk or bike ride with her - and she very well might - she isn't likely to believe you if you say you can't.
"Anybody can bike a little bit; everyone can walk a little bit; everyone can walk in the pool," she said Thursday morning at Triathlon for Life, a mini-triathlon training.
PROMOTING?FITNESS?— Margot Madsen and Phil Hanson discuss the route for the Triathlon for Life on Thursday in Fairmont.
The course involved a 5-mile bike ride, 3- or 1.5-mile walk/run, and nine laps in the pool. Participants were asked to attempt to finish the course in two hours.
Madsen arranged the event with Phil Hanson, another local fitness enthusiast. Hanson believes exercising, particularly with the three traditional triathlon sports - biking, swimming and running - is one of the best things you can do for your body.
But you don't have to be a seasoned racer to participate in Fitness for Life.
"A lot of people think they have to be in really, really good shape to do it," Hanson said. "That is not true."
Hanson and Madsen said preparing for triathlons - even mini-tris - can be done in smaller chunks of time, and it doesn't have to be done with a race as a goal.
"This is not a race; it is to get people to chain these [sports] together and to know they can do it," Madsen said.
For those thinking about next year's triathlon race in Fairmont, held in mid-June, now is the time to start preparing. Madsen said those who can't make it to an indoor pool to practice swimming can use a rowing machine, go outside for a walk, and bike around the neighborhood.
"In January, start strength training," she said. "Even just pushups."
Hanson added that exercise is a lot like chocolate.
"A little bit goes a long way," he said, "and you really like it."
More Triathlon for Life sessions are being planned for next summer, and Hanson and Madsen plan to hold a class in the spring.