A Race for Life
A Diet and Exercise Program for Superfitness and Reversing the Aging Process
In her mid-forties, Ruth Heidrich was diagnosed with breast cancer. After undergoing a double mastectomy, she challenged herself to the punishing Ironman Triathlon, a test of endurance involving a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile marathon run. Twenty years later, Heidrich is still running, cancer-free, and positive about life. This is her story. She describes her fight with cancer, the healing powers of proper nutrition, and the rewards of running the toughest races in the world.
3 July 2000
Last year, Heidrich, a health education specialist, was named one of the 10 fittest women in America by Living Fit magazine. This is a remarkable accomplishment by a woman who had a mastectomy and other cancer treatments 20 years earlier. Back then, Heidrich was astonished by the cancer diagnosis because she believed her eating habits and general health were excellent. After a few days of post-surgery recovery, Heidrich quickly decided to determine the course of her treatment, selecting a strenuous exercise program, a completely vegan diet and a new mental outlook. Heidrich's strategy was successful: years later she is in excellent physical condition and regularly competes in triathlons. She briefly discusses conditions such as osteoporosis and arthritis as well as her specific diet, but most of this book focuses on setting up an exercise program. Heidrich offers a step-by-step routine for running, swimming, biking or training for competition. She includes tips on making time to exercise, how to increase one's speed or distance and how to avoid injuries. While Heidrich's account of her own recovery is inspiring, this book is best read for the information on exercise, rather than for info on how to beat cancer-especially since competing in triathlons is not a realistic goal for most people, much less those recovering from a life-threatening illness.
When you meet Ruth Heidrich, the first thing you notice is the sparkle in her eyes. A close second is the energy she radiates. Add to that picture a teenager-trim body, and you’ll probably come up with “mid to late thirties” for an estimate of her age. Well, Dr. Heidrich will be the first to tell you that she’s 65; her book tells you how she got there. In addition to being a triathlete and following a vegan diet, Ruth Heidrich is a former cancer patient. To call her a survivor doesn’t go far enough: She’s a defeater of cancer.You don’t have to be training for an Ironman triathalon, though, to benefit from A Race for Life. Besides running, cycling, and swimming, Dr. Heidrich covers attitude, dietary changes, and degenerative diseases that improve with diet and exercise. And her own story makes for exciting, affirming reading.