Ralph Hochstetler | Batesville, IN

“In 2010, retirement came along and knowing that I would have a lot of free time, I decided to join a gym in Batesville. I had never been athletic or inclined to do anything like that, but my mother was going through some health issues which helped to motivate me to not get myself in the same situation as her. Diabetes runs in my family, so I knew I had to do something. I started walking with a little short run in between, then I got to the point where I could run for a couple of miles without stopping, then it led to 3 miles, 6, 10 and so forth. 

​I’m a big fan of Disney. In 2013, there was an opportunity to do a 5K at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom at night and I thought, ‘This is gonna be my first try at an official race.’ As that was my first run, little did I know that it was also a challenge course! I made through all the obstacles in good time. So from that point on, I’ve participated in many other runs, such as the 5K in Indianapolis for The Colts, Mud Stash at The Perfect North, and not forgetting the virtual races - they’re races which you sign up and run at your own pace; my favorite was the Solar Eclipse 5K run in 2017. 

​I give credit to my mom, she persevered until she was 91. She was my reason to work on my health and I made her pretty proud too. 

​What I want to say is you can start running even at an older age. Take baby steps, change your diet, work out a little. You can do some changes and make your life easier and better. I have a 5 year old granddaughter who still runs me ragged, I don’t know if I can keep up with her if I hadn’t done this.”

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