Glenwood’s Dr. Feinsinger keeps putting on the miles to keep feeling good
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” At 67, Dr. Greg Feinsinger is one active guy. That’s to say the least. During the winter, he’s Nordic skiing one to two hours a day, five days a week. In summer, he’s running 16-18 miles weekly, as well as roller skiing (using long in-line skates and poles) for another 20.
And he’d no sooner miss any of this than he would his dinner.
Yes, that’s how he put it.
“I do it because I enjoy it,” he explained, “and I want to keep enjoying it.”
He went on, saying that a lot more people would be active, too, if they just knew how good it feels. He seemed sure of it.
It was after-hours at Glenwood Medical Associates, and from behind his desk, the semi-retired doc was going over his athletic past. His father, Nathan, was once a world class quarter-miler at the University of Michigan. Feinsinger ended up sprinting in his footsteps. While at Aspen High School, he long jumped and ran short track distances. He’s the co-holder of a 220-yard dash record (which, thanks to the implementation of the metric system, will never be beat). He laughed about the meets the school used to have at Aspen’s airport. There weren’t too many planes landing there in those days, he recalled. But when they did, the team would have to scatter off the runway ” and take their equipment with them.
Feinsinger continued to run at Oberlin College. In those early years, he was a short distance man, through and through.
“I thought anybody who ran more than 440 yards was crazy,” he joked.
But, as people do, he changed. In 1973, he and his family moved to the valley. His wife, Kathy, started to take up longer runs and compete in local races. Eventually, Feinsinger joined in. For the last 30 or so years, he’s run for an hour twice a week. He’s hardly missed a day.
Really, he insisted.
“I do it because I know it’s healthy,” he said, “and I feel better, mentally and physically when I exercise as much as I do.”
Arms folded, legs crossed, he was smiling and casual, with a hint of his competitive spirit showing. He’s entered innumerable running and skiing races, he said, and for the past five years his times have been steadily improving. He always runs Basalt’s annual half-marathon and competes in the 25 kilometer Owl Creek Chase, a cross country ski race.
Even his family traditions are based around activity. Each New Year’s, he and his wife hike to the top of Aspen Mountain alongside their three children and several grandkids.
As he detailed all this, never once did he mention his age ” until he was asked about it. Then, it seemed a non-issue.
“I love being 67,” he said. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
“I think a lot about getting older is your attitude, certainly,” he added. “And a lot of is looking at it in perspective and realizing a lot of people older than you are doing amazing things.”
He mentioned Warren Ohlrich, the area’s famed senior runner. He talked about a 73-year-old man who was the oldest person to climb Mt. Everest. Then he related that, at 99, that climber’s father scaled Mt. Blanc (Western Europe’s highest peak) and skied back down.
“Those people are my heroes,” Feinsinger said, with a touch of inspiration.
He then went into full-scale physician mode, explaining that strenuous activity isn’t for everyone. As the head of GMA’s Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention Center, it’s his mission to remind people to get themselves moving. Don’t overextend yourself, he cautioned. Wait to exercise at least two hours after you eat. Most of all, just find some activity you like and do it. He asserted that with energy, sleep quality, even confidence, activity makes all the difference. Not only can it combat obesity, he stressed, but there are some studies that show it might even reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s.
“Almost everybody I see who has aged successfully, almost all those people have continued to be physically active,” he went on.
For him, that sounded like there was no question at all. As he talked about his future, he never mentioned himself slowing down or taking things easy. Instead, he was dreaming about competing in 50-kilometer ski races around the world. He’s going to do whatever he needs to, to keep his exercise routine different, exciting and fresh. That, he explained, is the key to staying up and active.
“My goal is to keep doing these things until I’m 100,” he said. “And then I can keel over and die, and I’ll feel OK about it.”
His voice sounded lighthearted and upbeat ” and completely dedicated.
Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111
Post Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado
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Imagine Glenwood and The City of Glenwood Springs is slated to host a virtual town hall at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11.