Take the long term view.: My father in law died... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K

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Take the long term view.


My father in law died earlier this evening. He was such a character and will be much missed.

But the reason I'm posting about it here is that I see inspiration in his story for C25kers everywhere.

He was in my life for nearly 30 years but BEFORE I knew him he was a chain-smoking lorry driver who lit his next cigarette from the previous one. He developed emphysema in the 1980s and as he lay in a hospital bed he said he heard the specialist tell the students gathered round his bedside, "If this man doesn't stop smoking he'll be dead in six months". He was so shocked by this that he never smoked again! And he lived another 30+ years and lived well, including numerous trips to his eldest in New Zealand.

My point is this: a simple, though no doubt difficult, change in lifestyle gave him an amazing new lease of life. And his grandchildren got to have a relationship with him, and as the mother of four of them, I'm grateful for that.

All of us who used to be couch potatoes have improved our odds by starting this excellent exercise program. There are no guarantees - that proverbial bus could hit us tomorrow. But we're en route to a new much healthier us. And our odds are better.

My mum's prone to say "Take the long-term view" about anything and everything. She's not wrong. And a nine week program isn't even all that long-term!

32 Replies

Condolences to you and your family. What a lovely post in memory of your father-in-law, and so true.

Thank you for this post Anne, it really is a wonderful story. I'm sorry for your loss and wish you and your family strength. Your father-in-law must have been a wonderful guy to inspire such a thoughtful reaching out.


Firstly I am so sorry for your loss. But what a brilliant post. Your FIL sounds like he was a great man and hats off to him for giving up chain smoking. His grandchildren will have such great memories of him, as will you, and your mum is very wise. Take the long term view. I am so pleased I began this running lark. Not that I was a couch potato beforehand, but it has given me another interest which I have found that I absolutely love. Thinking of you and your family at this sad time. XXX


It's never easy to say goodbye & you're never ready for it.

But fantastic that he has left so many memories & became an example to all who knew him.

Love & prayers for you all at this sad time.


Please accept my sincerest condolences. It never is easy to say goodbye to the ones we love but this is a wonderful message in memory of your father-in-law. Thank you for sharing.


Thank you for posting such a positive reflection on life when you are grieving.That really is love shining through your loss.


Sorry to hear of your loss & a lovely post about life so true & the benefits to you health from a change in lifestyle is phenomenal 😊 x


Sorry to hear of your loss. Your Father-in-Law sounds like an inspiration. And you are right, small changes make such a difference.


Sorry to hear your very sad news Anne. You FIL sounds a very determined man!

Thank you for such a very inspirational post.

Take care of yourself.

Dear Anne, sorry to hear the sad news of your FIL. He sounds like he took the right path to live a happy and fulfilled life from then on, which is much to be thankful for...... an inspirational story .


So sorry to hear about your father-in-law AnneDroid. 'have improved our odds' is what it's all about for me and it's a mega bonus that the journey has turned out to be such fun! Look after yourself.

Thankyou AnneDroid for sharing your reflections. A sad time for you + your family, yet your post will inspire many here to keep going. I have been struggling with gremlins this past 2 weeks and even toyed with giving up this running lark ( having only just graduated), however your post has reminded me of why I started in the first place and why I need to keep going for the long term.

Wishing you and your family well.



How wonderful to be able to post such a positive message at such a difficult time! I came to C25K as an overweight asthmatic to get healthy. My Father gave up smoking almost overnight when I told him my son was on the way 19 years ago. He's now a healthy 81 yr old who is considerably healthier than he was when I was growing up with him chain-smoking. I'm so glad you and your family had an extra 30 years with him. While there are many things in life we can't control we can have a damn good go at tipping the odds in our favour to stay around for a bit longer. I will hold you and your family close to my heart and I hope you can all share memories of happy times with him. Much love x

So sorry for your loss. Your thoughts and reflections are so true. Thanks.

My thoughts are with you and your family. I am Sure everyone in his life was greatful for the decision he made while in that hospital bed. We all have the power to enrich the lives around us. A heartfelt and inspirational post. Rfc X.


So sorry about your loss - I am sure you will miss him greatly, but what an inspiration. Giving up smoking immediately in response to the wake-up call was such a massive achievement which clearly paid dividends. Thank you for sharing that with us - my thoughts are with you.


Sorry to hear about your loss Anne, how old was he? I lost my dad in 1990 at 68 from smoking & lifestyle related diseases he had smoked rollups for many years, his diet wasn't too good and took no real excercise, started with circulatory problems, and it was then he stopped smoking after being told by doctor that he would lose his leg if he didn't! But a few years later strokes were the end for him. I stopped smoking not long after he died, being a light smoker for about 20 years I didn't find it too hard to stop, and am now a runner thanks to c25k and feel the benefits, so hopefully won't end up like my dad..


What an inspiring post and a lovely tribute to your Father in Law. Sincere condolences to you and your family.

You are so right - we are giving ourselves better odds and I imagine a lot of us, as I am, are enjoying our running which is impacting on other areas of life. More energy, eating healthier and more faith in our ability to try new things and succeed ☺.

Thank you for sharing x

Sorry to hear about your loss, but what a lovely tribute to him. You and your family will have many memories to cherish I am sure.



I am sorry to hear that Anne! Here, have a hug. It's so sad when our loved ones leave us, leaving a gaping hole in our lives.

Your mum is right of course. I think as you get older and hopefully wiser you take the long view. 9 weeks is nothing in the scheme of things. Be it graduating from C25k or from uni, or even losing weight, a year is just a blink of an eye


My condolences to you and your family at this very sad time for you all. Time is a slow healer but I hope the happy memories you share with your family will help in the difficult grieving process. Thank you for sharing your father-in-law's inspiring story and your mothers words of wisdom. X


So sorry to hear of your loss Anne, but massive respect to your father in law for turning his life around and as a result gaining lots more valuable time with his family.

I totally agree with you, small steps can make a massive difference and the benefits are so rewarding .

Lovely post and big hugs ((( ))) xxx


Sorry to hear about your loss. loved the positive message despite everything .


Sorry for your loss. :(

What a great object lesson he was, the example will live on to inspire even more than it has. A good legacy to leave.


I'm sorry for your loss. I hope your runs provide you with some peace and time for reflection.


Thoughts are with you and your family at this sad time. Thank you for sharing those wise words.


I'm so sorry for your loss, but grateful you had those years to get to know him; it couldn't have been easy for him, but he made the change.


Condolences to you and your family x just shows what lifestyle changes can do x ty for sharing at this difficult time x x


Gosh.. what a legacy he left... inspirational. :)


How wonderful that he changed his life, it must have been hard. He shows that we can all do it .

THankyou for sharing with us

Sorry for your loss Anne. A great sentiment too. Hugxx


Sorry for your loss, but what an inspirational guy. It shows if you want to, you can. Sometimes it's hard to find that trigger though, I think you need to have a certain type of character to have the will to do that. His genes live on in your family!

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