ZAINO COMPLETES EIGHT POOL LAPS AS PART OF THE TRIATHLON
Brenda Harrison Editor
Richard Zaino has been involved in sports and exercise all his life, so at age 77 he is not about to quit. As he has for many years, Zaino drove up from Sun City on Hilton Head Island last week to compete in the South Carolina Senior Sports Classic held on the campus of Francis Marion University, May 14-17. Zaino took a second place medal for his age group in the triathlon, which includes swimming, bicycling and running. He also collected medals for his age category in track, biking and swimming meets.
Originally from Boston, Zaino has qualified and competed in the Boston Marathon in past years. He and his late wife Julie, both teachers, spent their life as avid swimmers, cyclists, hikers and walkers. We were teachers of teachers, he said, explaining that their example has inspired others to become active, including their children. “I’ve been training my whole life,” Zaino said. “I started with track in high school and its been very beneficial. It flows over to my children, like a heritage,” he said, adding that all four of his children are active. “Exercise is the best we can offer our family,” Zaino continued.
“We are teaching them to remain healthy so they will have quality of life and do good things for themselves and their family. Family, that’s what’s its all about.” Zaino said his goal is to be a prototype for people age 80 and older. Taking care of one’s body and a good attitude is the key to having a quality life in the golden years, he said. He has three mottos: Make a difference by being a difference! Seize the day today and everyday! Forgive to live and live to give!
His advice to seniors interested in getting more active is to start where you are and little by little build up with light training such as water walking or swimming. The main thing for older folks, he said, is “stretching, stretching and stretching. The is essential for the elderly.” Richard enjoys participating in the S.C. Senior Sports Classic, which has been held in Florence for many years, because he likes the volunteers, the events are run professionally and, most of all, the competitors are so encouraging and affirming for mutual health benefits. Zaino has also competed in some of the national games.