Active throughout his life, Gary Wojton found a new passion as soon as he moved to Arizona: Hiking. Retiring from the Chicago Public School System and relocating to Scottsdale in 2008, Wojton started hiking as a hobby. The hobby went from a slow start to a passion as Wojton averaged 4-8 miles a day.
Even the hot July sun over southern Utah couldn’t spoil a hike for Gregg Fiehler. The joy of walking has a new meaning for Fiehler. He hiked 7 miles in Zion National Park during a particularly hot and humid week this summer. The miles amounted to more than a long trek. They represented a breakthrough.
For nearly all his life, running was central to Brian Katz’s daily activities. “I was born to run,” Katz, 47, said. Athletic efforts included triathlons, marathons, tennis, ultimate Frisbee, and volleyball. In late 2013, though, an annoying lower back pain didn’t go away. It stayed through most of 2014. At first, he thought the soreness was a natural reaction to strenuous runs and workouts and endured it. Eventually, an intense training run produced an excruciating groin pain. After that, a 50-yard walk across the parking lot at work each day was a painful journey.
Rob Hoedel has worked on some of the world’s most treacherous seas and even survived a few ships sinking. A third-generation fisherman out of Kodiak Island, Alaska, Hoedel made a success of his commercial fishing operation and survived more than 50 years at sea without a major physical setback, until last summer.
The image of an old cowboy riding the range for the last time, galloping off into the sunset might seem romantic, but it isn’t what Bob Ashcraft has in mind. At an age when his peers are plotting days of leisure and rest, Ashcraft has a different plan.