The fit file: Fruita man pedaling to keep healthful lifestyle
Living healthy is just a way of life for Ken Laumann.
But it was a health scare when he was 52 that jolted him into action.
Prostate cancer has a way of shaking men to the core. What it did for Laumann was get him on a bike and start an unshakable fitness lifestyle that has never wavered for the past 23 years.
“They removed it in 1990,” Laumann said about the cancer. “I knew I had to do something to stay healthy.”
By 1991, he was pedaling to a healthier body. Now at 75, this Fruita man is proud of his fitness regimen and what it’s done for him over the years.
“I pride myself for not having a gut like a lot of my high school friends,” he said with a chuckle.
He proudly proclaims he’s “155 pounds and 5-foot-8-and-a-half.”
That’s pretty impressive considering he was a lean, fresh-faced 21-year-old who weighed 150 pounds when he joined the U.S. Air Force.
Even with his commitment to a healthy lifestyle, health problems have tormented Laumann since he was 28. That was when he discovered he was diabetic, which meant he had to concentrate on a healthier diet and receive insulin shots.
Once the cancer was removed in 1990, he naturally thought it was a done deal. But it returned eight years later and they used radiation to KO the second round of cancer.
All through his health problems, Laumann, who worked for a telephone company for more than 40 years, never stopped his fitness regimen and healthy diet.
The past 14 months have been some of the more challenging when it came to maintaining his fitness routine.
Once again, there was a cancer scare when his prostate test levels were high and he had a procedure done in October 2012. Subsequent hormone treatments have helped drop the levels.
Then came sinus trouble during the spring and tendon surgery on his right hand in July. The surgery kept him off his bike for awhile, but now he’s hitting spin classes hard.
“When I do the spinning (class), I can’t do it as well, but it seems that it’s coming back,” he said.
Through all the health problems, Laumann has stayed positive and never thought about shelving his fitness work.
“You have to keep going, even though you can’t do it like you have in the past,” he said.
Growing up in Chicago, Laumann said he was a cycling fiend as a kid.
As a dedicated paperboy, Laumann won a contest for his work getting subscriptions and having no complaints. His award was a new Schwinn Black Phantom single-speed bicycle worth $75.
“That was a lot of money back then,” he said with a chuckle.
He quickly turned that bike into his workhorse and put his legs to work on his seven-days-a-week paper route, tossing the Chicago Sun Times and Chicago Tribune onto doorsteps around his neighborhood. He had both a morning and afternoon route. He worked that Black Phantom and his legs a lot.
These days, he calls his journey back to cycling “recycling.”
When the weather is good, Laumann gets on his road bike and hits the pavement. He’s in the gym the rest of the time.
He attends a spinning class at Crossroads Fitness downtown every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for 45 minutes to an hour.
Two other days a week, he lifts weights.
“Nothing rigorous, just maintenance” he said.
He admits that keeping muscle mass is getting tougher as he gets older.
“Anything worthwhile you have to work for. I’m proud that I’ve stuck with it,” he said.
Laumann’s diabetes always has dictated he follow a more healthful diet.
He often eats a salad for dinner with a low-calorie dressing. He also favors plenty of chicken and fish, with an occasional dinner of beef.
The only milk he drinks is soy milk. He fixes protein shakes to help combat the loss of muscle mass, and daily vitamins are part of his routine.
At today’s Thanksgiving dinner, he won’t overdo it, but he will indulge in a piece of pumpkin pie with a sliver of whipped cream.