Local doctor finishes 10th Trek Across MaineAdvocates for remaining active as you age
Belfast — Christine Kramer, a doctor practicing at Seaport Community Health Center in Belfast, completed her 10th Trek Across Maine Sunday, June 15.
Kramer moved to Belfast from Brewer in 2003 to join Seaport and said she found the city to have a vibrant community of cyclists. In an effort to stay active and enjoy the outdoors, Kramer began to take weekly rides with a group of local cyclists who were training for the Trek.
They began training in April and by the time the 2003 Trek Across Maine rolled around Kramer decided to join them for the 180-mile ride. She kept up with it, riding in the Trek every year except for 2013 when she attended her daughters college graduation instead. In 2014 she decided to ride again, completing her 10th Trek with the Fiddlers' Green team.
At 62 years old, Kramer says events like the Trek are great motivation to stay active. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle through proper diet and exercise is something Kramer says she stresses to her patients as they age, and she is determined to lead by example.
"Good health is a blessing and we shouldn't take it for granted," Kramer said. "As you reach middle age if you don't stay active, you'll lose the ability to be active."
In order to remain active Kramer practices the advice she often gives her patients — set reasonable goals, set a schedule and find an activity to enjoy with friends. The group she cycles with takes a long ride each Sunday and participates in rides around the state from spring through fall, but she says the Trek is the main event.
The Trek, which has been an annual event for the last 30 years, is especially important to Kramer because it is the largest single fundraising event for the American Lung Association. Kramer's mother died at an early age from lung cancer.
Promoting healthy choices, like abstaining from tobacco use and exercising regularly, is one of the most important jobs of a community doctor, Kramer says. She talks with her patients about eating right and exercising and says her patients respond in kind encouraging her to continue with cycling.
"I get a lot of support from my patients," Kramer said. "One of the most effective things I can do as a doctor is promote a healthy lifestyle."
This year the Trek Across Maine celebrated its 30th anniversary. Starting from the mountains in Bethel, riders make their way across the state, finishing at the waterfront in Belfast. Cyclists traverse Maine from border to border in support of American Lung Association.