Hamilton credits health to running, being Cherokee
Cherokee Nation citizen Steve Hamilton, 87, competes in a 5K race on April 9 in Bedford, Indiana. Hamilton has been running since he was 60 years old. COURTESY
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Cherokee Nation citizen Steve Hamilton, 87, credits his good health to staying active, as well as his Cherokee blood. Hamilton began running when he was approximately 60 years old and said he’s been running ever since.
“I’ve kind of thought maybe that’s the reason I’m able to get around and do things because of being 87,” he said. “I guess also I can give my mom’s side of the family (credit). She has the Cherokee blood and she lived to be 97. So I guess that’s what it is.”
Hamilton, who was born in Buffalo Valley, Oklahoma, said he’s competed in races throughout his running career and plans to run until he can no longer.
“I’ve run one marathon, two half-marathons, and every year for the last twenty-so years I’ve run at least 10 five-kilometer races per year,” he said. “I’ll just keep running until I can’t go anymore.”
He said out of the races he has competed in his favorites were when he ran across the Golden Gate Bridge and a mud run.
“I was in the military for 10 years and it was like running a military course with water and mud. I did it in 42 minutes. That was two and a half miles through some of the most mud-filled obstacles that you can think of,” he said. “So, I just thoroughly enjoyed it, and I’m waiting for it to happen again this year.”
Hamilton said when he began running he had a heart attack, but he didn’t let that stop him from continuing.
“I did have a heart attack though, in (19)95 I think it was. It’s been so long ago. I had a stint put in. But I was back running within probably three weeks after that,” he said.
He said he makes sure to get regular check-ups to make sure he stays healthy.
“I go to the doctor, of course, once a year for a check-up, everything is fine. And just mainly, I stay out of the doctor’s office,” he said.
Hamilton encourages others who are older to stay active, and possibly take up running.
“I think that that would help them. The thing they need to do is not over indulge. Just do what you can and then a little bit more. If you don’t push yourself then you won’t be able to keep it up,” he said. “I exercise at a facility for six days every week. I look forward to it.”
Hamilton said he is also “proud” to be Cherokee.
“It gives you a lot to be proud of that we come from a very tough line of people,” he said. “I’m proud of the Cherokee tribe.”
Bloonington, Ind. – ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᎳ Steve Hamilton, ᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᎡᎵᏍᎪ ᎯᎠ ᎤᏩᏌ ᏙᎯ ᏥᎩ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎠᎵᏖᎸᎮᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎠᏣᎳᎩ ᎩᎦ ᎤᏁᎲᎢ. Hamilton ᎤᎴᏅᎲ ᎠᏓᎾᏫᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏑᏓᎵᏍᏆ ᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎨᏒ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᎯᏳ ᎬᏩᎴᏅᏓ.
“ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎪ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎬᏆᏛᏗ ᏥᎩ ᎾᎿ ᏯᏆᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏥᎩ ᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎨᎵᏍᎬ ᎡᏥᏏᏗᏢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᎾᏍᏛᎢ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏁᎭ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᎩᎦ ᎠᎴ ᏐᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎢᏳᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎤᎴᏂᏙᎸᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎨᎵᏍᎪ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅᎢ.”
Hamilton, ᎾᎿ ᎤᏕᏅᎢ ᏯᎾᏐᎢ ᎤᎨᏓᎵᏴᎢ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏚᏍᏆᏓ ᎾᎿᏃ ᏚᏓᎾᏫᏍᏔᏂ ᎠᎴ ᏚᏭᎪᏓ ᎤᏓᎾᏫᏍᏙᏗ ᎡᎵ ᎾᏛᏁᎲ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎬᏂ ᎬᏩᏓᎾᏫᏍᏙᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎨᎳ ᏛᏑᎵᎪᏣ.
“ᎠᏆᏓᎾᏫᏍᏔᎾ ᏌᏊ marathon, ᏔᎵ ᎠᏰᏟ marathons, ᎠᎴ ᏂᏓᏕᏘᏴᎲᏒᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵᏍᎪ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏃᎴᏍᏊ ᏍᎪᎯ ᎯᏍᎩ---kilometer ᏓᎾᏙᎩᏯᏍᎪ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎨᏒᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏛᏁᎮᏍᏗ ᎦᏓᎾᏫᏍᏗᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎢᎪᎯᏓ ᎢᎬᏆᏛᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎢᎬᏆᏛᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ.”
ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏚᏙᎩᏴ ᏚᏍᏆᏛᎢ ᎤᎸᏉᏔᏅᎢ ᎾᎿ ᏧᏙᎩᏴ ᏧᏗᏢᏍᏔᏅ ᎠᏒᏢ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏓᎶᏂᎨ ᎪᏢᏔᏅ ᎠᎴ ᏜᏬᏚ ᎤᏗᏢᏍᏔᏅᎢ.
“ᎾᎿᏃ ᎠᏂᏲᏍᎩ ᎠᎩᏴᏢ ᏍᎪᎯ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏦᏣᏓᎾᏫᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏲᏍᎩ ᎤᏓᎾᏫᏍᏙᏗ ᎣᎾ ᎠᎹᏯ ᎠᎴ ᏝᏬᏚ. ᏥᏍᏆᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏅᎩᏍᎪ ᏔᎵ ᎢᏳᏔᏬᏍᏔᏅᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏔᎵ ᎠᏰᏟ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏝᏬᏚ ᎨᏒ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎾᎿᏃ ᎢᎦ ᎦᎵᎡᎵᎪ ᎦᏓᏩᏫᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᏥᎦᏘᏲ ᎾᎿ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏴᎢ.”
Hamilton ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎾᎿ ᏧᎴᏅᎮ ᎠᏓᎾᏫᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎤᏓᏅᏛ ᎤᏩᏂᎵᏢ, ᎠᏎᏃ Ꮭ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏳᎴᏫᏍᏙᏔᏁ ᏂᎬᏱᎵᏐ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᏛᏁᎲᎢ.
“ᏝᏃ ᎠᏆᏓᏅᏛ ᏯᏋᏂᎵᏝ ᎾᎿ, ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪᎯ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎨᎵᎠ. ᎢᎦᏃ ᎪᎯᎦ. ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᏅᏋᏅᏓᏁᎸ stint. ᎠᏎᏃ ᎠᏆᎴᏅᎲ ᎦᏓᎾᏫᏍᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏦᎢᎭ ᏳᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᏂᎪᎯᎸ ᎡᏙᎰ ᎦᏅᎦᏘ ᎠᏥᎪᎵᏰᏍᎪ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏙᎯ ᎨᏐ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗᎢ.
“ᎦᎾᎦᏘ ᎨᏙᎰ, ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏯᏆᎵᏍᏓᏁᎵ, ᎾᎿ ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏛ ᎾᎿᏃ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᎢᏳᏓᎵ ᎬᎩᎪᎵᏰᏍᎪᎢ, ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ ᏂᎪᏓ ᎣᏍᏓ. ᎡᎵᏱᎩ Ꮭ ᏳᎨᏙᎰ ᎦᎾᎦᏘ ᎤᏴᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Hamilton ᏕᎦᏂᎵᏕᎰ ᎠᏂᏐᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᎾᏔᎾᏯ ᎤᎾᏗᏊ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ ᏄᏂᏤᎲ ᎢᎦ ᎤᎾᎵᏖᎸᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᎡᎵᏱᎦ ᎤᎾᏓᎾᏫᏍᏙᏗᎢ.
“ᏙᎯᏳᏃ ᎤᏂᏍᏕᎳ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᏂᎬᎬ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏗᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏣᏍᏈᏗ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᏂᎨᏒᎾ. ᎢᎨᏣᏛᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎢᏣᏛᏗᎢ. ᎢᏳᏃ ᎿᏟᏂᎬᏁᎲᎾ ᏱᎩ Ꮭ ᏱᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎠᏯ ᏧᏙᏓᏋᏓ ᏫᎨᏙᎰ ᏑᏓᎵ ᎢᎦ ᏒᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ. ᎠᏋᏅᎪ ᎤᏟᎶᎯᏍᏗᎢ.”
Hamilton ᎠᏗᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ “ᎠᎵᎮᎵᎪ” ᎠᏣᎳᎩ ᎨᏒᎢ.
“ᎤᎪᏓ ᎠᎩᏁᎰ ᎠᏆᎵᎮᎵᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏗᏆᏓᎴᏅ ᎡᎵ ᎤᎾᏟᏂᎩᏓ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎨᏒ.” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. ᎢᎦ ᎦᎵᎡᎵᎦ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢᎢ.”