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Just What the Doctor Ordered

Meet Dr. Charles Hew – better known to us as Charlie! Charlie is a GP at the Goonellabah Medical Centre who also specialises in musculoskeletal medicine and acupuncture.  More importantly, he is a member of the Lismore running crew, a nice guy with an infectious laugh and a good friend 🙂

We decided to catch up with Charlie to glean his thoughts on this whole running and active lifestyle deal. Here’s what the doctor had to say …

Q: So how long have you been running and why did you start?

I have been a jogger for many yrs , but started running more seriously in 2009, when I joined the Saturday morning running group. Actually Bob Wells, who was my daughter’s school teacher found out I ran and, through my daughter, invited me to join the group. I think the initial invitation was 12 months previous, but it took me 12 months to work up the courage as I thought a running group meant fast, serious runners. Now I know!

Q: What inspires you to keep running?

The reason I run is to catch up with the group and have coffee after the runs and gossip. On a more serious note, I find running, to me, is a form of meditation, breathing, moving and just the peace and quiet that one feels, especially on those early mornings just at daybreak when the rest of the world is just starting the day.

Q: What do you most dislike about running?

Running day in day out in the rain [something that has been a constant feature here in Lismore the last 3 yrs!] whilst training for an event.

Q: Do you want to share about any big event(s) you’ve recently done?

I really enjoyed the 50 km ultra in Canberra 2013, where I paced the run perfectly and enjoyed every minute of it.

Q: What’s your next big goal?

My dream is to run Comrades in june 2014, but I will try a few intermediate runs in the next 6 months to see how I perform. The next big run I will focus on is the BullRun – 70 km in Melbourne in December and if  things go well, then I will start training seriously for Comrades.

Q: Why do you think it is so hard for some people to get active?

I feel there is time pressures on everyone and it takes determination and commitment to get out there initially. The initial few months are harder, but once the routine is set, it is like brushing your teeth. When you run in a group, it certainly helps, as others will be  waiting for you to turn up before they leave for the run so lying in bed, thinking of excuses for the next time you see them, is  a lot harder than just turning up and doing it.

Q: Why do you think there’s so much noise about diets rather than lifestyle change?

I think a lifestyle change, which means looking at all facets of one’s life, including  diet, exercise, work practices, smoking, drinking habits etc. is too challenging for a  lot of people. Popular press makes out that if the diet is good then everything else will just fall into place, but we all know it is only one facet of a good and healthy life.

Q: In your profession, do you see many patients that could have prevented, or treat, their conditions with better nutrition and/or active more active lifestyle?

I feel that most of the illnesses/complaints I deal with on a daily basis , can be significantly improved with better lifestyle choices. This ranges from the more obvious problems like  cancer, diabetes and hypertension to the less evident ones like osteoarthritis, depression, anxiety and a whole range of musculoskeletal afflictions that is rife in Western society.

Q: Are there any running myths you want to bust?

Only one… and that is you don’t have to be fast, flashy, slim or beautiful to be a runner as one sees all sizes, shapes and builds when we run in races and even in our Saturday morning running group.


Thanks Charlie for your insight and sharing of experience. Thank you also for your friendship, treating some of our injuries and continuing to set the bar higher for us! Everyone needs someone to set new goals for them 😛 We wish you all the best with your running and know that Comrades will be a reality for you one day 🙂

Here’s one from a 10km Time trial almost 2 years ago – not fast or flashy, but a true runner


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  • Dan MunroAugust 11, 2013 - 5:12 PM

    Charlie has literally saved my life and inspired me in so many ways to live an active enjoyable life despite the many musculoskeletal issues I live with.

    Once again I am inspired, as soon as I’m able I’m adding running to my routine that includes bike riding, swimming and walking. Might see you on the road 🙂ReplyCancel

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